Harriers on song again
Two days of packed action at Tullamore brought a memorable track and field season to an end last weekend.
First up on Saturday were the masters with multiple national shot putt champion Sean Breathnach of Galway City Harriers the big winner.
Breathnach won his specialist event as well as the discus and the weight for distance and also finished third in the hammer.
In the sprints, Snezana Bechtina of Clonliffe Harriers retained her W35 age group 100m and 200m titles in times of 12.80 and 26.03 respectively. Second in the 100m was Avril Dillon of Dundrum South Dublin, who later set the day's only record in the 100m hurdles. Her time of 16.17 knocked over a second off Dannea Herron's 1998 mark.
Winning the men's M35 100m in 11.51 was Riocht's Jer O' Donoghue, while in the M50, David Hayde of St Laurence O'Toole's won the 100m and 200m and was second in the 400m.
There were no surprises in the M65 800m when Joe Gough of West Waterford powered away from the field for a clear-cut victory in 2:21.50. Gough is one of a number of competitors heading for next month's World Masters Championships in Malaga, Spain.
Another heading for Spain was Niamh O'Sullivan of An Riocht who was first in the W55 3000m.
Oldest competitor in action was 92-year old Sean Cowler of Donore Harriers, who was making a comeback to competitive athletics after a 20-year absence and was cheered all the way to the line in the 100m.
For the first time ever, a women's weight for distance competition was held and lashing the 28lb weight out to 6.16m for the biggest throw of the day was Eileen O'Riordan of Gneeveguilla.
A day later, Clonliffe Harriers and St Abban's successfully retained their premier division National League titles.
In the men's competition, Clonliffe amassed 127 points with wins for Leo Morgan in the 100m, Jayme Rossiter steeplechase, Colm Rooney 1500m, Keith Marks long jump, Niall Counihan triple jump, Simon Galligan hammer, Stephen Rice javelin and the 4x100m squad.
The Santry-based club claimed its ninth title in eleven years.
Finishing second were Galway City Harriers on 98 points, with their winners including Cillin Green in the 200m and Sean Breathnach in the shot and weight for distance. Third team was Kildare County.
Impressing in the pole vault was 20-year-old Sean Roth of Dundrum South Dublin who soared over 5.0m for the best Irish vault of the season.
In the women's competition, just ten points separated the top three, with wins for Ruby Millett 100m and 200m, Nicole Kehoe Dowling shot and discus, Saragh Buggy triple and long jumps, Daena Kealy high jump, Maisy O'Sullivan 800m, and Cheryl Nolan 1500m, helping St Abban's to a total of 111 points.
Second on 105 points was Galway County while third were previous champions Dundrum South Dublin.