Gold for Cian

Saturday, 17th July 2021, was a hugely momentous day in the young life of Cian McPhillips with his fantastic run to win gold in the 1500m at the European Junior Championships. Everyone involved with Longford AC was so very proud to see all his hard work and dedication to training over the past few years pay off.

Cian lined up in the 1500 metres final against many of Europe’s top junior middle-distance athletes all chasing a championship medal in the heat of Tallinn. Positioning himself in second place on the shoulder of long-time leader Kane Elliott (Great Britain), Cian was perfectly set going into the final crucial 400 metres lap. On the back straight, Britain’s Henry McLuckie and Rick Van Riel of the Netherlands moved into contention, but Cian responded and led around the bend coming into a thrilling final sprint. Showing great strength, Cian made one last push for the finish line ahead of Van Riel to win in a time of 3:46.55.

Cian showed just what a class athlete he is with a 54-second last lap in the 30 degrees Tallinn temperatures which was certainly worthy of any gold medal 1500 metres win. To do so, whilst holding off high calibre opposition, is testament to his excellent preparation and shrewd approach to racing. Incredibly that was only Cian’s third race of the outdoor track season, but he showed no lack of sharpness.

Congratulations to Cian and to his proud parents Paddy and Laura and sister Sarah. Paddy and Laura are great supporters of Cian and Sarah’s athletics pursuits. Unable to be trackside in Estonia to celebrate the victory, they were in Athlone IT to support Sarah in her 100 metres at the Connacht Championships in which she ran just 15 minutes after Cian won gold. Credit to Sarah for putting in a good run so soon after watching the dramatic finale in Tallinn via the live stream on her phone.

It was a great to hear the public address in Athlone announce the news of Cian’s victory to the assembled crowd. Many of the people present had watched Cian enjoy much success at Connacht and National events over the years and the applause that rang around AIT made for a very special moment. We look forward to celebrating and marking Cian’s achievement when and where possible. Many thanks to all who have contacted us through different means to extend their congratulations. In an exciting year for our club, with the development of our indoor facility continuing at great pace, Cian’s success has given us an extra boost and brought joy to many. The future is bright!

Saturday’s gold medal win can also be very much attributed to the superb work done by Joe Ryan. Kilbeggan-native Joe is now one of the country’s leading coaches guiding many of Ireland’s top middle-distance athletes. Well done also to Oisin Lane (Mullingar Harriers) who finished in sixth place in the 10k Walk in Estonia. Oisin, who recently completed his Leaving Cert at Mercy Ballymahon, did great completing the distance in a personal best time of 43:33. It was a fantastic European Championships for Ireland with Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC) winning double gold in the sprints and Nicholas Griggs (Mid-Ulster AC) winning the 3000m as well as many other brilliant performances.

Weekly Notes – 19th July 2021

Gold for Cian!
Saturday, 17th July 2021, was a hugely momentous day in the young life of Cian McPhillips with his fantastic run to win gold in the 1500m at the European Junior Championships. Everyone involved with Longford AC was so very proud to see all his hard work and dedication to training over the past few years pay off.

Read full race report

Connacht Juvenile Track & Field:
The weekend saw the welcome return of competition for our Under 12-19 juvenile athletes with the Connacht Championships at Athlone IT. The relentless, sweltering sunshine made it difficult particularly in some of the longer events but everyone did great and gave it their best. 36 club members represented us and well done to all.

Weekly Notes – 12th July 2021

Cian McPhillips set for the European Under 20 Athletics Championships
Longford Athletic Club’s Cian McPhillips will this week take on the continent’s top junior middle-distance athletes in Estonia at the European Under-20 Championships. Cian is part of a 33-strong Irish team that has travelled to Tallinn ahead of the championships which take place from 15 – 18 July. He will run in the 1500 metres having previously run inside the 3:48 qualification standard. The rounds of the event are scheduled for Thursday 15 July at 4pm local time (2pm Irish time). Should Cian qualify from his round, the final will be on Saturday 17 July.

All events over the four days can be viewed on the European Athletics website via the live stream:

Cian McPhillips Euros 2021

Following a slightly disrupted build up with his training as well as his recent Leaving Cert commitments, 19-year-old Cian travels to Estonia having only raced once so far in this outdoor track season. That was his win in the 1500m at the AAI Games in Dublin last month.

Cian’s experience however from competing at the European Senior Indoors in March should certainly stand to him. Championship racing is often more about tactics, rather than time, and no doubt the 800m finishing speed Cian possesses can be to his advantage in seeking to secure a place in Saturday’s final.

The 28 athletes entered in the junior men’s 1500m, from 17 different countries, will have to contend with the warm Tallinn temperatures which may rise above 30 degrees. This will be Cian’s first outdoor championships in an Irish vest since the 2018 European Under-18 1500m in Hungary.

