Connacht Cross-Country Championships
St. Marys College Galway February 11 2010
St. Marys College Galway confirmed their status as the top boys’ athletics school in the province following a superlative performance at the Connacht Schools Cross-country Championships on Thursday February 11th. In near perfect cross-country conditions, on an excellently prepared undulating course through the grounds of St. Marys, the large crowd gathered were treated to some excellent entertainment as over 700 athletes from every corner of the province were put through their paces.
First into action for Marys were the minor (U-14) team, defending the Connacht title that the college has annexed over the past two years. Consisting entirely of first year students this year’s crop showed that they too were up to the task when finishing ahead of Sligo Grammar School and St. Colman’s Claremorris to take the gold team medals. First home for the black and red was Moycullen’s Daragh Mulkerrins in 8th place, and he was followed in quick succession by Rory Brown (11th), Emmanuel Aina (16th) and Sean Kelly (18th). This team total of 52 gave them an 11 point margin over their Sligo rivals, and set the trend for the rest of the day as far as the Marys lads were concerned. Thomas Griffin, Gabriel Garwe, Ronan Higgins, Daragh Heffernan and Kevin Atu completed the team.
Next up were the Junior (U-15) boys. As reigning minor champions they were hoping that the step up in distance wasn’t going to prove a hurdle too far, but as it transpired they had little to trouble them in this race. First to finish for Marys was first year student Evan O’Ceallaigh, running an outstanding race to finish in eight place in his debut championships. He was followed across the line by Thomas O’Donovan (12th), Kevin Cunningham( 15th) and Eamon Buckley (16th), and this excellent team running saw St. Marys take their second title of the day 16 points clear of Rice College Westport, who had the individual race winner, and a massive 50 points ahead local city rivals St. Joseph’s College. The rest of the victorious team, all of whom finished in the top thirty, were Liam Buckley, Alan Murtagh, Paul Healy, Padraig Kearney, Gaelen O’Toole and Kevin Derrane.
St. Joseph’s College achieved a measure of revenge in the next race, the Intermediate (U-17), as they narrowly defeated Marys, and in doing so prevented them securing an historic clean sweep of titles. St. Josephs had defeated their neighbours easily in the South Connacht regional championships, but this time round the Marys lads upped their game and the end result was a much closer competition. First home for Marys was David Mooney in seventh place followed closely by Colin McDonagh (9th) and Aaron McGinty (10th). With David Higgins in 24th place the team total of 50 points fell just short of the Josephs total of 41, and Marys had to settle for the silver medal positions. Keith Collins, Osaze Osagie, David Tarpey and Anthony Hebron completed the team.
Marys secured their third title of the day courtesy of their senior (U-19) team who finally struck gold after having finished runners-up over the past two years. Keith Fallon in 8th place led the team home, followed by World and All-Ireland Handball champion Martin Mulkerrins, showing his versatility in 10th place, Dean Higgins(11th) and Gearoid O’Connor (18th). The senior Connacht champion’s team was completed by Liam McGuire, Philip Ezergailis, Michael Heffernan and Paul Connolly. When added to the three shields the College captured during the Track and Field season this means that the College now holds six out of the eight available best team shields, all in all a very successful day for the college athletes and their coaches Ger Lennon and Anthony Carey. Next up will be to the national finals in Cork IT on March 13th.
SOUTH CONNACHT REGIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS 2010
January 27th 2010
St. Marys College hosted the regional championships in near perfect conditions last Wednesday. The course was excellently prepared and brought each of the approximately 750 entrants on a fine tour of the college’s undulating grounds. The purpose of these regionals was to qualify for the Connacht finals and to that extent we were successful, with each team entered getting through. The full results, with the St. Marys placings, are below.
