St. Marys College athletes to the fore at Connacht championships.

St. Marys College athletes competed with great success at the Connacht Combined Events championships held at the Athlone IT track on September 18th. This competition sees athletes competing for performance related points in six separate disciplines, Hurdles, 200m, 800m, Shot Putt, Long Jump and High Jump, and demands an outstanding all round ability from each competitor. To that effect each of the competing St. Marys boys showed that they were up to the challenge with some outstanding displays throughout what was a long day’s competition.

Pride of place went to senior athlete Keith Fallon who convincingly won the U-19 boys event. Having competed consistently in each discipline he completely overwhelmed his opposition with a blistering final event performance in the 800m to win by over 300 points from his nearest challenger, Loughrea athlete Emmet Creaven.

The minor boys (U-14) event proved a much closer affair with Moycullen student Darragh Mulkerrins eventually finishing second to Oranmore athlete Damian O’Boyle by a mere 22 points following a series of very consistent performances. The Junior boys (U-15) event saw three Mary’s athletes in action and the competition was intense. Dylan Duffy turned in the best performance on the day to finish in second place, just over 100 hundred points behind Sligo athlete James Conway. Bish student James Mitchell finished in the bronze medal position marginally ahead of the other two Mary’s lads Kevin Cunningham (4th) and Thomas Donovan (5th).

Former minor champion Anthony Hebron showed a brilliant return to form in the U-17 event when putting in a great day’s work to take the bronze medal in a very close fought competition. Nineteen athletes from all around the province lined out for this event with the lead changing hands a number of times throughout the day before Mayo athlete Sean Gill eventually won out. Hebron can be very proud of his performance, especially when taking into consideration the fact that he will be under age again next year. Fallon, Hebron, Duffy and Cunningham now go on to represent Connacht in next week’s All-Ireland competition.

Back row (L to R): Anthony Carey (coach), Darragh Mulkerrins (U-14 Runner-up), Paul Connolly, Osaze Osagie, Keith Fallon (Senior Champion), Anthony Hebron (U-17 Bronze medallist), Ger Lennon (Coach)

Front row (L to R): Thomas Donovan, Dylan Duffy (U-15 Runner-up), Kevin Cunningham

Aviva Connacht Schools Cross-Country Championships.

Luckily the rain held off for the staging of the Aviva Connacht Schools Cross-Country Championships last week and the crowd attending were treated to a fine afternoon of intense competition from the young athletes gathered from all across the province. For the second year running St. Marys College played host to this event, and the fine spacious grounds of the college proved to be a fine test of stamina for the nearly eight hundred athletes competing.

The Minor boy’s race turned into an excellent two man battle between St. Mary’s College student Padraic Creaven from Menlo and William Hynes from St. Attracta’s Tubercurry. Eventually, the Marys lad showed he had more in his legs when sprinting away at the finish to achieve a very popular win for the hosts. In third place Tadhg McGinty ran solidly to ensure that Scoil Mhuire agus Padraig Swinford were once represented on the podium. In the team event Creaven’s performance wasn’t enough to help his St. Marys teammates retain their title, instead helping them to the silver medal behind a very powerful St. Enda’s College team that ran strongly throughout.

The Junior boys event saw another excellent race between two Sligo athletes as Liam Crowe from Sligo Grammar just got the upper hand over Summerhill Sligo student Cian McBride. In third place Portumna’s Niall McIntyre ran a well controlled race to finish ahead of his South Connacht conqueror Nicholas Sheehan of Calasanctious Oranmore but Sheehan did have the consolation of leading his team to a comprehensive victory, as they finished well clear of Sligo Grammar, with hosts St. Marys once again showing their overall strength when taking the bronze medal.

The Intermediate boys race turned into a great battle between two teammates, Conor Doherty and David Harper from Rice College Westport, with Doherty eventually sprinting clear to capture the title. This performance proved to be the significant factor in helping the Mayo school to capture the team title from the two Galway schools St Mary’s, in second place, and St.Joseph’s in third.

