A Look Back in Time
Like everything else in life at the moment sport has ground to a halt and so in common with many others I have taken the time to trawl through some of the archive material I have to hand. Thanks to the late Sean Nyhan I have a large collection of results from the early days of the Munster Schools and this week I took a look at the results from 1958 to 1976 to see how the local schools fared in that era. I hope I didn’t miss out any performance as I’m missing one or two sets of results. Here is what I found.
The first mention of St Augustine’s is in 1958 when J Power was 3rd in the senior triple jump. In 1961 J Cummins was 2nd in the 800m, in 1964 D. O’Leary was 2nd in the junior long jump and in 1968 M. Sutton was third in the inter long jump. They all competed for St Augustine’s. If anyone has any additional information on these athletes please post it on the West Waterford facebook page.
The early 1970’s was a golden age for the local schools with all four St Augustine’s, Dungarvan CBS, Mercy Convent and Presentation Convent all on the podium at Munster Schools.
In 1969 the girls competed in the Munster Schools track and field for the first time. Elizabeth Mountain Mercy Dungarvan won the first of three senior girls 800m titles. She won with a record in each of the three years finishing with a 2.26 in 1971 she also won the 200m in 1970. In 1969 B Flynn also Mercy Convent finished 3rd in the inter high jump.
In 1969 M Connors Presentation Dungarvan was 3rd in the long jump but returned the following year to win the Inter Long Jump with a record of 14ft 6ins and C O’Shea also Presentation was 2nd in the junior 440yds.
One other notable performance in 1969 was from Victor Mullins representing North Mon in Cork Victor finished 2nd in the senior mile and 3rd in the senior 3mile. Victor went on to become Principal of Ardmore National Schools and also came up with the idea for the Colligan Cup.
In 1972 the boys and the girl’s championships were run together for the first time. Tony Ryan put Dungarvan CBS on the map when he won the Inter boys 1500m with a certain John Treacy St Anne’s Cappoquin finishing third that day.
The following year John came back and won the title. Also in 1972 Richard O’Donovan of St Augustine’s was 2nd in the steeplechase and 3rd in the 800m. Richard who hailed from West Cork was a boarder in the Friary and also ran with St. Factna’s A.C. M. Casey was 3rd in the junior 800m and Liam Hennessy was 2nd in the junior pole vault.
In 1973 Fr. O’Donnell O.S.A. was coaching athletics in the Friary and their two most successful athletes of that era were Liam Hennessy in the pole vault and Joe Brice in the shot and discus. Both were boarders in the Friary Liam was from Tipperary and his brother Mike taught for many years in Abbeyside National School. Joe was from Midleton. Joe won the junior discus with a record throwing 45m19 and was also second in the shot. Liam Hennessy had improved by over three feet in the pole vault and won the inter title and J Flynn Dungarvan CBS was 3rd in the junior 200m.
In 1974 Liam Hennessy came back and won both the inter and senior pole vaults setting records in both clearing 12ft 6ins in the senior event. Joe Brice had a double winning the inter shot and discus the latter with a record throw of 141ft 5ins and he was also second in the senior shot and discus.
In 1975 Liam Hennessy came back and won both the inter and senior pole vaults clearing over 13ft or 4m04 as measurements had moved to metric. Joe Brice won both the inter and senior discus creating records in both and also finished 2nd in the inter shot. The same day B.O’Shea was 2nd in the senior steeplechase and 3rd in the 800m.
Joe Brice finished his school’s career with a double in the senior shot and discus both with record throws and at that stage he held Munster schools records in the junior inter and senior discus. He then went on an athletic scholarship to America. Liam Hennessy went on to a very successful athletic and academic career in the area of sports performance.
St Augustines had three other medal winners on the day R. Lannigna won the junior high jump. Denis mc Sweeney was second in the discus and M McCarthy was 3rd in the junior 1500m. I will continue from here next week.
Sports Hall Athletics in your Back Garden
Peter Jones of the Waterford Sports Partnership in conjunction with the local athletic clubs has put together a short sports hall athletic video that can be done at home and is aimed at primary age youngsters. This is a free event starting on Monday April 6th. Details are on the Sports Partnership website and the West Waterford facebook page or https://bit ly/WSPAthleticsathomeintro and you can also book online at eventbrite. You will get a daily video with a different activity every day. If you are looking for more activities there are some activities on the Athletics Ireland website so keep active.