Minor (U-14) (154 finishers)
Teams: 1st St. Marys (57 pts)2nd Presentation Athenry ( 82 pts) 3rd St. Josephs Galway (99 pts)
Daragh Mulkerrins (4) Rory Brown (10) Sean Kelly (21) Thomas Griffin (22) Ronan Higgins (29) Kevin Atu (30) Emmanuel Aina (39) Gabriel Garwe (41) Dara Molloy (65) Daragh Heffernan (71) Paul Wynne (76) Joe Mwangi (88) Dean Conneely (89) Aaron Vahey-Keaveney (90) John Lalor (112)
Junior (U-15) (77 finishers)
Teams: 1st St. Josephs Galway (39 pts) 2nd St. Marys (40pts) 3rd Loughrea VS (86pts)
Thomas Donovan (5th) Kevin Cunningham (6th) Liam Buckley (10) Eamon Buckley (19) Alan Murtagh (20) Paul Healy (21) Gaelen O’Toole (25)Padraig Kearney (26) Kevin Derrane (30) Nathianal Lydon (36) Cathal Ryan (38) Sean Colleran (53)
Intermediate (U-17) (81 Finishers)
Teams: 1st St. Josephs Galway ( 24pts) 2nd St. Marys (66pts) 3rd Dunmore CS (93pts)
Colin McDonagh ( 7), David Mooney (10), Aaron McGinty (17), Osaze Osagie (32), Anthony Hebron (36), Keith Collins (42), David Tarpey (49), Paul Connolly (54)
Senior (U-19) (55 finishers)
Teams: 1st Presentation Headford (44pts) 2nd Athlone CC (58pts) 3rd St. Marys (67pts)
Keith Fallon (4) Peter Roche (15) Liam McGuire (18) Philip Ezergailis( 30) Michael Heffernan (35) Eoghan Donohue(37)
Congratulations to third year student Osaze Osagie who has been selected to compete for the Irish Schools Athletics team. Osaze was selected to compete in the 60m and the 4 x 200m in the Celtic Schools International to be held in Cardiff on February 2oth.
ST. MARYS COLLEGE INVITATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY 2009
The second annual St Marys College Invitational Cross-Country Event was held on Thursday 26th. Despite the appaling weather representatives from eight schools around the Galway and Mayo were represented. The full set of results can be obtained through the link below.
The 2009/10 Athletics Programme kicks off with the Connacht Combined Events championships to be held in Dangan on saturday September 19th. this will be followed by the All-Ireland Championships in Tullamore on September 26th.
CONNACHT SCHOOLS COMBINED EVENTS 2009
With the memories of the wonderful exploits of Olive Loughnane and Paul Hession, not to mention Usain Bolt, at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin still fresh in their mind the next generation of Galway athletes took to the track for the first Connacht Schools event of the year last Saturday. The Connacht Schools Combined Events championships took place in near perfect conditions at Dangan and drew a large crowd of hopeful young athletes from all around the province. The overall standard was high with Galway athletes very prominent when the medals were finally distributed.
Combined events sees athletes compete against each over six disciplines, these being Hurdles, 200m, 800m, High Jump, Long Jump and Shot Putt, and demands a high level of skill, speed and strength to rise to the top. Points are awarded for performance at each discipline and then the top points score wins.
First into action were the Minor (U-14) boys, and throughout the day this emerged into a battle between three Galway athletes, Dylan Duffy and Tomás Donovan from St. Marys College, and James Mitchell from St. Josephs. Through every event there was very little to distinguish between each of these three, but in the end Mitchell just managed to hold out to take the title from the Marys boys. In the end he finished up a mere 17 points ahead of Duffy, and put into context this amounts to a distance of about 15 cm in the Long Jump, or 3 seconds in the 800m. It was that close.
The Junior (U-15) boys event proved to be an even more exciting event, fourteen athletes were entered, with four athletes locked in close competition for the laurels right up to the very last event. These four, David Harper from Westport, Evan McGuire from St. Josephs, and the St. Mary’s College pair of Osaze Osagie, and reigning Minor Boys champion Anthony Hebron were virtually neck and neck throughout, and the medals placings were not satisfied until the last event, the 800m, had been run. Eventually though it was McGuire who came out on top, ending up with 40 points to spare over Osagie. Both of these athletes recorded excellent scores, and must be in with a good chance of the top honours at next week’s All-Ireland finals in Tullamore.
The competition of the day was the Intermediate (U-17) boys event. With 12 athletes entered it was the battle between the 2008 champion from St. Mary’s College, Peter Roche, and Castlebar’s hurdles specialist Mark Regan that kept the crowd enthralled. Both athletes performed to the highest standards, but despite Roche winning the 200m, 800m, Shot Putt and Long Jump competitions it was Regan’s technical expertise at the Hurdles and High Jump that kept him just ahead in the race for the gold. Eventually losing by only 18 points Roche is already looking forward to the rematch in Tullamore on Saturday 26th .