Irish international athlete Tommy Casey from Sligo Grammar was the excellent and very convincing winner of the senior boy’s race. Over 5500m of gruelling terrain he led virtually from start to finish and eventually emerged  victorious over his teammate Kevin O’Connor, with local favourite Keith Fallon from St. Marys sprinting clear to finish ahead of the South Connacht Champion Thomas Fagan from Moate CS. The team event was the closest and most hard fought of the championships and saw the dominant boy’s school of the day, St. Marys College Galway, finish marginally ahead of Sligo Grammar, and local rivals St. Josephs. Indeed only three points separated the first three teams, showing the virtue of the old Cross-Country mantra of ‘every place counting’.

Next up for these athletes will be the Aviva All-Ireland finals which will be held in Dublin on March 12th.


Minor Boys 2,500m
1st P. Creaven St Marys Galway
2nd W. Hynes St Attractas Tubbercurry
3rd T. McGinty Scoil Muire agus Padraig
1st St Endas Galway 37pts (6,7,11,13)
2nd St Marys Galway 56pts (1,12,15,28)
3rd St Attractas tubbercurry 109pts (2,20,42,45)

Junior Boys 3,000m
1st L. Crowe Sligo Grammar
2nd C. McBride Summerhill Sligo
3rd N. McIntyre Portumna CS
1st Calasanctius Oranmore 33pts (5,6,9,13)
2nd Sligo Grammar 46pts (1,7,15,23)
3rd St Marys Galway 88pts (14,17,27,30)

Inter Boys 4,500m
1st C. Doherty Rice College Westport
2nd D. Harper Rice College Westport
3rd J. McKeogh Sligo Grammar
1st Rice College Westport 60pts (1,2,17,40)
2nd St Marys Galway 93pts (16,20,27,30)
3rd St Josephs Galway 101pts (12,15,26,48)

Senior Boys 5,500m
1st T. Casey Sligo Grammar
2nd K. O’Connor Sligo Grammar
3rd K. Fallon St Marys Galway
1st St Marys Galway 49pts (3,11,14,21)
2nd Sligo Grammar 51pts (1,2,22,26)
3rd St Josephs Galway 52pts (5,13,16,18)


Back: Samuel Samson, Robert Carroll, Fergal Gillespie, Ahmed Shikrakab, Front: Rory Owens, Jordan Andre, Padraic Creaven, Chigoziem Asonye

Connacht Schools Track and Field Championships 2011

Despite the blustery conditions and occasional squalls the crowd gathered at the Athlone IT track for the Aviva Connacht Schools Track and Field Championships were treated to a fine day’s athletics, one that saw a number of old school’s records falling as eight Championship Best Performances were set. This continual raising of standards was great to see, and is a testament to the fine work being done in schools and clubs across the province.

For most of the senior (U-19) athletes competing this was to be their last appearance in the colours of their school, and the determination to go out with a bang was evident in the high level of competition throughout the day. The senior boy’s events featured a number of double winners, chief amongst them Stephen Kelly from Yeats College who set a new championship record for the 400mHurdles (56.5s) while also taking the laurels in the 400m flat event. Ben Cooney proved to fastest man in the arena when winning both the 100m and 200m finals for his school St. Endas, while another very talented athlete, Tommy Casey from Sligo Grammar, made up for the disappointment of losing the 800m title in the final strides to Robert Yorke of Longford by capturing the 1500m title from Keith Fallon of St. Mary’s College Galway. A powerful front-running performance from Thomas Fagan of Moate CS saw him capture the 2000m Steeplechase title in a new championship best performance of 6: 00.9

