Weekly News – 2nd March 2020

National Indoors: The highlight of the Irish indoor athletics calendar took place in Abbotstown last weekend with the National Senior Indoor Championships. Four of our young athletes were in action and well done to all in competing in what was for most of them their first national seniors. Cian McPhillips, having won his heat on Saturday, finished an excellent 4th place in the men’s 1500m on Sunday in a time of 3:49.63 in a race won in a championship best-ever performance. Yemi Talabi had a busy weekend commencing with Saturday’s women’s long jump in which her 5.13m jump saw her finish 13th. On Sunday, Yemi lined up in the 60m. A superb 3rd place in her heat in 7.53 earned her a spot in the final. Lining up against many experienced sprinters, Yemi placed 7th with the exact same time. Reaching the final for someone so young is a fantastic achievement and bodes well for another big year ahead. Aaron Kelly was in sprints action over both days. Saturday’s 200m saw him run 24.01 and he followed up with a 7.43 in Sunday’s 60m in solid performances. Nelvin Appiah entered the fray on Sunday in the high jump. In a close contest, Nelvin was edged out of a medal on count back finishing 4th with a best effort of 1.95m. No doubt had Nelvin not had to have been at the Athletics Ireland awards in Tullamore late on Saturday night, he would have stood a better chance of performing to his best. It was still however a great placing for a junior athlete. One must really have to question the wisdom of Athletics Ireland in scheduling an annual awards night in Tullamore on the same weekend as the national senior indoors in Dublin. 

Road Race: Our annual road race took place on Sunday last with a great turnout of runners in each of the distances. The recent inclement weather gave way to blue skies which was most welcome. Well done to all who took part in the 5k and 10k and also to the 129 primary school children who did the 2k fun run. Many thanks to all who helped with the staging of the event and to those who provided refreshments including McCarrick’s Cash and Carry, McDonalds and Centra Tarmonbarry. We are also very grateful for the help of the Gardai and Civil Defence as well as the Mall/Longford Scouts for the use of the facilities. Prize winners: 5k Men: 1. Andrew Nevin, 2. Derek Nugent, 3. Jack Gallagher. Women: 1. Therese O’Connor, 2. Hazel Jones, 3. Sian Gallagher. O/40 Men: 1. Gary Brady. O/40 Women: 1. Madeline Doyle. Under 16 Boys: 1. Jamie Dorr, 2. Daniel Higgins, 3. Senan Macken. Under 16 Girls: 1. Rachel Keenan, 2. Lucy Hogan, 3. Caoimhe Crossan. 10k Men: 1. Paddy Sharkey, 2. Niall Smith, 3. David Sheridan. Women: 1. Sinead Whitelaw, 2. Aine Kiernan, 3. Fiona Gettings. O/40 Men: 1. Krzysztof Kulej. O/40 Women: 1. Bernie McAdam. Winning the trophy for the school with the most participants in the 2k fun run was St. Teresa’s NS, Killoe (29 participants). Full results for the 5k and 10k are on:

https://www.popupraces.ie/race/longford-ac-5k-10k-2020/

Juvenile Star Awards: Congratulations to Nelvin Appiah whose excellent performances in 2019 were recognised at the Athletics Ireland Juvenile Star Awards in Tullamore on Saturday night. Nelvin was the award winner for County Longford and it is a fantastic honour to receive. He is certainly a great representative for our club and always entertains with his prowess in the high jump.

Fundraiser: The draw for the fundraiser raffle for our proposed indoor athletics facility at St. Mel’s College will take place on Friday March 6th at 9pm in the Longford Arms Hotel. All are welcome to attend. Music on the night by Colin Galligan. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase in the Longford Arms on Friday night ahead of the draw or can be bought in advance on www.longfordac.com. Be in for a chance to win the €20,000 first prize!

Training: Due to the sports hall in the Mall being unavailable there will be no Little Athletics this Friday March 6th. Juvenile training will take place as usual on the astropitch. Senior training is on Tuesday evenings beginning at 7pm at the Mall. Full details of the weekly senior training group schedule are on our website.

Upcoming Races: March 8th – Killoe GAA 5k / 10k. March 17th – Mullingar Half Marathon. March 28th – Ros Run, Roscommon.

St Patrick’s Day Parade: The club will be walking in this year’s parade. We would encourage all members to take part. Please email your child’s name to pro@longfordac.com if you will take part, and include your phone number.