AIT International Arena, Athlone
21 January 2017
The first National athletics event of the year saw two of Longford Athletic Club’s multi-eventers take to the International Arena at AIT for a long day of competition in the pentathlon. Brendan Finnan, U15, improved his overall ranking from last year’s performances and Nelvin Appiah was on the podium to receive Bronze as he moved into the Youth age category for U17 and 18 athletes.
Notable on the day for Brendan was two new personal bests with his 2nd place finish in the 800m, 2.29.58 minutes, and 4th place in Long Jump, 4.40m. He put those together with 6th in Shot Putt, 6.55m, 5th in hurdles, 10.83 seconds, and 3rd in High Jump, 1.39m, to finish 5th place overall on a total of 1957 points. He was satisfied with the day’s results as he showed continued improvement from both of last year’s 7th place overall ranking. Brendan has scope to improve in both Hurdles and Long Jump giving him time to work on those before competing again in the Outdoor Combined Events in May.
Nelvin showed genuine concentration throughout the five event programme and finished an impressive 3rd place, especially as he is very young in the two year Youth category. The entrance list included three athletes that competed on the Irish schools’ team in the prestigious SIAB Schools International Combined Events in December and this turned out to be the overall winners list at the end of the day.
Highlights of the event for Nelvin were two 2nd place finishes in both High Jump, 1.84m, and in a new event for him, the 1000m, 2.59.70 minutes, as well as continued improvement in hurdles, 9.3 seconds. As this was Nelvin’s fourth Combined Events competition in as many months he wanted to up his game, bringing more speed and force to both Long Jump and Shot Putt. Both technical events need a lot of practice to nail the finer points and he was disappointed with two faults in each to finish 7th place in Long Jump, 4.77m, and 4thplace in Shot Putt, 10.52m.
Points are assigned for each event calculated down to the fraction of a second making it crucial to perform well across all five disciplines. A total score of 3003 points earned Nelvin his first National medal of 2017 and he sees the challenges ahead as he aims for improvement in both schools and club athletics.
The winning did not end on Saturday as the U14 Boys, Christopher Conaty, Joe Reilly, Darren O’Neill and Brendan Finnan ran in the National Juvenile Cross Country Relays on Sunday. From the start they took off in the top 3 and stayed there throughout to win the Bronze set of medals out of 11 teams.
Longford AC’s Nelvin Appiah on the winners podium to receive Bronze at the Irish Life Health National Combined Events Championships at AIT International Arena. Also pictured are Shane Monagle, Tramore AC, Waterford and Darragh Miniter, St Mary’s AC, Limerick the other medallists in the Youth Boys U17 &18 category.
Longford AC juvenile athletes Brendan Finnan and Nelvin Appiah were in action at the Athlone IT International Arena in the first National Athletics Ireland event of 2017. Both put in a very long day competing in the Combined Events pentathlon with Brendan finishing on 5th place in U15 Boys and Nelvin winning Bronze as he moves into the Youth category for U17 & 18 age group.
The Longford Athletic Club Juvenile Awards Presentation marked the end of the Club’s most successful year of competition to date. The occasion focused on celebrating the 2016 achievements at Connacht and National level. Among the highlights of 2016 were All-Ireland Bronze for the U16 Boys Relay Team, International High Jump Silver at the Celtic Games, and Cian McPhillips crowned National U15 Boys Cross Country Champion.
Thirty-nine Longford athletes medalled at Connacht level, 14 Girls and 25 Boy, in sprint, cross country, relay, long jump, 800m, high jump, turbo javelin and 1500m. Top performers at Connacht Championships in 2016 were Nelvin Appiah 8 medals, Cian McPhillips 7, Brendan Finnan and Funmi Talabi 6 each and Joe Reilly and Christopher Conaty with 5 each.
