From the hurdles to the high jump, from the 100m to the mile, it didn’t matter the distance or the heights as Greystones Athletic Club's athletes proved once again that they are going from strength to strength, with their performances at this weekend’s Leinster Championships.
A great athlete once said that “most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts” and nothing could describe the Greystones middle distance groups performances in these championships better then gutsy. It started on Saturday with Eoin Taggart in the under 17 3k, This young man produced an equal life times best performance, in a tough fought contest over 7 and a half laps of the track, where he managed to stay calm and hold on to the bronze medal, despite tough competition. He was later upstaged by his younger club mate Scott Howard, who set a huge personal best in the under 14 1500m. Scott fought all the way to take the bronze, with his sister Amy watching on while she waited to go in her under 17 800m. She too ran the hardest race of her year as she powered her way to a bronze over the last 100m. Her new found confidence was to the fore as she secured the Gold and her 1st Leinster title the following day in the 1500m, with roles reversed as Scott watched and waited for his 800m final, having run a strong heat in the morning. Once again he ran a personal best and qualified for the National Championships in July. You would have thought that the medals would have stopped for the middle distance gang at this stage, but Cillian Browne produced the performance of his life, knocking 10seconds off his personal best to take silver in the under 15 800m on Sun. also. With ever success there is a hard fought battle in athletics and true guts and determination were to the fore in the under 13s 600m where Lisa Dallaghan, Richael Browne and Sinead O'Neill all fought hard and qualified for the final, with Susie McParland and Aoife McDonnell also putting in good performances. Medals were not to be had this time but the young and bright future of middle distance for the club now look forward to the challenge of emulating their club peers in the very near future
Sprinters really only think of two things - the gun and the tape. When they hear the gun they just run like hell until they break the tape and boy did they run. Claire Foley and Ara Freeman took the field apart in the sprints with gold medals in the 100m and 200m under 17s for Claire and a silver in the 300m and gold in the U13s at 80m & 200m for Ara. This was added to by Conor Dempsey winning silver in the under 13 hurdles and finishing 4th in the 200m, Lorcan Lalor taking silver in the under 15 long hurdles and 4th in the short hurdles and Aisling Moore’s silver in the sprint hurdles. The difference in the best known athlete in the world and the other guy is .01 of a second and qualification to the all Ireland's was that close for some of the Greystones sprinters. Jamie Fallon put in fine performances in the U14 100m, 200m and LJ, making the finals in all events, as Isobel Kenny, Rosa Kirwan, Anna Hayes, Sophie Boylan, Rebecca Murphy, Susie McParland Rebecca Murphy and Lisa Dallaghan and Alison Dawson Whelan all competed with aggression and determination but narrowly missed the mark.
"It is better to shoot for the stars and miss, than aim at the gutter and hit it" and did they aim for the stars. Aisling Moore qualified for the all Ireland high jump and Conor Dempsey and Pippa Rogan showed the rest of Leinster daylight as they hit the stars, or the sand and the mat in this case. Conor secured the under 15 long jump gold and Pippa continued her form by breaking the Leinster championship record by 7cm in the High Jump, to take the gold. Like the sprints, it's a cm here and there that separates the jumpers and those cms were hard fought for by Rosa Kirwan, Sinead O'Neill, Lisa Dallaghan and Rebecca Murphy who marginally missed the qualifying mark.
Strong comeradery and friendship saw the team of Aisling Moore, Claire Foley, Amy Howard (all Greystones AC) and Lynda Earls (Inbhear Dee AC) claim silver in the Under 17 inter-county 4x100m relay. Greystones will now look forward to our athletes competing in over 20 events at the All Ireland Championships in July.