Weekly News

Weekly Notes – 26th July 2021

National Junior 1500m record for Cian McPhillips
A week after his gold-medal winning exploits in Estonia, Cian McPhillips was back racing putting in a record-breaking performance over the 1500 metres distance. On Sunday morning last, Cian lined up at the AAI Summer Games on the recently opened track at I.T. Carlow seeking to back up the heroics of Tallinn.

The pace was swift from the off with Cian slotted in behind training partner John Fitzsimons who acted as pacemaker. With John stepping off at the start of the final lap, Cian took the lead with only Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers) for company before pushing on to finish strongly for the win in 3:40.56. Former national 1500m champion Everard crossed the line in 3:43.81. Cian’s time set a new Irish Under-20 record which had previously been held by Ray Flynn for 45 years.

It was yet another awesome performance by 19-year-old Cian and the time is the second fastest run by a European junior athlete this year. Despite missing the early part of the outdoor track season, Cian is really in great form and will hopefully race again on the track in the coming week before turning his attention towards cross country. He will no doubt aim to secure a place on the Irish team for the European Championships that will be held in Dublin this December which will mark his final race as a junior.
As news spread across social media on Sunday, Ray Flynn was quick to pass on his congratulations tweeting: “I’m delighted to see Cian take down my junior record. He’s special”. Incredibly the record remains in Longford with Ray having set the previous standard of 3:42.66 back on 8 May 1976 at Knoxville, Tennessee.

Well done to Cian as once again he shows his undoubted talent blossoming under the guidance of top coach Joe Ryan. It was a real team effort and credit also to Kildare AC runner Fitzsimons, the national senior 800m champion, for providing pacing duties.

Results: With a lack of races on the calendar, club members are travelling far and wide to take in events of different forms. Ciarán Madden was in triathlon action on Sunday morning winning the King of Greystones Sprint in a time of 63:03 leading home a total entry of 268. Well done to Ciarán who also put in a top five finish the previous week at the Kilkenny Tri. Juraj Karcak completed the 60km Ultra distance at the undulating Ballyhoura Trail in sweltering heat in County Limerick on Saturday. Also in Munster, Barry Sheil placed in the top 15 at the Grange Fermoy 4-mile road race on Sunday in a time of 20:57.

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:
https://european-athletics.com/

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.

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.

Sympathy
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.

Weekly Notes – 22nd March 2021

Virtual Ireland Run: Well done to everyone that took part in our week-long Virtual Ireland Run. Over 400 people registered to run, jog or walk their chosen distance with entries coming in from all over Ireland and overseas. 

Fundraising Appeal: Our thanks to all who have purchased a bond to help us finance the costs of developing the club’s planned indoor facility at St. Mel’s College. We need your continued support to make our project happen which we hope to begin the construction of in April. The €2,000 bonds will be secure and repaid in full over 10 years. Bondholders will also be entered in a quarterly prize draw. Please help us if you can. Bond enquiries and requests to purchase can be emailed to bonds.longfordac@gmail.com

Our fundraising efforts are not limited to the bond initiative as we welcome all financial support to help us deliver the facility. A donation to the club or sponsorship are also most welcome. If you can help us, please contact John Fitzpatrick (087 2334600), Donal Mulligan (089 2346530) or Sean Crossan (087 2639825).

Return to Sport: The Government’s most recent Covid advice included a provision for a return of outdoor, non-contact training in pods of 15 at Level 4 restrictions. Athletics Ireland has been lobbying weekly with representatives of Sport Ireland regarding the sport’s return. We patiently await what progress can be made with the situation overall before we receive clarity as to when club training can resume.

Weekly Notes – 15th March 2021

European Indoors Recap: Cian McPhillips became the fourth Longford athlete to compete for Ireland at the European Indoor Championships with his recent strong showing in the 800m. Torun in Poland hosted the 36th edition of the event since its inception in 1970 and Longford has now been represented by a quartet of esteemed middle-distance runners.