Over the last four years the Club has made great strides in relay. The progress was evident when 6 teams qualified for the GloHealth National Indoor Relay Championship last March giving 23 juveniles the opportunity to compete at All-Ireland level with the best underage athletes from across the country. U15, 16 and 17 Boys teams showed continued improvement as all three made it through the heats stage to reach the ultimate goal of running in the final six. Cian Belton, Nelvin Appiah, Niall Moran and Daire McManus were presented trophies to commemorate their outstanding achievement winning the set of Bronze All-Ireland medals in the time of 1:39.78.
Congratulations were also given to 2 Girls Relay teams for their achievements at July’s GloHealth National Outdoor Juvenile Relay Championship. Both teams had the distinction of progressing to finals with the unusual number of 9 teams and gained valuable competition experience. Display medals were presented to U12 Girls Laura Farrell, Kaela Brady, Siog Reilly, Funmi Talabi, and U13 Girls Sarah McPhillips, Melissa O’Kane and Avril Cosgrove.
Joe Reilly, Christopher Conaty, Aidan O’Boyle, Brendan Finnan, Cathal Farrell, Daniel Hayden and Dan Crossan were recognised for their top performance at the 2016 All-Ireland ‘B’ Cross Country Championship at Dundalk IT. The U13 Boys took top honours in the 1500m race winning Gold as a team, Silver in the County category and 2 individual Bronze.
Kate Hagan, cross country, Yemi Talabi, sprints, Brendan Finnan, combined events, and middle distance runners Jack Gallagher, Joe Reilly and Christopher Conaty all received praise for their achievements placing in the top ten in National competition. Two of the youngest athletes to receive awards were Dromard twin brothers, Cormac and Padraic Mulligan. The U9 turbo javelin pair finished in 7th place at the All-Ireland Juvenile Games in July and improved their combined throws by over 5 meters from their Connacht score.
Club Girl/Boy of the Year was given to Gospel Idahor, Rachel Mulligan, Dylan Horkan and Hayden Nolan recognising them as leaders and motivators among their peers.
The coveted Perpetual Cup for Juvenile Athlete of the Year 2016 went to joint winners Cian McPhillips and Nelvin Appiah, both having impressive lists of accolades for the year. Cian is reigning National Cross Country Champion as well as All-Ireland Bronze medallist in both indoor and outdoor U15 Boys 800m, and had a 6th place All-Ireland finish in the 1500m. He has been selected by Athletics Ireland National Juvenile Committee as 2016 Emerald Star Juvenile Athlete for Longford at next month’s Awards Gala in Tullamore.
Nelvin burst onto the athletics scene only one year ago and he has made his presence known at both Connacht and schools provincial level. Finishing just outside the medals in 3 events at National Indoor Track and Field, he went on over the summer to win All-Ireland Gold in U16 High Jump and earn his first international cap competing in the Celtic Games in Swansea, Wales bringing home Silver. Nelvin seems to have found his niche in the Schools’ Combined Events pentathlon winning All-Ireland Bronze and his second international appearance as a member of the Irish squad that captured Silver in the U16 Boys category in December.
Club Chairman Paddy McPhillips thanked parents for their commitment bringing children to training sessions and competitions throughout the year. He praised all the volunteers involved in coaching Little Athletics and Juveniles in Longford, Kenagh and Dromard for the time and enthusiasm they give to the children involved. Lastly he wished all good luck for 2017 and the new achievements that lie ahead.
Photos from the Awards Night can be viewed here
Saturday Feb 25 for U12 (Born 2006) & U13 (Born 2005) only
Sunday Feb 26 for all athletes U14+
All Longford AC athletes must wear white shorts, white socks and the blue Club Singlet for all indoor competitions
Athletes can compete in up to 3 individual events plus a relay.
|Boys\Girls U12||Boys\Girls U13||Boys\Girls U14|
|Born 2006||Born 2005||Born 2004|
|60m Sprint||60m Sprint||60m Sprint|
|Relay 4 x 100m||Relay 4 x 100m||Relay 4 x 200m|
|High Jump||High Jump||High Jump|
|Long Jump||Long Jump||Long Jump|
|Shot Put 2Kg||Shot Put 2Kg||Shot Put 2.72Kg\2Kg|
Rules: Only 5mm Spikes can be used.
