The Woodies DIY National Senior Championships held in Morton Stadium, Dublin recently proved to be an historic occasion for St Abban’s club with no fewer than six club members (three female and three male) mounting the rostrum to be honoured with a medal for their fantastic performance.
First up it was our latest International athlete Siobhan Nash tackling the 5K walk on the track for the first time and coming away with the bronze medal for her efforts. Content to let the first two away Siobhan tracked the 3rd place athlete throughout and seized her opportunity to strike with 2.5 laps to go. From here to the finish she was always secure for a podium finish.
The National outdoor championships have not seen the best from Barry Pender who secured the silver medal in the high jump in both 2007 and 2009 with the bronze in 2008. This year, despite not being at his best, (he cleared 2.10 comfortably in warming up), he added the outdoor national title to his indoor crown secured earlier in the year in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast clearing 2.05m on his first attempt. It was nice to see the big man top of the podium.
Paul Byrne was another happy customer when he secured the bronze medal for the 400m hurdles. Having finished 4th in these championships for the past two years, Paul was determined to come away with some reward. Running a controlled race from the gun he came strong in the home straight and now that he is in the medals will hope to go faster in the future.
It was the 400m hurdles and bronze medal for Nessa Millet also. Having to run heats in the morning and qualifying comfortably, she displayed great guts and determination in the final. Running in lane 3 she went out steady and it was a battle royale over the last three hurdles. Though clocking the same time as the 2nd placed athlete 62.43 seconds she was delighted with her first National senior medal.
Brian Kelly qualified comfortably for his 800m final on Saturday. When it came to final time he was prepared to give it his all. Unfortunately it came up a little short as he was caught over the last two strides by the fast finishing Dean Cronin from Blarney. No doubt this will make him more determined than ever to collect that gold.
Saragh Buggy is one of those athletes that always seem to step up her performance on the big day. This again was the story when she put three excellent phases of the triple jump together to have a new PB of 12.40 metres, just short of the National junior record and secured the silver medal.
For the record Conor Daly had to settle for 4th in the triple jump while Emma Daly was 5th in the javelin and 6th in the hammer. Paul’s and Brian’s finals were included in RTE’s highlights programme of the weekend’s athletics.