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All-Ireland Finals June 2012

Congratulations …

…to third year student Samuel Samson on winning the Bronze medal in the Junior 800m at the AVIVA All-Ireland Schools Track and Field finals held in Tullamore in June.

Samuel is only the fifth St. Mary’s College athlete ever to win a medal at the ISAA Schools finals.

Also, well done and thank you to all the athletes who competed at the finals. Although there were some excellent performances, including a fourth place finish for Anthony Hebron in the Senior 400m hurdles, and a fifth place for Padraig Creaven in the Junior 1500m, we didn’t win any more medals on the day.


Links to Junior Boys 1500m Video Padraig Creaven , Junior Boys 800m Sam Samson,

Connacht Finals May 2012

Congratulations to all the athletes who participated in the Connacht Track and Field finals in Athlone on Thursday May 18th. It was a great day’s athletics, with some outstanding individual and team performances. At the end of the day we retained our position as the top athletics school in Connacht, winning the overall title for the fifth year in succession, a marvellous achievement by all involved. In doing so we won the Senior, Intermediate and Junior shields, and finished third in the Minor shield competition.

On an Individual basis we have a number of new Connacht Champions in the College, these being, Alan Murtagh (Inter Hammer), Paul Fahy (Senior 2000m Steeplechase), Padraig Creaven (Junior 1500m), Jack Felle (Inter 400m Hurdles) and Osaze Osagie (Senior triple Jump). We also won the three 4 x 100m relay events that we entered, the winning teams being Minor (Bryan Ndego, Tom Williams, Kelechi Asonye and Shane Traynor), Junior (Kamil Szymaszek, Tommy Gibbons, Chigoziem Asonye and Samuel Samson) and Inter (Kevin Derrane, Moise Assogba, Paddy Fahy and Dylan Duffy)

All of the above athletes, except the minor relay, have now qualified to participate in the All-Ireland finals in Tullamore on June 2nd. Other qualifiers are Stephen Flaherty (Senior Long Jump and Triple Jump), Anthony Hebron (Senior 400m Hurdles), Patrick O’Connell (Senior Javelin), Paul Forde (Senior Javelin), Gary O’Connell (Senior 2000m Steeplechase), Darragh Mulkerrins (Inter Long Jump), Ronan Higgins (Inter Triple Jump), Dylan Duffy (Inter Triple Jump), Gabriel Garwe (Inter Discus), Thomas Donovan (Inter Seeplechase), Conor Harlowe (Inter Hammer), Samuel Samson (Junior 800m), Tommy Gibbons (Junior Javelin), Cathal De Lamport (Junior Hammer). All of these athletes qualified by virtue of winning a silver or bronze medal at the Championships.


All-Ireland Schools Cross-Country March 10th 

A glorious new chapter in the long proud 100 year history of St. Mary’s College Galway was opened on Saturday afternoon as 14 year old Menlo student Padraic Creaven became the first St.Mary’s student ever to win an All-Ireland schools cross-country title when he commandingly captured the Junior Boys (U-15) title on his own home turf. Indeed, Padraic is the first Galway city student ever to win this event, and only the second Galway winner, following the victory of New Inn’s Vincent McGuinness back in 1996, in the 43 year history of Irish School’s athletics.

Almost 2000 athletes and supporters had gathered from all corners of the country at the grounds of St. Mary’s College for the AVIVA Irish Schools Athletic Association Cross-Country finals, and they were treated to an excellent afternoon’s athletics. There were eight races on the programme, but it was the Junior Boys event that had attracted the most local attention as those in the know suspected and anticipated that something special might be on the cards. And they were not disappointed, as testified by the huge cheer that reverberated around the College grounds marking the performance of young Creaven

This was a truly remarkable performance from a young man who only took up athletics seriously following his first race for his school in November 2009. In that race, the St. Mary’s College Open, he only finished in 12th position, and in fact was only the third scorer for his team, but obviously he had picked up the athletics bug. Since then he has been a regular fixture pounding the fields of the College in his relentless pursuit of excellence, running lap after lap regardless of the weather. He surprisingly won the South Connacht Minor (U-14) cross country title in 2011 and then followed this up by becoming the first St. Mary’s student to win the Connacht title in ten years, before sickness denied him a chance at capturing the All-Ireland title in 2011. This year has seen him progress in leaps and bounds. He was out of sight when winning the South Connacht and Connacht titles once again in February, but he saved the best for last as he tore apart a top class field to win the All-Ireland title by a clear 16 seconds, almost 100m.