Peadar O hAirbhi, of Colaiste an Eachraidh in Athenry,  was a convincing winner of the 5000m while Presentation Headford, backboned by 110 hurdles medallists Simon Callaghan and Sean Kyne, showed a clean pair of heals to all-comers to help their team to victory ahead of St. Endas and St. Marys in the relay. In the field events it was a good day for west Galway as Jeac O Gaoithain from An Ceathru Rua and Seamus O Conghaile from An Spideal won the Shot Putt and the Long Jump respectively. There was an excellent Triple Jump competition which saw four athletes jump further than 12m , Aaron Murtagh from Tubbercurry in Sligo emerging the victor with a huge jump of 13.33m. Oscar Becs of St. Mary’s Galway took the javelin gold medal  for the second year running with an excellent final round throw, and in doing so helped his School to retain the overall shield for best senior boys school for the fourth year in succession.

In the Intermediate(U-17) boys competition Loughrea VS athletes were to the fore in the technical field events as Paul Asacious took the Shot Putt title while teammate Caomhan Conaglan took gold in the Triple Jump and the High Jump. Staying with the field events an exciting Hammer competition just saw All-Ireland medallist Eamon Regan from Castlebar edge out Alan Murtagh from St. Marys, while Evan McGuire from St. Josephs showed his versatility to take the Javelin title and the 100m Hurdles. Also in the hurdles Anthony Hebron from St. Marys Galway showed his great potential when convincingly securing victory in the 400m hurdles event. The middle distance races were dominated by Galway athletes as Finn Stoneman from St. Endas won the 1500m while Gary O’Connell from St. Marys just held off the challenge of his teammate Paul Fahy to take the 1500m Steeplechase gold medal. There was an excellent sprint double for Darren Whyte of Holy Rosary Mountbellew, but the star of the day was Daire Farrell of Carrick CS, who captured the 400m before setting a championship best time of 1: 55.2 when winning the 800m. St. Marys College Galway was the convincing winners of the best overall Intermediate boys school shield.

The Junior (U-15) Boy’s competition on the track was dominated by Sligo athletes. Zac Irwin from Sligo Grammar proved fastest at his age group when completing a spectacular 100m and 200m sprint double before leading his school to the relay title over their Sligo rivals Summerhill.  However this fete was surpassed by the performance of his teammate William Crowe who ran 2:02.9 to shatter the old record, set in 1978, by almost 5 seconds and take the 800m gold medal ahead of Nicholas Sheehan from Oranmore. Summerhill Sligo got on to the winner’s podium when Cian McBride took the 1500m title while Cathal Hennelly took the 80m Hurdles title back to Kiltimagh. Mayo also produced another star in the making when Steven Gillespie from St.Tiernan’s Crossmolina Wlaked his way to the 1500m Walk title with a new championship best performance of 5:27.5.

In the field events St.Mary’s College Galway athletes were to the fore as Moycullen students Darragh Mulkerrins and Ronan Higgins took the Long Jump and Triple Jump titles respectively, while Gabriel Garwe finished just ahead of his teammate James McMahon to win the Discus competition. A further set of medals were won by Conor Harlowe and Jack Felle as they finished second and third behind Sligo Grammar athlete Dairog Smith in the Hammer. St. Louis Kiltimagh took their second gold medal of the day when Colin Gill took the Javelin Title, while Oisin McNally from Loughrea VS won the High Jump. Sligo Grammar proved best overall school when winning the shield ahead of St. Mary’s Galway and Loughrea VS.

