Co. Longford Primary Schools Cross Country Championship- report by Leslie Finnan

October 8th, 2014

The annual Co. Longford Primary Schools Cross Country Championship, hosted by Longford Athletic Club, was run in crisp autumn conditions at Moyne Community School last Saturday evening.  190 primary school students representing 15 schools from across the county took to the challenging course hoping to qualify for the Connacht Championship in Sligo in two weeks’ time. Cian McPhillips, Ardagh, won in the Boys race for the 4th consecutive year, an accomplishment that will be very hard to equal. As was expected the athletes from Ardagh and Killoe schools made a very strong showing and 4 other schools, Colehill, Fermoyle, Stonepark and Newtownforbes, all contended for individual and team medals reflecting the popularity of running throughout all corners of the county.

Aideen Mulligan, Killoe, won the first race, Junior Girls 800m, with Ardagh 3rd & 4th Class girls’ team claiming the set of gold medals on their score of 36 points. Ella Duggan and Rosie Flanagan finishing 2nd & 3rd, helped their classmates from Newtownforbes and Stonepark to secure their places in the Connacht Championships. The Boys race was dominated by Killoe with all 4 of their team finishing in the top 7 places for the day’s best score of 15 points.  Cormac Harte 1st, David Moorehead 3rd, Mark Rowley 4t and Adam Donnelly 7th will be very competitive when they travel to Sligo. Fermoyle and Newtownforbes Boys teams also qualify for the next round.

Aoife Nolan, 5th, and Eabha Healy, 8th place, lead the Fermoyle team to victory in the 5th & 6th Class Girls Senior 1000m race. Lauren McGuire went home with the gold individual medal and together with Kate Breslin, 9th, their team from Colehill qualify for Connacht. Alannah Flood from Newtowncashel never let up in an excellent run to win the 2nd place individual medal followed very closely by Anna Moorehead, Killoe, and Melissa O’Kane, Ardagh. The Killoe Girls Team took the set of bronze medals to round off the list of students to go forward to Connacht.

In the 5th & 6th Class Boys race Cian McPhillips, Ardagh, once again showed his fine form, leading from the start and winning with a comfortable margin. As this is only the start of the cross country season we can anticipate hearing more from the current National Champion over the coming weeks. With 3 of the Ardagh Boys team  coming in tight to the line, Brendan Finnan, 5th, and Jack Gallagher, 6th place, they clinched 1st place team medals on 25 points. Oisin Lane, Colehill, had great drive and gave a strong challenge from the whistle to the finish line, winning with an individual silver. Oisin together with his classmates Diarmuid Kelly 12th, Mark McCormack 14th and John McCormack 15th place, brought the second set of silver medals back to Colehill. Adam Shields from Melview and Eoighan Smith, Killoe, finished 3rd and 4th places in the most competitive race of the day. Newtownforbes built on the experience they gained competing last year with the team of James Galligan, Josh Sorohan, Jim Crossan & Elliot Keegan claiming 3rd place and completing the Longford schools list.

The new 1000m race for First Year Secondary School students attracted a small but talented field. Sarah Murphy, Connacht squad bronze medallist at last year’s National Athletics Ireland Championship, set the pace dominating the entire course. Team mates Alannah Mulligan 3rd, Ciara Sutton 4th and Rhona Hourican 5th, completed the panel to win the team medals for Moyne Community School. Dearbhaile Rooney, with many years cross country experience on her side, gave challenge to break their line up and took the silver. Thomas Ivel, St. Mel’s College, took gold on a course he is familiar with from previous national school races. Moyne’s Karl McNerney and Shane Grimes won 2nd and 3rd place but didn’t have enough runners to take the set of team medals for the First Year Boys.