Following his pre-race instructions he started off at a very steady pace, and after the small 500m loop at the start of the race, lay back in 17th position in the large field of 120 runners. Some observers may have had a doubt at that stage but over the next kilometre’s running the tension and excitement mounted as he steadily made his way through the field and at the end of the first large loop, at the 2000m mark, he held sixth position and was closing quickly on the leaders. Coming into the back field, where most of his supporters and fellow students had gathered, he moved up to third, and within 100m had overtaken the leader and opened up a 40m lead in a powerful display of running. Heading to the front of the College for the last time he held a 70m lead and the noise levels were stupendous as every single person realised they were watching a special performance. Arms wide he crossed the line and was immediately engulfed by his fellow students who momentarily forgot their marshalling duties to greet the returning hero.

There was, however, a tinge of disappointment for Padraic as his teammates, including Sam Samson, Feargal Gillespie, Kamil Szymaszek, Rory Owens, Ahmed Shikhrakab and Shane Traynor,  just finished out of the medals in fourth place, losing the bronze team medal by a mere three points. This equates to each of these Mary’s athletes having been able to overtake one more runner each, and shows the closeness of the team event in cross-country.

Padraic now joins an elite group of Galway athletes who have won an All-Ireland Schools Cross Country title, including the aforementioned Vincent McGuinness, as well as Paul Donovan ( Inter (U-17) in 1979 and Senior (U19) in 1981), Jimmy Fallon (Senior 1978), Paul Reilly (Inter 1996) and Catherine Casserley (Junior 1994).

In fact it was due to one of this elite list, Catherine Casserley, that the other great Galway performance of the day emerged, as her Minor (U-14) girls from Presentation College Athenry ran extremely well to win the bronze medal in the team event. The team of Grainne McDaid, Niamh Keane, Eimear Keane, Leanne Freaney, Natasha Carrick and Shannon Lee each performed excellently on the day to do their school proud. Interestingly, there was another link between Catherine and St. Mary’s as it was her brother Stephen who was the first person from St. Mary’s to win an individual Connacht cross-country title prior to Padraic.

The event organisers  also deserve great credit for their excellent staging of this event. Coping with an influx of such a huge number of visitors to the confined area of St. Mary’s Road and Shantalla was potentially going to be a traffic nightmare but the excellent marshalling of the event by the large cohort of volunteers ensured that this aspect of the day ran seamlessly. The course was excellently laid out, and provided a good technical challenge to each of the athletes competing, while the outstanding facilities around the College meant that visitors were extremely well catered for.

Padraic Creaven, by virtue of this victory, has now been selected to participate on the Irish International Schools team that will compete against England, Scotland and Wales in Perth, Scotland on March 31st. After that he will start preparing for what promises to be a very exciting track season where he will concentrate on the 1500m, an event in which he broke the pre-existing 40 year old Connacht record last year.

At a special reception in St. Mary’s College on Monday morning the race was replayed for the gathered student body of the College and Padraic’s feat was lauded by his teachers and fellow students. To raucous applause he was presented to the packed study hall where he was presented with a Centenary Scholarship by special guest, former schools champion and Galway Olympian, Paul Donovan. This scholarship, one of 100 initiated this year to commemorate the centenary of the college in 2012, will cater for Padraic’s academic welfare in the College, as well as ensuring that his athletics needs and requirements will be met during his future years as a St. Mary’s College student.

 Link to video of all races.

Connacht Cross-country 2012

Congratulations to all our athletes who participated in the Connacht finals on Wednesday 8th. In what were very tough conditions each of the 35 St. Mary’s athletes competing performed with guts, heart  and ability and in doing so helped us to qualify three teams for the All-Ireland finals, which will be held here in St. Mary’s, on March 10th. This was another excellent performance that confirms our position as the best athletics school in Connacht.