Athletes U14+ must use starting blocks, this is optional for U12 &U13.
IAAF False Start Rules apply: U16 upwards First false start leads to disqualification. For U13, U14 & U15 One false start and all are on warning of next false start leading to disqualification.
Athletes are not permitted to carry or use electronic recording or transmission equipment (e.g. earphones, tablets, iPods, smart phones etc) in the competition area.
Where a heat is listed if insufficient competitors check in a FINAL will be held at heat time. For the 600m, 800m and 1500m races if 12 or less athletes check in, at the discretion of the track referee, a FINAL will be held at heat time. The first 3 medallists in every event qualify for the National Indoor Championships in March.
Coaches and parents are not allowed on the track at any time. Any parent or club official found on the track risk the possibility of their athlete and club being disqualified.
ALL FIELD EVENT ATHLETES MUST BE TECHNICALLY PROFICIENT AND COMPETENT IN THE EVENT IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY. Warm up marks for field events should be completed where possible before the time schedule.
In the Indoor Relays an athlete may move up one age group as long as at least 2 members of a competing relay team, participating in that event on that day must be of the correct age.
|Boys\Girls U15||Boys\Girls U16||Boys\Girls U17||Boys\Girls U18|
|Born 2003||Born 2002||Born 2001||Born 2000|
|60m Sprint||60m Sprint||60m Sprint||60m Sprint|
|60m Hurdles||60m Hurdles||60m Hurdles||60m Hurdles|
|200m||200m||200m and 400m|
|1000m Walk||1500m Walk||1500m Walk||1500m Walk|
|Relay 4 x 200m||Relay 4 x 200m||Relay 4 x 200m||Relay 4 x 200m|
|High Jump||High Jump||High Jump||High Jump|
|Long Jump||Long Jump||Long Jump||Long Jump|
|Shot Put 3KG\2.72Kg||Shot Put 4Kg\3Kg||Shot Put 5Kg\3Kg||Shot Put 5Kg\3Kg|
|Pole Vault||Pole Vault||Pole Vault||Pole Vault|
Palace Grounds, Tuam Co. Galway
22 January 2017
For the first time in many many years Longford entered a men’s team of 4 in the National Intermediate Men’s 8K race. Barry Sheil worked this way through the pack and was first over the line for Longford in a very fast 10th place. Teammates Declan Newman, Paddy Sharkey and Kevin Ward were evenly matched and worked very well together throughout the race finishing 53rd, 57th and 60th places respectively in a field of 88 runners. Their combined performance saw the ranked 8th in the team results on a score of 180.
Adrianna Melia ran the Intermediate Women’s 5K with a very impressive 6th place finish in a field of 53 runners. Spectators are getting used to seeing the sole blue Longford singlet at the starting line as this is the 3rd consecutive year of highly competitive cross country for Adrianna. December 2014 saw her finish 5th place out of 133 in the National Novice Women’s 4K in Santry. She improved that in December 2015 with her All-Ireland Bronze finish in the National Novice Women’s 4K in Dungarvan . As a Novice medallist she moved up to Intermediate this year and the longer 5K race.
Cross country racing is always a genuine test of fitness and stamina. It’s not about ‘the time’ as weather and the hilly, muddy conditions of the course are so changeable that every race is different. Credit is due to the brave few Seniors that took the challenge on the cross country course to add to their overall fitness and stamina.
Longford AC competitors at the Irish Life Health National Intermediate Cross Country Championships in Tuam. Adrianna Melia 6th place finish in Women’s 5k and Men’s team Barry Sheil, Kevin Ward, Declan Newman and Paddy Sharkey finished 8th place in team rankings.
Adrianna Melia, wearing the only blue Longford AC vest in the race, gets away quickly at the start of the Women’s 5K race at the 2017 Irish Life Health National Intermediate Cross Country Championships in Tuam, Co. Galway. She had an impressive 6th place finish on the challenging hilly course.