In a complete shake up this year Team medals were evenly spread at 2 sets a pieace to Colehill, Fermoyle, Killoe and Ardagh Schools. Newtownforbes emerged with 3 sets, 1 silver and 2 bronze, demonstrating the keen interest and commitment of children and parents in athletics. Killoe won the Harry Farrell Primary Schools Cross Country Perpetual Shield for Best School despite the best efforts by Ardagh to hold on to it for the second year.  Longford AC wishes all the children progressing on to the Connacht Primary Schools Cross Country Championships the best of luck.

Cross Country Autumn 2014

September 15th, 2014

Co. Longford Primary Schools races (3rd-6th classes, and new 1st yr secondary school race) Sat 4th Oct, at 5pm in Moyne, with qualifiers to go on to Connacht Primary Schools Championship on Sat 18th Oct in Sligo.

Connacht Athletics Clubs EVEN ages U12, U14, U16, U18 (starts with athletes born in 2004 and older) Sun 26th Oct in Loughrea, with qualifiers to go on to National Even Ages Championships on Sun 23rd Nov.

Connacht Athletics Clubs UNEVEN Ages Cross Country competitions start at U11, U13, U15, U17 (must be born 2005 and older), Sun 2nd Nov in Mayo and qualifiers go forward to National Uneven Ages Championships on Sun 7th Dec.




County Longford Primary Schools’ Cross Country Championships

September 15th, 2014

Longford Athletics Club will host this annual cross country race for all National School students in County Longford on Saturday 4th October at Moyne Community School. Registration starts at 3:30 pm and closes at 4:30pm SHARP, races starting at 5 pm. The races are as follows:

3rd/4th Class Girls – 800 meters

3rd/4th Class Boys – 800 meters

5th/6th Class Girls – 1000 meters

5th/6th Class Boys – 1000 meters

**new race for all 1st year Secondary School Students 1000 meters as well as mens\womens race as part of the Connacht Athletics Clubs Cross Country series.

Entry fee is €2 per child. Schools can enter as many athletes as they like in each race.  Children can run as individuals and if there are enough from the same class \same school they can also form a team.  A team consists of 4-6 athletes with the first 4 across the finish line to count for the score.

The top 10 finishers and top 3 teams from each race qualify for the Connacht Primary Schools’ Championships on Saturday 18th October, to be held in Sligo.

The Club is looking for additional volunteers on the day to help with car parking, race stewards and results. All hands are welcome and most appreciated in making a great day of competition. Any questions\need further information please contact Paddy McPhillips, Padraig Farrell or send message to

Cian Mc Phillips sets new Irish 600m record when winning National title in Tullamore

August 1st, 2014

Cian Mc Phillips set a new Irish record of 1minute 36.47 seconds on his way to winning the Boys Under 13 600m National title in Tullamore Stadium on Saturday last. This was the classic gun to tape run, with Cian taking the lead from the start and never looking in any trouble as the rest of the field fought it out for the minor medal positions. This is Cian’s fifth national title and he now turns his attention to the cross country season where he will defend his National cross country title in December.

Sarah Murphy running in her first National Outdoor track final also put in a fantastic performance to claim fifth place in the girls under 13 600m making it a great day for Longford AC in the middle distance events. Sarah’s time of 1 minute 47.21 was a new personal best knocking 2 seconds off her previous best time which is a giant step forward and marks her out as one to watch in the future.

Brendan Finnan competed earlier in the day in the boys under 12 High Jump. This was the third different national event final that Brendan had competed in this summer adding to the long jump and a great fifth place finish in the Turbo Javelin final. He was disappointed with his high jump performance going out a full 10 centimetres below his personal best height but in such a technical event, with numerous different components, it is easy to get it wrong on the day. Brendan is a great all round athlete and will continue to win medals and represent the club with distinction in the years to come.

The final Longford AC competitor in the outdoor track season was Niall Nerney who ran a steady race in the under 18 boys 3000m and finished in a time of 10 minutes exactly which equates to 3.3 minutes per kilometre and all 5k runners will know just how fast that pace is.