Well done to all, everyone in the school can be proud of your achievements.


U- 15 (Junior)


1st Padraic Creaven


1st St. Mary’s College

(Padraic Creaven, Kamil Szymaszek, Samuel Samson, Feargal Gillespie, Rory Owens, Ahmed Shikhrakab, Dimitri Ipatu, Arron Hreherow)


U-17 (Intermediate)


2nd St. Mary’s College

(Evan O’Ceallaigh, Seán Kelly, Gabriel Garwe, Darragh Mulkerrins, Jason Costello, Ronan Higgins, Colm Barry, Frankie Ward, Mark Devery, Emmanuel Aina)


U-19 (Senior)


2nd St. Mary’s College

(Aaron McGinty, Paul Fahy, Gary O’Connell, Shane Walsh, David Mooney,  Nathan King, Nathaniel Lydon, Vladislav Korenblat, Alan Murtagh, Shane Mullarkey, Mour Badiane, Davey Tarpey)


Well done also to the three U-14 (Minor) runners Shane Traynor, Conor McDonagh and Filip Cugalj who all performed very well in their first Connacht finals.

Next up will be the All-Ireland finals which will be held in St. Mary’s on Saturday March 10th


St. Mary’s College 4th Open Cross-Country Event

Athletes from 6 schools across the province competed in our fourth annual event on Thursday December 1st. The weather held off and we had an excellent day’s competition, where the new track was given a true baptism. Mary’s athletes had a very successful day, winning the Junior and Intermediate team competitions, as well as finishing runners-up in the Minor and Senior races. Junior athlete Padraic Creaven again showed his excellent potential when running clear of a top class field to record a commanding victory in his race, finishing almost 2 minutes clear of his nearest rival.

All results can be found by following the link below

Open Cross-Country results 2011

Connacht Combined Events 2011

Congratulations to all the Mary’s athletes who competed in this event . The opposition was quite tough with 16 schools from all around the province participating, but nevertheless we acquitted ourselves very well eventually winning one gold and two silver medals. Our biggest success was in the Junior (U-15) event where we have a new Connacht Champion in Darragh Mulkerrins. Darragh competed excellently all day, winning the Long Jump while finishing second in the Shot Putt (to another Mary’s man Gabriel Garwe) and 100m Hurdles and third in the High Jump and 800m. In second place overall was his teammate Samuel Samson who showed signs of his excellent athletic potential when winning the 100m Hurdles and 800m while finishing second in the Long Jump. Both these athletes will now compete in the All-Ireland finals and will be joined by Inter (U-17) athlete Anthony Hebron who performed outstandingly to finish in the silver medal position in his competition.

Despite some excellent performances in individual events none of our other competitors succeeded in qualifying for the finals.

Back: Mr. Gerard Lennon, David Mooney, Paul Connolly, Anthony Hebron, Darragh Mulkerrins, Keith Daly, Mr. Anthony Carey

Front: Gabriel Garwe, Moise Assogba, Padraic Creaven, Samuel Samson, Dylan Duffy

All-Ireland Finals Santry

Despite some outstanding performances in individual events none of the three Mary’s athletes in action managed to finish in the medals. Darragh Mulkerrins performed really well but found the opposition too tough on the day, eventually finishing in 8th place overall. His teammate Samuel Samson finished one place ahead in 7th place, but when taking into consideration the fact that he is underage for this competition again next year his potential is outstanding. Both Darragh and Sam finished off their days competition with a brilliant run in the final event the 800m, finishing well clear of the rest of the field, but in a dead heat with each other!

Intermediate athlete Anthony Hebron also turned in an outstanding 800m to finish off his programme but his heroic effort unfortunately fell just short of achieving a place on the Irish team. With four athletes in line for selection Anthony finished in fifth place, a matter of seconds off success. A below par performance in the Long Jump was probably the culprit as he performed steadily and strongly in most of his events throughout the day.
Anthony Carey, Samuel Samson, Anthony Hebron, Darragh Mulkerrins, Ger Lennon



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