Double silver for Portlaoise AC at national championships

Portlaoise AC was represented by five athletes in Morton Stadium, Santry where the national senior track and field took place.

Portlaoise AC was represented by five athletes in Morton Stadium, Santry where the national senior track and field took place.

The club had four athletes in action on the first day of competition. First up for Portlaoise on the Saturday was Aisling Stack who was competing in both the discus and hammer competition. Aisling finished in 9th position in both her events and in doing so has gained valuable experience on the All Ireland stage.

Next up on Saturday was Micheal Mulhare who was competing in heat one of three in the mens 1500m where he qualified for the final.

Portlaoise had two competitors in the 56lb competition. The evergreen Seamus Fitzpatrick returned to the stage where he has won a record breaking 14 All Ireland titles including the last 12 in succession. Seamus made a gallant attempt to retain his title throwing 4.10 but he came second to the up and coming Dave Tierney of Leevale who threw 4.50 to win the event. Oisin Hoey was also competing in this event and he finished just outside the medals in 4th place with a throw of 3.40.

The club had even more to look forward to on Sunday with the two Mulhare brothers taking on the cream of Irish middle distance runners. Micheal was out in the 1500m final and Dan in the 5000m straight final.

Dan was first up in the 5000m where he ran a great race leading for long stages and pushing on at the front with Mark Hanrahan of Leevale AC,Thomas Fitzpatrick from Tallaght and David Rooney from Raheny all staying in touch. After 2k Mark, Dan and Thomas all took turns to lead from the front and Dan was getting the edge from the 3k mark. However Hanrahan and Rooney took it up with two laps remaining and Dan lost some ground, trailing the duo by about 10 metres.

At this stage it seemed like Dans race was run and he would have to settle for 3rd however from the bell Dan took it up again and ran a fantastic last 400m to pass Rooney into second place and just ran out of track when Mark Hanrahan got to the line less than a second ahead of him. It was a super gutsy performance from the Portlaoise AC clubman and a real highlight to the days proceedings. Finishing times - Mark Hanrahan (Leevale AC,14.13.80) Dan Mulhare(Portlaoise Ac,14.14.65) David Rooney (Raheny Shamrocks,14.16.72) Thomas Fitzpatrick (Tallaght Ac,14.26.16)

Next up for Portlaoise was Micheal Mulhare competing in the 1500 final. Micheal was in contention for most of the race,and was in the top four coming around the last bend but the pace was fast and Micheal finished the race in 8th place in a high quality field. The 1500m was won by Colin Costelloe in a time of 3.54.57. Micheal’s time for the heat was 3.58.79 and his final time was 3.57.27.

Last up for Portlaoise AC were the duo of Seamus Fitzpatrick and Oisin Hoey competing in the 56lb event. Both finished just outside the medals in 4th and 5th respectively,with Seamus throwing 7.48 and Oisin throwing 6.49.The event was won by Tomas Raivktys with a throw of 8m 73 cm..

All in all a successful day for the club with two All Ireland silver medals for the club.