Thus concluded the outdoor season for Longford AC juveniles: a season of many new personal bests, the largest haul ever of Connaught medals, a couple of agonising near misses in National Finals and eventually a National gold medal and a new Irish 600m record. It began in June with our youngest competitors in the National finals in the girls under 11 60m; Sarah Mc Phillips and Aideen Mulligan, and girls under 11 500m; Fumni Talabi and Anna Hayden doing the club proud and continued into July when the under 13 boys 4 X 100m relay team missed a national medal by five hundredths of a second. The following week end Daire Mc Manus missed a national medal by seven hundredths of a second in the boys under 13 80m and Brendan Finnan came fifth in the Turbo Javelin. Finally Cian Mc Phillips and Sarah Murphy delivered memorable performances in the 600m to see Longford AC finish the track season on a high. Attention will now turn to the cross country events but monthly indoor training in international arena in Athlone I T will see athletes getting ready for the indoors next year.


Longford AC U13 Boys Relay team place 4th

July 14th, 2014

Longford AC U13 Boys Relay team 4th Place in the Athletics Ireland National Juvenile Relay Championship held at Tullamore

Daire McManus, Brendan Finnan (sub), Cian McPhillips, Adam Shields & David McDonnell



Longford AC 4th place in National Relay Finals

Over 600 young athletes (U12-U19) from all across the country competed at the Athletics Ireland National Juvenile Relay Championships at the Tullamore Harrier’s Stadium on Saturday 5th July. All the teams had already qualified from Regional competitions, setting a high standard of competition with every club battling for a national title. As the reigning Connacht Champions Longford AC’s U13 Boys team of Adam Shields, David McDonnell, Daire McManus, Cian McPhillips and sub Brendan Finnan went into the championship strongly placed and had their sights set on bringing home All-Ireland medals.

The boys ran like clockwork in their heat finishing 1st and securing a place in the final 8. However a technical fault required re-running their heat which was an unexpected burden on the team. They rose to the occasion and again finished 1st in the re-run of their heat. The U13 Boys final was pushed back to give all the teams abit more recovery time. Longford ran well with all change over going smoothly and finished 4th in a time of 0:55.06 with only 0.05 second separating them from the Bronze medalists Letterkenny.

Young athletes from Longford AC will all be returning to Tullamore in the coming weeks to compete in individual events both on the track and in the field.

Day 2 of the prestigious Athletics Ireland National Juvenile Championships 2014 gave 4 young athletes from Longford AC the opportunity to experience competition at All-Ireland level. A total of 11 events were going on in both track and field throughout the day, including pole vault, hammer, discus, hurdles and steeplechase, giving a great display of all that athletics can achieve. Niall Moran and Brendan Finnan both competed in Long Jump. On this occasion they found it difficult to duplicate their winning Connacht jumps so they were content to take away some of the technical points from this field event. Brendan also achieved a new personal best in the turbo javelin, recording a throw of 25.15m to finish 5th in the U12 boys event. Yemi Talabi and Daire McManus represented Longford AC in the U13 80m sprints. Yemi ran well in the strongest heat finishing 6th at 11:41 seconds, just outside the time to qualify for the final. Daire led his heat with a time of 10:81 seconds and qualified for the final. There were problems with the starting gun throughout the sprint heats that led to many false starts and disqualifications which was very unnerving for athletes and supporters alike. This never phased Daire who finished 4th from a very strong field in the boys U13 final. Daire felt he didn’t get an optimal start in the final which highlighted how difficult the transition to using starting blocks during the U13 year can be for a young athlete. The athletes, coaches and parents can be very proud of their achievements to date in 2014 and bring away the finer points for improvement. There are still 2 more days of National competition and Longford AC will be competing again on July 26th.

