Wind and rain did not deter both Women's and Men's 4 x 400 teams qualify for the European Junior Championships at the 4th. Graded Meeting in Santry. Paul McKee a former 400m National Champion in his role as Development Officer and Relay Coordinator assembled the squads for the races and it proved a very worthwhile exercise.
The women's team of Ciara Deely, Ellie O'Toole, Nicole King and Duicia Patterson clocked 3.45.88 inside the 3.46.00 qualifying standard. They were pushed to the time by a squad that included Christine McMahon and Clare Mooney who pushed them all the way in 3.37.79.
The men's squad of Jamie Pender, James Holden, Shane Irwin and Chris O'Donnell clocked 3.13.76 comfortably inside the 3.18.00 standard. They followed the u/23 team of Brandon Arrey, Craig Newell, Paul White and Harry Purcell who won the race in 3.12.68 a tantalizing .68 of a second outside the standard.
The hard work of Paul McKee assisted by David McCarthy shows what can be done by utilizing a home competition rather than travelling out of the country. It is also an opportunity to show the emerging talent to home supporters.
Running into a minus headwind of minus was not conducive to fast sprinting but Catherine McManus edged out Sarah Murray to win the 100 meters in 12.08. Clonliffe’s Leo Morgan won the men's equivalent in 11.12.
Catherine was back on the track some 20 minutes later to run a P.B. in the 400 of 55.03 fine running in the conditions.
With the wind died subsided and the rain stopped the 1500 meters runners had ideal conditions for their races. Niamh Donnelly buoyed up by her recent P.B. set off at a brisk pace with an opening lap of 63.5s. Elanor Alexander was a little off the pace and it proved to be a better strategy as she hauled the early leader in to win in 4.34.37 ahead of the fast finishing Ide Ni Dhomhnaill who was one of many running personal bests in the race.
Niamh Corry of Raheny took it on from the front in the women's "B" race and won in 4.54.36.
Waterford's Barry Keane took the field along in the men's 1500 with 62 and 63 second laps. It was however the more astute running of Joe Warne who produced his familiar sprint finish edging out Pierre Murchan in 3m57.03 with the early leader Keane in third.