Palace Grounds, Tuam Co. Galway
22 January 2017
Looking for new opportunities in 2017 Longford Athletic Club started the year off sending two teams to compete at the Irish Life Health National Juvenile Inter Club Cross Country Relays. The 4X500m relay was run at the Palace Grounds in Tuam, Co. Galway. The grass course had deceptively steep hills and curves making it a genuine cross country challenge.
The juvenile boys middle distance runners were happy to rise to the occasion with Christopher Conaty, Joe Reilly, Darren O’Neill and Brendan Finnan forming the U14 Boys Team. From the start they took off in the top 3 and stayed there throughout to win the Bronze set of medals out of 11 teams.
Inexperience almost cost them when handover baton change between runners 2 and 3 saw one athlete trip as legs intertwined but it was quick back on his feet and away with speed that ensured it was only a small blip on their overall performance. This valuable lesson will surely be still fresh when the boys shift gears onto the track for the upcoming Indoor Track & Field season in late February.
The U14 Girls were all running a year up as ages for this final Cross Country event were still based on end of 2016 competition age groups. As is usual at any National event the standard of competition was extremely high so the girls had to accept 8th place overall from 9 teams. Well done to Avril Cosgrove, Kate Hagan, Melissa O’Kane and Sarah McPhillips for competing for the Club and enjoying the day of racing.
Longford AC U14 girls were in action in Tuam, Co. Galway at the Athletics Ireland National Juvenile Cross Country Relays. Sarah McPhillips, Melisa OKane, Avril Cosgrove and Kate Hagan had their work cut out for them on the hilly grass course.
Athletics Ireland medal presentation for U14 Boys at the National Juvenile Interclub Cross Country Relays in Tuam, Co. Galway. Longford AC 3rd place, Shercock AC, Co. Cavan, 1st place and Ratoath AC, Co. Meath, 2nd place. Running for Longford Darren O’Neill, Christopher Conaty, Brendan Finnan and Joe Reilly.
U14 Girls Cross Country Relay handover from Avril Cosgrove to Melissa O’Kane.
Sunday 15th January 2017 from 5-6pm
In the upstairs room at the Abbeycartron Soccer Clubhouse, Longford
All Juvenile athletes & parents please join us to celebrate the achievements of 2016
Annual Club Registration Night Friday 6th January 2017 at the Mall, 7-7:30pm
Registration for 2017 is now open, Cost €20 per person, €50 for 3 or more children in the same family, €60 for 4 children in the same family. This annual fee includes Athletics Ireland membership & insurance for the entire calendar year January-December 2017. Every athlete (Seniors, Juveniles, Little Athletics) must be a registered member of Longford AC in order to attend training and enter competition.
Little Athletics is for the 6-9 year old age group and focuses on agility, balance and coordination. It takes place every Friday evening 7-8pm indoors at the Mall Complex following the school calendar, cost €2 each week. This session lasts 1 hour and we request that all parents remain for the hour. New coaches and assistants are needed this year…any parents interested please let us know. First step is Garda Vetting and then signing up for a coaching course.
Children must be aged 9 years and above to attend Juvenile training sessions. Every Wednesday outdoor running at Ardagh GAA grounds, 7-8pm and Friday evenings 7-7:45 pm outdoors at the Mall Complex, cost €2 each. There are also juvenile training groups in Dromard and Kenagh on Monday evenings. Leading up to competitions all juveniles need to be doing a minimum of 2 nights training per week to have the level of fitness required for Provincial and National standards.
Training at AIT indoor track is organised once a month, and more frequently before competition. The session starts at 7pm sharp until 8:30pm, cost €3 per child which is subsidised by the Club. Parents are responsible to make their own arrangements regarding transport to and from AIT.
Dates booked at AIT Indoor Track for 2017: Friday Jan 13, 20 & 27
Age categories are based on the entire calendar year. No athlete may obtain a birthday in the year of competition and compete in that age.