U13 Boys Relay Team

U13 Boys Relay Team


Juvenile Teams Competition Timetable 2014

June 21st, 2014


June 18th, 2014

Gold Rush in Sligo

Longford A C sent a team of 13 athletes to the Connacht Track and Field Championships held in Sligo last weekend. Weather conditions were quite good with cloudy conditions eventually giving way to sunshine with a strong wind making conditions difficult in the middle and long distance races. This marathon competition started at 11am and continued until just shy of 8pm which left competitors, coaches, officials and parents drained. Longford got off to a great start with Niall Moran winning gold in the under 14 Long Jump. Yemi Talabi, Adam Shields also competed in the under 13 Long Jump while Dearbhaile Rooney was in the under 14 event. They all put in great performances in this technical event and can look forward to improved distances with more coaching in the future. Sprint hurdles is an event for adrenalin junkies where a crash or a fall leaves a lot more than a bruised ego. Kaitlyn Corcoran and the Parker boys, Peter and Martin represented Longford A C and while they did not win a medal they acquitted themselves very well and will no doubt be back for more. The sprinters in the club have become used to appearing in Connacht and National finals and once again they did not disappoint. Yemi Talabi won her heat of the under 13 girls in classic style and finished third overall for bronze, just a tenth of a second off gold. Kaitlyn Corcoran ran a fantastic race also but finished outside the medals. Daire Mc Manus and Cian Mc Phillips were next up for Longford in the boys under 13 80m sprint. Daire has a Connacht title and a national silver medal to his name already while Cian was trying his hand at sprinting for the first time. Seven hundreds of a second separated the first three runners but most importantly Daire had the gold and Cian had the bronze medal. This was a fantastic result for the two boys especially when they were competing against athletes from some of the best juvenile clubs in the country. Alanna Mulligan, Niall Moran, Peter Parker and Martin parker all competed in the 80m under 14 sprints and while running very well they missed out on the medals this time. Next up was the 200m sprints where Alanna Mulligan ran an excellent race and with a bit more experience would have been a medal contender. Niall Moran and the Parker boys already had a long day from 11am and by 6pm found the 200m pace a bit too strong for them. However they will have learned a lot from the experience and can be very proud of their achievements. The under 13 600m saw Sarah Murphy run a fantastically smart race to claim a silver medal and a new PB. She is improving with every race and can look forward to the All Ireland with lots of confidence. Adam shields and Cian Mc Phillips lined up for the under 13 boys 600m. Adam put in a great performance but just left himself too much to do in the final 100m to catch the leaders. He will have learned a good deal about race tactics from this experience and now knows that he is well fit to compete at this level. Cian Mc Phillips as the reigning champion was determined to see off the opposition and won the gold with seven seconds to spare over the field in a powerful display of front running and the fastest time in Ireland this year. Dearbhaile Rooney ran a steady tempo in her 800m under 14 race finishing in the top ten in a very fast race. Niall Nerney competed in the under 18 3000m picking up a bronze medal in a race where a strong head wind made racing conditions very difficult. The final race of the day for Longford was the under 13 boys relay and what a performance to finish. The team of Cian Mc Phillips, David Mc Donnell, Adam Shields and Daire Mc Manus absolutely blitzed the opposition running out easy winners and claiming a 4th gold medal for Longford on the day. The spread of the medals from long jump, sprinting and middle distance including 4 gold, a silver and 3 bronze made it a most successful Connacht Championship for Longford AC.IMG_0563

Order of Events for Sat 14th June

June 9th, 2014

Please see link below.

Order of Events for U13-Seniors with times



Results U12 Connaught T & F 2014

June 9th, 2014

Longford AC Brings Home 5 Connaught Medals

Day One of the Connaught Outdoor Track & Field Championships was held on the outdoor track at Sligo IT on Saturday 7th June. Longford AC had 17 juvenile competitors in a field of over 300 of the best young athletes from Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon, Longford & Leitrim.

