Senior News, 31 August 2020

IRISH LIFE HEALTH SENIOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS.                                                                                                


After many weeks of will they won’t they go ahead the national track and field championships went ahead over two weekends at Morton stadium Santry and the club had 3 participating. It’s been a difficult time for athletes as it has been for most sports people with little or no competition for many months now, however athletics Ireland left no stone unturned in organising this year’s championships it was a great achievement that it did happen and it has to be said were superbly organised keeping the tradition going as it is now in its 148 unbroken year of competition, so hats off to all involved here. It was a somewhat strange atmosphere as the championships were held behind closed doors with no spectators there was a kind of eerie feeling to this year’s proceedings with an empty stadium.


There were some keenly competitive competition in both track and field events over the two weekends and our club kept our great tradition with the championships alive with three athletes competing here at national senior level.


Once again Kate Veale brought home gold in the ladies 5.000 meters walk taking her 5th consecutive senior 5k title and her 12th nation senior title a great achievement by any standards. Seven athletes faced the starting gun in the 5.000 meters walk with Maria Flynn Naas AC taking off at a very fast tempo and soon within the first 1k she had a substantial gap opened on the field with only Kate Veale on her heels it looked likely as these two passed the 2k mark our winner would come from either of these as they had some 80 meters on the 3rd athlete. Kate sat tight for another K and then made a brilliant decisive move breaking clear of the Naas athlete with 2 k remaining, she drew further and further away and had a large margin when hitting the finish line in 24.51.49, Flynn was to be caught on the final lap also for that silver medal when the fast finishing Ruth Monaghan Sligo AC claimed the runners up place in 25.42.20 with Maria holding on for a deserving bronze after taking the race up from the gun her finishing time was 26.06.73.





Yuri Kanash had a memorable day today at the Irish Life health national senior championships when he claimed his very first senior pole vault title. Having won silver at this year’s national senior indoors in February it was just rewards for Yuri who has been training hard on his own during the lock down period the Ul student and former St Augustine’s College pupil under the watchful eye of Br Patrick Lennon has progressed into one of the country’s finest pole vaulters currently competing and he was duly rewarded for his dedication today in Santry.Yuri started off his day with a 3.60m just to get a height in with a field of 13 vaulters competing, Yuri passed on heights of 3.80 and 4 meters before coming back in at 4.20 a height which he cleared on his first attempt, he again passed on 4.30 and cleared the next height 4.40 on his second effort as did the two other athletes remaining in the competition at this stage Shane Power St Joseph’s AC and Michael Bowler Enniscorthy AC last year’s gold medallist. When the bar moved up to 4.50 all three failed on their first attempts and on his second Yuri cleared the height well while both Power and Bowler failed in their final two attempts this of course deemed the West Waterford man the senior champion outdoors for 2020.Well done Yuri well deserved for years of dedicated training.





Pat Hennessey was running his very first national senior 5.000 meters and to reach the finals after qualifying on the previous day Saturday was a brilliant achievement for the Lismore native. A top class field of the country’s best track athletes over the 5.000 meters distance faced the starters gun for the final and it was great to see that Pat was among this elite field. The final was a fast tactical race which came down to a two man sprint finish with youngster Darragh McElhinney UCD A.C taking the tile this year from pre-race favourite John Travers Donore Harriers AC. Pat ran a slightly slower time from his heat on Saturday when he crossed the line in 11th place 15.28.33.It was a great learning experience for the Lismore man who was running his first championships final and indeed a great achievement to make the final from the three heats the previous day. This will give Pat great confidence going forward knowing that he can mix it now with the countries best.


All in all a strange championship this year but the club with three athletes bring home 2 gold medals and a finalist in the 5.000 meters I’d say that was a good weekend for our club. Well done to all.