In the Minor(U-14) competitions the 1500m races proved to be the events of the day, as both records fell. Firstly, Ciara Greene from OL Bower Athlone ran brilliantly to shatter the old record by a remarkable 11 seconds in a time of 5:02.8, then immediately after this race young Padraig Creaven from St. Mary’s College in Galway lead from start to finish to win the 1500m title and also break the 30 year old record that had been held by present Galway hurling selector John Hardiman by the narrowest of margins, one tenth of a second, recording a time of 4:40.4. These were two outstanding performances from two young athletes who have significant potential, and who no doubt will win many more secondary school’s titles during their careers. Another excellent performer was Samuel Samson, also from St. Mary’s in Galway, who recorded a fine victory in the 800m to add to the silver medal he won when finishing just behind Aaron Connolly of Calasanctious Oranmore in the 100m. Indeed Galway athletes had a clean sweep of gold medals on the track as Zoran Vercevic from St. Enda’s took the 200m title before leading his team to victory over St. Mary’s in the relay. In the field events there were further wins for Galway athletes as Conor O’Donoghue from Presentation Athenry won the Long Jump while Dylan Coyle from Colaiste an eachraidh, also in Athenry, took the Shot Putt title ahead of Keith Daly from St. Mary’s. The only non-Galway winner of the day in the minor boys was a good one as Philip Hamilton from Summerhill Sligo put in a great jump to win the High Jump in a new record performance of 1.60 m. St. Mary’s Galway took the team shield for best overall school.

The overall schools awards are given out based on a scoring system involving 5 points for 1st place, then 3, 2 and 1 for the next three places. St. Mary’s College Galway were the winners of the best overall boy’s school for the fourth year in succession following victories in the Minor, Inter and Senior boys shield competition and a second place finish in the Junior boys, while Sligo Grammar were the best performers in the girl’s events following victories in the senior and junior girl’s competitions. Next up for these young athletes will be the All-Ireland Schools finals in Tullamore on Saturday June 4th.

Overall Shield Results:

Minor Boys:

1st St. Marys College Galway 19pts; 2nd St. Endas Galway 13pts; 3rd Summerhill Sligo 11pts

Junior Boys:

1st Sligo Grammar 33pts; 2nd St. Mary’s Galway 20pts; Loughrea VS 13 pts

Inter  Boys:

1st St. Marys Galway 35pts; 2nd Loughrea VS 22pts; 3rd St.Joseph’s Galway 19pts

Senior Boys:

1st St.Mary’s Galway 30 pts; 2nd Sligo Grammar 24pts; 3rd Pres Headford 20pts

St. Marys College Athletics Team 2011, overall Boys School Champions, pictured with the Minor, Intermediate and Senior Boys best School Shields which they won at the Connacht Schools Track and Field Championships

Back: Mr. Anthony Carey, Paul Connolly, Darragh Mulkerrins, Osaze Osagie, Alan Murtagh, Ruari Lavelle, Evan Browne, Myles Upton, John Doran, David Mooney, Martin Mulkerrins, Keith Fallon, Anthony Hebron, Gary O’Connell, Stephen Flaherty, Paul Fahy, Paul Forde, Harry Goulding, Ryan Daly, Mr. Ger Lennon

Middle: Ronan Higgins, Jack Felle, Tomas Griffin, Conor Harlowe, Shane Walsh, James McMahon, Kyle Mulhall, Dylan Duffy, Kevin Cunningham, Emmanuel Aina, Samuel Samson, Joe Healy, Moise Assogba

Front: Isaac Francis, Jason Costello, Evan O’Ceallaigh, Sean Kelly, Paul Wynne, Kelvin Atu, Gabriel Garwe, Rory Owens, Jordan Andre, Kieranone Virginio, Padraic Creaven, Admed Shikhrakab, Chigoziem Asonye

All-Ireland Finals Tullamore June

A brilliantly successful finals saw us win an individual gold medal for the first time since 1999 when Intermediate athlete Anthony Hebron came home first in the 400m Hurdles. This was just reward for a dedicated athlete who has given great service to his school over the past four years. Well done Anthony!!

Other notable performances on the day came from Keith Fallon who just missed out on a medal in the senior 1500m, when after making the initial burst for the finish with 250m to go he was just pipped for 3rd place in the dying strides of the race. Alan Murtagh threw excellently to finish in fourth place in the Intermediate Hammer while Darragh Mulkerrins finished in 7th place in the Junior Long Jump and the Intermediate relay team finished 5th

Anthony Hebron, All-Ireland Intermediate 400m Hurdles Champion 2011

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