Ray Flynn & Cian McPhillips

Ray Flynn & Cian McPhillips

Ray Flynn ran in the 1500m in both 1979 and 1980 securing silver in the latter with a time of 3:38.50 at Sindelfingen, West Germany. He is one of 17 Irish athletes to have won a medal at the European Indoors over the years. Had he not been US-based, Ray would certainly have achieved more championship appearances and medals. The American indoor scene was thriving in the 1980s with Ray to the fore in big races such as the Wanamaker Mile at New York’s Millrose Games.

Enda Fitzpatrick has the Longford record for having appeared at the most European Championships with four. In fact, Enda ran at the World Indoors before he competed at the Europeans when he ran in the 1500m at the inaugural world games in 1985 aged just 19. His fourth European Indoors came in 1990 when he competed in the 3000m and, three weeks later, Enda showed his range of talent when he wore the Irish singlet at the World Cross Country Championships 12km race in France.

Aisling Molloy also represented Ireland at the 1990 European Indoors in Glasgow in her event of the 800m. She finished an impressive 6th place in the final with 2:05.98. This was Aisling’s second championships having competed at The Hague in 1989. One of Ireland’s leading female athletes during that period, Aisling also qualified for and ran at the 1991 World Indoor Championships.

Cian has now joined this select group and hopefully we will see him ‘toe the line’ in Istanbul at the 2023 staging of the now biennial event. Other track and cross-country championships await in the meantime. We also hope that it is not too long a wait for the next Longford athlete to join the group!

Some coverage in the past two weeks has highlighted the exciting nature of indoor athletics as was witnessed in Torun. The 200m-sized track certainly makes for an entertaining spectacle along with the close proximity of the field events adding to the overall watch. Last week’s championship saw great performances by some of the world’s top athletes such as Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Femke Bol and Armand Duplantis. This summer’s Tokyo Olympics is set up to be a good one.

longford ac virtual run

Virtual Ireland Run: Our week-long Virtual Ireland Run is up and running ending this Sunday, March 21. Distance options are 5k, 10k and half marathon for adults and 3k for children for anyone seeking a challenge! Register on www.myrunresults.com. Proceeds from entries will go towards our ongoing fundraising efforts. Having completed your distance, please submit your time on the MyRunResults website as per the instructions in the registration email.

Fundraising Appeal: Many thanks to all who have purchased a bond to help us finance the costs of developing our proposed indoor facility at St. Mel’s College. Over €130k of the €200k target has been raised in just the past six weeks. We need your continued support to make our project happen which we hope to begin the construction of in April. The €2,000 bonds will be secure and repaid in full over 10 years. Bondholders will also be entered in a quarterly prize draw. Please help us if you can. Bond enquiries and requests to purchase can be emailed to bonds.longfordac@gmail.com

Longford AC Bond Sales 12.03.21

Our fundraising efforts are not limited to the bond initiative as we welcome all financial support to help us deliver our planned facility. A donation to the club or sponsorship are also most welcome. If you can help us, please contact John Fitzpatrick (087 2334600), Donal Mulligan (089 2346530) or Sean Crossan (087 2639825).

Weekly Notes – 8th March 2020

Chapeau Cian: We were all so immensely proud watching Cian McPhillips represent Longford and Ireland with such distinction at the European Indoor Championships last weekend. He looked right at home taking on some of the continent’s top middle-distance runners many of whom are full-time athletes. Friday’s heat was a brilliantly executed run to qualify in second place. The semi-final on Saturday was a step up in standard but Cian ran with such composure despite the leaders’ frantic early pace to move up two places and finish in 4th. His time of 1:48.06 set a new official European Junior 800m record in a fully ratified event where all protocols were in place. A great end to a short but sweet indoor season.