The u9-11 age group compete in pairs, adding the times or distances of the 2 athletes to make a combined score. After a very strong performance in both sprint and middle distance at last month’s 4 Counties Track competition in Tullamore all eyes were on Edgeworthstown’s Funmi Talabi. She shot off the line to win the U10 Girls sprint in 9.72 seconds but as it was a pair’s event she very narrowly missed the medals by 0.04 of a second. In their second event, Funmi and her partner Tamara Cosgrove won 3rd place Bronze medals in the U10 Girls 500m, combined time 3.42.00. The girls qualify for the Athletics Ireland National Juvenile Pairs Final later this month in Tullamore and will be joined by fellow Longford AC members Sarah McPhillips and Avril Cosgrove who won Silver as a pair in the U11 Girls 60m. They both put on the speed for an excellent combined time of 20.26 seconds. Funmi, Sarah and Avril combined with Aideen Mulligan to run an exciting U11 Girls 4 X 100m relay, placing 4th overall and losing out on a medal and a precious place in the All IrelandRelay Finals by 15 hundreds of a second.

Club new comers in the U9 and U10 age group, Alyssa Galligan, Robert Smith, Ross Shields and Killian Derwin all gained valuable experience in their first Connaught competition in sprint, middle distance, long jump and turbo javelin events. U11 Boys gave a strong challenge with the relay team of Jack Gallagher, Tommy Corcoran, Conor Smith & Mark Rowley. They all competed in 2 other events, with Jack Gallagher fastest of the mark for Longford in both the U11 Boys 60m sprint at 9.72 seconds and 600m, 2.00.80. Patrick Crossan also made his debut wearing the Longford AC singlet in his first Connaught Championship, trying 600m, turbo javelin and relay events.

Brendan Finnan showed his talent in the field events winning 2 Gold and 1 Silver. He defended his U11 Connaught title in the Turbo javelin, setting a new personal best with his fantastic throw of 24.59m, 2 metres further than the nearest competitor. Brendan also won 1st place in the High Jump at 1.20m, an event he excelled at earlier in the year during the indoor season. He is showing great improvement at the Long Jump, winning 2nd place with his 4.04m jump. Brendan has qualified in all 3 events as an individual in the U12 Boys category for the AI Nationals in July. Orfhaith Mulligan, James Galligan and Jim Crossan all competed in U12 events of relay, sprint, middle distance, long jump and shot putt showing they continue to improve on their performances from earlier in the year.

Next Saturday the U13+ athletes will take to the track for Day Two of the Connaught Championships. The club has many promising athletes in this age group who have already claimed Connaught medals in Cross Country, Indoor, and Schools Championships so they will be a force to be reckoned with on the day.


4 Counties Track & Field Match

May 27th, 2014

4 Counties Track & Field Match - Laois, Longford, Westmeath and Offaly Fri May 23, 2014, held at Tullamore Harriers

Despite the rainy evening Longford AC had a fantastic turn out at the Inter-County Match last Friday evening at the Tullamore Harriers track. The Club was very well represented by 42 Juvenile athletes ranging from U9-U14. A warm welcome to our newest members, competing and wearing their Longford AC singlet for the very first time: Daithi Prendergast, Sian Gallagher, Emma Farrell, Alyssa Galligan, Conor & Robert Smith, Ola Talabi, Caoimhe Crossan, Ross Shields, Killian Derwin, Rachel Kelly, Benedict Murphy, Laura Farrell, Rachel Briody, Patrick Crossan, Melissa O’Kane and Rory Farago. It was an excellent opportunity for the children to put their training to the test and to try out a range of events in a competitive match. The evening was great practice for all the athletes who are planning to compete in the upcoming Connaught Outdoor Championships in Sligo in June. Congratulations to all the medallist listed below on their performance:

Longford AC Juveniles Results

Medals Girls Boys Total
1st 4 4 8
2nd 5 5 10
3rd 7 4 11
Total 16 13 29

Tullamore Track & Field Participants Tullamore Track & Field Participants