On Saturday the 25th of May 2019, St. Abban’s AC took on the might of Europe in the European Club Championships in Tampere, Finland.
Nine teams qualified for competition with club teams from Belgium, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Serbia, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Israel and Switzerland. Finland made up the 10th team competing in most events as a guest. There were 19 Track & Field events in total with each team competing in each event and gaining points for each position. St. Abban’s AC had a competitor for 18 of the 19 events, just missing out on the Pole Vault.
Nessa Millet won the first event, the 400m Hurdle with a superb PB of 58.40 seconds. A great run by Nessa beating her 6 year old PB and National Junior record time after numerous years of injuries. Emma Daly was next up for the Hammer Throw and it was a huge result for Emma getting 3rd place with a throw of 39.83m.
The National Triple Jump Champion Saragh Buggy had four chances in her event. Her third jump was the winner with 13:02m and enough for Saragh to win the whole event and again win top points for the team.
Maisy O’ Sullivan was our 800m competitor. It was a tough battle with very little between the places but a season best for Maisy with 2:10.35 and a welcomed 6th place position. The discus throw was the first event for Nicole Kehoe Dowling. Nicole threw 32.42m putting her in 8th position.
In 400m event, Clíodhna Manning, our second guest from Kilkenny City Harriers, glided to a first place finish in 54.30 seconds.
Sinead Kelly was next up for the 3000m Steeplechase. Sinead battled on through each of the 7.5 laps to a 7th place finish.
The 100m was the second event of the day taken on by Catherine McManus. She ran all out to come 3rd in her heat in 12:15 and 6th position overall. Ruby Millet, our talented National Junior long jump record holder and leaving cert student jumped 5.68m to gain 5th position.
Maisy O’ Sullivan was competing again in the 1500m and had a super race with the 800m still in her legs. Maisy battled well to a 5th place position in 4:39.41 seconds. The Shot Putt was Nicole Kehoe Dowling’s second event. Nicole finished in 6th position with a putt of 11.40 metres.
High Jump event was tackled by Daena Kealy and she cleared 1.60 metre finishing in joint 6th place. Ruby was back again for the 100mh and she blitzed her heat, in a super 14.71 seconds, coming 4th overall in the event. Next up was Caitlin McDonald in the 5000m, it was a fast pace race from the start with the eventual winner finishing in 16.11 mins. Caitlin battled on for the 12.5 laps finishing in 9th position. Emma Daly was back up for the Javelin, throwing 27.35m for an 8th place finish.
Next up was the 100m x 4 relays. Our triple jumper Saragh Buggy was our first 100m runner, she passed to our Kilkenny sprinter Clíodhna Manning, next was our hurdler Nessa Millet and she passed to her sister Ruby who gave everything in the last 100m sprint to finish 4th in their heat and eventual 6th place finish.
St. Abban’s AC finished on 82.5 points after 19 events. Every athlete fought for every position, some super performances and although there was no medal each and every one are taking home experiences and memories to last a lifetime.
St. Abban's extended their thanks to everyone that made Tampere 2019 possible, the athletes, coaches, managers, sponsors, supporters, parents and everyone else that made up the team.