Very well done to Cian for performing so impressively, both on the track and with media, and to coach Joe Ryan for having him so well prepared. Congratulations to Cian’s proud family from us all at Longford AC. Parents Laura and Paddy give so much to support Cian’s athletics commitments such as with travel to training and races. Cian’s sister Sarah is one of our leading juvenile athletes having enjoyed much success in the sprints and jumps events. Paddy has been instrumental in developing our club over many years and has done so much work promoting athletics in the county. It was great to see our sport gain so much coverage and interest with the fine displays by Cian and his Irish teammates.

Cian McPhillips and training partner John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC)

Cian McPhillips and training partner John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC) at the Arena Torun in Poland last week ahead of their 800m heats at the European Indoor Championships. Coach Joe Ryan had the duo so well prepared for what was their first senior international.

He can now enjoy a well-earned rest before training resumes ahead of the start of the outdoor season. We look forward to what that brings. The highlight no doubt will be July’s European Junior Championships in Estonia where Cian will aim for glory in the 1500m. He will be hard stopped!

Texans Triumph: Well done to Nelvin Appiah and his South Plains College teammates who on Saturday were crowned best men’s team at the National Junior Colleges Indoor Championship in Kansas. The SPC Texans team were convincing winners and Nelvin certainly played his part. He had a busy couple of days competing in the heptathlon on Friday and Saturday and in the individual high jump event.

Nelvin finished in 6th place (out of 19) in the 7-event heptathlon with a score of 4471 points. Highlights were his first-place finishes in the 60m, 60m hurdles and 1000m which was the last event. His time of 2:46 in the latter is very impressive especially given the energy-sapping nature of the multi-events. The heptathlon also included the long jump, high jump, shot put and pole vault.

Nelvin competing in Kansas

Nelvin Appiah crossing the finish line in first place in the 1000m event as part of the heptathlon in the NJCAA Indoor Championships in Kansas last Saturday.

He narrowly missed out on a medal in the high jump on Saturday when he placed 4th with a best jump of 2.00m. This did however contribute valuable points to the total SPC team score. It was overall a very good debut championship for Nelvin in the Texans singlet. The team can now look forward to the outdoor season of competition which starts in April.

Fundraising Appeal: Many thanks to all who have so far purchased a bond to help us finance the costs of developing our proposed indoor facility. Over €120k of the €200k target has been raised in just the past five weeks. We need your continued support to make our project happen which we hope to begin the construction of in April. This facility will have the potential for even further development in the future and could become a leading athletics venue. A place where the people of Longford can watch our own athletic stars like Cian and Nelvin perform and where the stars of tomorrow can train and develop.

We are still a little short of where we need to be and are asking anybody with an interest in athletics and sport in Longford to consider buying one of our €2,000 bonds. These will be repaid over 10 years and bondholders will also be entered in a quarterly prize draw. Bonds will be secure and repaid in full. Please help us if you can. Bond enquiries and requests to purchase can be emailed to bonds.longfordac@gmail.com
Our fundraising efforts are not limited to the bond initiative as we welcome all financial support to help us deliver our planned facility. A donation to the club or sponsorship are also most welcome. If you can help us, please contact John Fitzpatrick (087 2334600), Donal Mulligan (089 2346530) or Sean Crossan (087 2639825).

Virtual Ireland Run: Our Virtual Ireland Run takes place during the week of St. Patricks Day (March 15 – 21). Virtual distance options are 5k, 10k and half marathon for adults and a 3k for children. Register on www.myrunresults.com with the choice of purchasing a t-shirt and medal available also. Having complete your run/jog/walk, please submit your time on the MyRunResults website as per the instructions in the registration email.
Membership: Club membership is open and registration renewals have been emailed out to last year’s members. Interested new members can register at membership.athleticsireland.ie

Fees are €25 for juveniles and €30 for seniors. For more information, please email pro.longfordac@gmail.com. It is hoped to resume club training immediately once the current restrictions are lifted.