Longford Athletics Club held its annual Awards Presentation on February 10th to celebrate the achievements of 2018 at provincial, national and international level. Without a doubt 2018 was a remarkable year for the Club with three juvenile athletes competing internationally and Club Senior Female Adrianna Melia clocking fantastic marathon times to make the Athletics Ireland Performance list.
Cian McPhillips was named Juvenile Athlete of the Year as 2018 saw him have complete domination of the U17 Boys 1500m. At last year’s National Indoor Championships Cian set two new CBP (Championship Best Performance) in both 800m and 1500m, winning the national titles and securing qualification for Europeans in Gyor, Hungary. Cian was victorious across all Schools Championships bring home three Gold medals in 1500m from Tullamore, Santry and Scotland. He also set a new Youth (U18) Irish record on July 14th in Santry in the outdoor 3000m at 8:18.91 minutes breaking John Treacy’s 1974 record.
Yemi Talabi and Nelvin Appiah were recognised for their success in Club and School athletics on national and international platforms. 2018 was a real breakthrough year for Yemi in both sprint and long jump with the highlight of a new CBP and European qualifying standard at the All-Ireland Schools of 6.02m in long jump. She won All-Ireland Gold (100m) and Silver (60m) in sprints as well as international medal performances at both Tailteann and Celtic Games over the summer.
Nelvin Appiah was jumping to new heights as he set a CBP at the All-Ireland schools in June 2018 with his long anticipated first high jump over 2m. This outstanding achievement added to his collection for the year with National High Jump title in Juniors (U20), All-Ireland Silver in both Indoor and Outdoor U18 Boys High Jump and his Gold medal performance at the Tailtean Games. It was a bitter disappointment for Nelvin to miss European qualification last summer by 0.01m.
In the Most Improved category Killian Rawle, Funmi Talabi, Sarah McPhillips, Kate Hagan, Gospel Idahor and Rachel Keenan were all deserving recipients as they were top Connacht medallists improving on their 2017 performances and competed at National Championships across the three season: indoor, outdoor and cross country.
Certificates of Achievement were handed out to the twenty-eight juvenile members that won Provincial medals in 2018. When all the results for the year were tallied up the Club brought home Connacht medals in over fifty track, field and cross country events. Donal Mulligan received an award for his contribution to juvenile coaching and Leslie Finnan was congratulated on her Ganly’s Longford Sports Star Awards as Club Volunteer of the Year.
Presentations were made to the two 4X200m Indoor Relay teams that both finished in 4th place at last April’s All-Ireland’s missing podium places by only a fraction of a second. U17 Boys by 0:0.45 second: Killian Rawle, Keelin McGann, Cian McPhillips, Christopher Coanty, Paul Idahor. U18 Girls by 0:0.64 second: Gospel Idahor, Yemi Talabi, Sarah Murphy, Teegan Murphy, Adora Omotola.
The Senior section of the Club recognised Adrianna Melia for her first place podium finish at the Longford Marathon and as well as her outstanding time (2:52:20 hours) in the Dublin Marathon to finish 5th Irish female across the line and rank 10th on the Athletics Ireland 2018 Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Performance List. Sean Crossan received his accolade for his training regime and strong performance in his first Iron Man competition in Barcelona finishing in the top third in his age group while maintaining his continued commitment to Little Athletics coaching every week. Most Improved Seniors were Anne McDermott Brady and Colin Beades who impressed with marked improvement throughout the past year.
Club Chairman Paddy McPhillips used the occasion to highlight the wealth of talent in athletics in Longford congratulating all the awardees on the outstanding achievements of the past year. He thanked all volunteers and coaches without whom none of it would be possible and commended parents and juvenile members for their commitment to training. The Club is looking forward to another exciting and busy year with Provincial Indoor Championships starting at the end of February.