Best of luck to Cian in what will be his final track championships as a junior having enjoyed much success on the track over the years in both the juvenile and junior ranks.

Report from Connacht Track & Field Under 9-11 Team Games 
Well done to the girls and boys who took part at the Connacht Under 9-11 Team Games in Athlone on Saturday. 23 children represented our club on what was for most their first experience of competition on the track and they all did great on a fun day of races, throws and jumps.

Our athletes on the day were: Kaija Richards, Harry Finn, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Daire Grealy, Cormac Reilly, Jack Waters, Zoe Mulligan, Georgia Brady, Holly Brady, Katie Costello, Keeva Manning, Rian Foley, Adam Mulleady, Aoibhinn Coffey, Clodhra Crossan, Sophia Smith, Leah Waters, Conor Brennan, Charlie Finn, John Fitzpatrick, Setanta Smith, Evan Maher and Noah Washington.

In the Team Games, club member pairings won three medals. Gold was won by Andrew and Daire in the U9 Turbo Javelin. John and Setanta won two medals each in the U11s – silver in the Turbo Javelin and bronze in the 600m.

turbo javelin u9 champions

Andrew and Dáire – Connacht U9 Turbo Javelin Gold Medalists

Good luck to our members competing this weekend in Athlone for the Under 12 – 19 age groups. Elsewhere, well done to Ciarán Madden on his top 10 finish at the Never Give Up 10k in Co. Wexford last Sunday with a time of 37:23.

Weekly Notes – 5th July 2021

Juvenile Athletics: Well done to the girls and boys who took part in our sports day on Friday evening at St. Mel’s College. This was the final evening of athletics before the summer break. Many thanks to our coaches and all who assisted over the weeks since we resumed in April. Weekly athletics will return in early September at the Mall ahead of our indoor facility opening on the College grounds
towards the end of the year.

Connacht Track and Field Championships: Good luck to our juveniles competing in the Connacht Track and Field Championships at Athlone IT over the next two weekends.

Weekly Notes – 28th June 2021

Results: The National Senior Track & Field Championships took place in Santry over the weekend with two club members in action. Aaron Kelly was sixth in his 100m heat with 11.50 to improve on his previous weeks’ time and then seventh in the 200m heat. Yemi Talabi finished fourth in her 100m heat with 12.09 following injury-disrupted preparations. Having enjoyed so much success as a juvenile, we send our congratulations to Yemi on securing a scholarship to the University of Texas Arlington where she will move in August.

On the roads, it was an evening for fast times at the St. Coca’s AC 5k in Kilcock on Friday with strong runs by Edel Mooney in 18:51 and Gary Brady with 18:02. Elsewhere, Evan Radavicius finished 13th of 135 at an 8.5k mountain running race in Wicklow on Wednesday last which included some 500 metres of climbing.

Well done to Fiona Gettings and her Ballymore teammates on their great win in the Leinster final last week. Fiona, as always, was full of running throughout showing a great range of skills and capped it off with a well taken goal.

Children’s Athletics: July 2 is the final Friday evening of Juvenile and Little Athletics before the summer break. In a change of setting, athletics will take place on the main pitch at St. Mel’s College from 6.30pm with car parking available on the basketball courts. Access is by the main college entrance. We will hold our own mini-Olympics of races and relays as well as having treats and some special guests. Weekly athletics will then resume at the Mall in early September.

Athlone IT Training: The Sunday morning training session will this week take place on the track at Athlone IT on July 4 at 10.30am. This will be important preparation for all juveniles preparing for the Connacht championships in July.

Friends of Longford AC: We have launched a donations initiative to help with the funding of the indoor athletics facility that is currently in development at St. Mel’s College. For every donation of €500 or above, a brass engraved family name plate will be installed on a large ‘Friends of Longford AC’ display inside the finished building. All support greatly appreciated. Thanks to everyone who has supported us with our fundraising to date. Read more about the donation scheme.

Weekly Notes – 21st June 2021

Under-23 Championships
Morton Stadium hosted the Under-23 Championships on Saturday and Sunday. Aaron Kelly competed in both the 100m and 200m putting in good performances. A 11.53 time in his heat qualified him for the 100m final in which he finished seventh. Gospel Idahor ran in the 100m clocking a time of 12.81 in her heat.

Thoroughbred 5k
On the roads, Ciarán Madden finished third out of 103 finishers at the Thoroughbred 5k in Kildare town on Friday with a time of 17:12.

Mountain Running
Evan Radavicius took to the hills on Saturday for a Mountain Running event in Wicklow finishing 8th out of 89.

Juvenile and Little Athletics
Juvenile and Little Athletics continues at the Mall for two more Friday evenings. The final evening before the summer break will be July 2nd. Weekly athletics will then resume in early September.

Predict Your Time 5k

Next Tuesday, June 22nd, we hold a club members 5k which will replace the interval session that evening.