U9= (Born 2009) will turn Age 8 years in 2017
U10= (Born 2008) will turn Age 9 years in 2017
U11= (Born 2007) will turn Age 10 years in 2017
U12= (Born 2006) will turn Age 11 years in 2017
U13= (Born 2005) will turn Age 12 years in 2017
U14= (Born 2004) will turn Age 13 years in 2017
U15= (Born 2003) will turn Age 14 years in 2017
U16= (Born 2002) will turn Age 15 years in 2017
U17= (Born 2001) will turn Age 16 years in 2017
U18= (Born 2000) will turn Age 17 years in 2017
Juvenile Athletics Upcoming 2017 Competition Dates
21/01 Irish Health Life National Indoor Combined Events (U14-20) Championships, AIT Indoor Arena
22/01 Irish Health Life Juvenile Inter Club XC Relays (U12 & 14 only), Tuam, Co. Galway
12/02 Irish Life Health National Juvenile ‘B’ XC Championships (U11, 13, 15 only), Waterford IT
25/02 Connacht Indoor Track & Field, ages U12 & U13 only, AIT Indoor Arena
26/02 Connacht Indoor Track & Field, ages U14+, AIT Indoor Arena
25 & 26 March & 1 April Irish Health Life National Juvenile Indoor T&F Championships, 3 Days, AIT Indoor Arena
27 & 28/05 Irish Health Life National Outdoor Combined Events (U14-20) Championships
10/06 Connacht U9-11 pairs and U12 Outdoor Track & Field, Sligo IT
17 & 18/06 Connacht U13+ Outdoor Track & Field, Sligo IT
24/06 Irish Life Health National Children’s Games U9-11 pairs Outdoor T&F, Tullamore
8, 9 & 16/07 National Juvenile Track & Field Championships, 3 Days, Tullamore
15/07 National Juvenile Relay Championships AND ‘B’ Track & Field Championships, Tullamore
Longford AC juveniles finished off the season in great style with Cian Mc Phillips winning the Irish Life Health Under 15 All Ireland Cross Country Championships held on Sunday last in Dundalk I T. Cian went into the race as Connaught Champion but such was the depth of talent in this age group that there were up to ten athletes capable of winning the Gold. Approximately 180 athletes had qualified for the final which made for a mad first 200 metres before the course narrowed. Cian got away well and positioned himself in the top five from the gun. By 1000 metres, the field had spread out and already it was obvious that the medals would be decided between about six athletes. By 1500m Cian was in a leading group of three and they had already established a lead of 10 or 15m over the rest. By 2000m, it was Cian and pre-race favourite, Connolly from the Cork City club, Leevale out in front with a good 30m lead. The key moment in the race came with 500m to go and as the two leaders approached a short sharp hill, Cian attached and Connolly had no response. From there Cian pulled away to the finish and ended up with a comfortable 50m gap by the line. After the individual medal presentation, better news was to follow as it was announced that Cian had led the Connaught team to a fantastic but very rare silver medal in the embedded Inter Provincial competition defeating the might of Munster and Leinster in the process. Cian has trained three times every week since August with this race in mind and great credit must go to his coach, Joe Ryan in Mullingar who had him in perfect condition when it mattered most.
In the preceding under 13 girls’ competition, Kate Hagan of Newtown was expected to be in contention at the front of the race after her silver medal in the Connaught Championships when she gave Emma Moore, the All Ireland Champion from Galway City Harriers a real good fright. Unfortunately Kate had been sick all week and the early pace of the race took its toll on her. There is no doubting Kate’s incredible endurance capacity and as the races get longer and conditions more challenging, Kate will unquestionably challenge for All Ireland medals in the future.
For now, the ‘muck warriors’ that make up the club’s cross country section can take a well-earned rest happy in the knowledge that the endurance they have built up in the last few months will stand to them in the indoor season which begins in January.
The starting line of the National Uneven Ages Cross Country Championship U15 race on Dec 11th, 2016 at Dundalk IT.
Cian McPhillips wins the Athletics Ireland National U15 Boys 3500m Cross Country with a clear lead at Dundalk IT on Dec 11, 2016.
National Champion Cian McPhillips wears gold after winning the U15 Boys 3500m Cross Country at the National Championships in Dundalk.