The route takes in almost the full lap of the Canal loop.

All are asked to assemble beside the gate at the Town end of the Canal to begin the run at 6.45pm.

Feel free to park at the Mall and jog up as a warm-up or to park somewhere closer, such as Market Square or Earl Street.

No watches or phones are allowed! These can be left with me before beginning your run.

There will be staggered starts and I will record all start/finish times.

Predicted times are to be confirmed to me on Tuesday evening just before the run starts.

The person who completes the distance closest to their prediction will win a Sports Direct voucher.

Best of luck!

Anyone yet to process membership for 2021 can do so at:

Weekly Notes – 14th June 2021

Results Roundup
Congratulations to Cian McPhillips on securing qualification for the European Under 20 Athletics Championships to be held in Tallinn, Estonia in July. Cian opened his outdoor track season with victory in the 1500 metres at the AAI Games in Santry on Sunday afternoon. His time of 3:46.27 was inside the 3:49 qualifying standard required.

This was Cian’s return to racing following his fourth place in the semi-final of the 800 metres at March’s European Senior Indoor Championships. Achieving the standard allows Cian to continue with his preparations ahead of Estonia during this busy period when he is also sitting his Leaving Cert.

National Walks Championships
On Saturday, St. Jarlath’s College in Tuam hosted the National Walks Championships. Longford AC was represented in the juvenile events by Cadhla and Naoise Golden, Aoibhinn and Blaithin Coffey. Well done to all four who did great in humid conditions and thanks to coach Sinead for preparing them so well for competition.

Turgesius Island 10 mile
Well done to Fiona Gettings on her second place finish in the recent Turgesius Island 10 mile in Collinstown. Hopefully, we will see more road races announced for over the next few weeks.

The club extends its condolences to the Gray family, Moyne, on the sad passing of Cian after a long and brave battle. May he rest in peace.

2021 Outdoor Track and Field Championships

We hope that your child is enjoying the weekly Friday evening athletics. With the continued easing of restrictions, it is expected that juvenile club competition will take place this summer.

The Connacht Athletics Board has tentatively set the following dates for holding the 2021 outdoor Track and Field Championships at Athlone IT:

Saturday, July 10th: Under 11 two-event ‘Team Games’ (for children born in 2011)

Saturday, July 17th: Under 14 – Under 19 (children born in or before 2008)

Sunday, July 18th: Under 12 & Under 13 (children born in 2010 or 2009)

If your child is in the under 11 – 13 age categories, and is interested in competing, please complete the form below which contains the list of events (maximum 2 events for children born in 2011). We request that it be submitted by Saturday, June 12th.

There are a greater number of events in the under 14 – 19 age categories and more information regarding these will be communicated to those members at Friday evening training.

Additional Training Session Every Sunday

In advance of the above dates, an additional weekly training session will take place for all age groups of under 11-19 on Sunday mornings at 10am at the Mall commencing on June 13th. For children intending on competing at the Championships, attendance at the Sunday session is essential to help better prepare for competition. The Connacht event also serves as a qualifier to the Nationals which will take place in August.

Paddy’s Sprints Group (group JA7) – Athlone Training

For this coming Friday, June 11th, Paddy’s sprints group (group JA7) will hold their training session on the track at Athlone IT at 6.30pm. If your child is in this group and wishes to attend the session at AIT on Friday, please email to confirm.

Weekly Notes – 7th June 2021

Connacht Track & Field

The Connacht Junior, Senior and Masters Track & Field championships took place on Bank Holiday Monday in Dangan, Galway. Five club members competed in what was for most their return to competition for the first time in over a year and all five recorded podium finishes.

Yemi Talabi was first in the junior womens 100m having earlier placed second in the long jump. Gospel Idahor set the fastest time in the senior womens 200m and was second in the 100m. Also doubling up in the sprint events was Aaron Kelly with second fastest in the senior mens 100m and third in the 200m.

New member Mitko Kozhuharov took on two field events finishing second in both the senior mens javelin and shot put.

Barry Sheil was first in the masters 3000m.

Well done all. Thanks to the organisers and event officials, including our own Paddy McPhillips, for the staging of the meet.

Juvenile T&F:

The Connacht Juvenile T&F Outdoor Championships have been tentatively set for July at Athlone IT. July 10 is the opening day which is for the under 11 age group two-event ‘Team Games’ (for children born in 2011). The under 14 – 19 age category events (children born in or before 2008) will be held on July 17. On the following day, July 18, competition for under 12 / 13 events will be staged for children born in 2010 or 2009. An expression of interest email has been sent to parents to confirm if their child wishes to participate.

For children intending on competing, an additional weekly training session will take place on Sundays at 10am at the Mall from June 13 for the weeks leading up to the Connachts. Attendance at this session is essential to help better prepare for competition.