10 Aug 2022

Laois Athletics Digest (June 26)

St Michael's AC Athletes who competed in the Ballyroan Abbeyleix AC 10k
This week’s Laois Athletics Digest. Read it first every Tuesday in the Leinster Express.

This week’s Laois Athletics Digest. Read it first every Tuesday in the Leinster Express.

Paddy Fitzgerald 5K Wednesday 19th July

Laois Athletics and Gracefield GAA held the annual Paddy Fitzgerald 5K and juvenile races on Wednesday 19th July in Gracefield GAA, held in honour of the late Paddy Fitzgerald who gave his time to athletics and GAA when he was alive. Ballyfin AC runners Ciaran Keenan, Riobard Miller, Dino Bland, Dan Allen, Fergal Dooley, Liam Dunne and Donal Mooney all ran the 5k on what was a beautiful sunny evening for it. At the finish it was Ciaran Keenan who kept up his great recent form with another victory, with clubmate Riobard Miller in second and Portlaoise AC’s Aengus Burke in third place. Well done to all who took part.

Abbeyleix 10k

On a beautiful morning for distance running the Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District organised Heart of Laois 10k saw 249 entrants experience a superb race in the heritage town of Abbeyleix. In a seriously competitive mens race Freddy Keron Sittuk (Kiprotich) from Kenya retained his crown with a superb time of 31.14 while Dymphna Ryan from Dundrum AC in Tipperary won the Ladies Race in a time of 37.03. First home for Ballyfin AC in 15th place was Riobard Miller in a time of 35:59 with Ciaran Keenan next up for Ballyfin in 17th place in a time of 36:19. Other runners who took part were John Paul Phelan, 31st in a time of 39:37 and Shane Delaney, 34th in a time of 40:05.

Ballyfin AC Juvenile Training

Outdoor Training takes place at the Portlaoise Running track across from Treo Nua in Portlaoise. There will be training on the Track for all ages every Mondayand Friday Evening at 6.30-7.30 pm. With the school holidays coming upon us fast there will be changes to the Summer Training schedule. Monday evening training will continue throughout the Summer but the last Friday evening training session will take place on Friday 28th June. Friday will recommence when the schools are back.

Adult Training

Adult Training for all levels takes place every Sunday in Emo Court at 10.30am with runners meeting up in the car park, and with the days closing in its everyTuesday and Thursday evening in Portlaoise meeting in St Fintans car park across from the prison at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome so why not dust off those trainers, come along and get active!

For more details and updates check us out on the Ballyfin AC Facebook page. All you gotta do is search for Ballyfin AC on Facebook and that will get us.

Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District

Leinster Juvenile Track and Field

Avril Deegan took part in and won a bronze medal in the U-16 girls 1500 metres race last Saturday at the Leinster Juvenile track championships in the splendid setting of the famed Tullamore Harriers track facility. With an outstanding piece of running Avril is becoming a competitive force on the athletic stage. With this performance Avril has qualified to run in the All Ireland track and field championships. Well done Avril from everyone in the Club.

Emma Dooley Foundation 10k

The Emma Dooley Foundation 10km road race took place this morning in Ferbane, Co Offaly to commemorate Emma who lost her life tragically last year. The club had two representatives, one in the men’s race and one in the women’s. In the women’s race Jean McEvoy had a great run to finish in second place behind former Olympian Pauline Curley in a time of 44 mins 30 secs. In the men’s race PJ Carroll showed he is returning to form by clocking 37 mins 57 secs for fifth place overall. Well done to both Jean and PJ on their mornings running in Ferbane.

Paddy Fitzgerald Memorial Evening

The Paddy Fitzgerald races saw some fine performances from our juvenile athletes. First up was the girls U-11 800m, on what was the largest juvenile field of the night Mary Kate Brennan ran a superb race to take home the bronze medal. Also competing in the 800m was Niamh McDonald who finished a very strong 4th and Faye Mcevoy who ran very well over the distance. We had one competitor in the boys U-11 800m and again Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District made the podium as Davin McEvoy also earned a bronze medal. The winner of the boys U-13 1500m was the very talented Cian McDonald, Cian took the race in his stride and led from the onset. Fintan McGowan ran a very strong race and was delighted to take home a silver medal. Adding to the clubs tally of medals Aine McDonald won gold in the girls U-17 mile.

Five of the clubs senior members took to the roads outside the Gracefield GAA grounds. Martin McDonald led our team home in a fine time of 17.15 and crossed the line in 4th place, James Hamm continuing his very good form crossed the line six seconds later in a time of 17.21. Our trio of competing ladies packed very well on the night and little separated them coming into the last kilometre. Finishing with a personal best of 21.29 Linda Gorman crossed the line third in the ladies race followed by Nora McGrath in 21.39 also a PB and just seconds behind Michelle Fitzpatrick stormed home in fine style. Sinead Fitzpatrick having completed the heart of Laois 10k on Sunday, ran another great race and finished the 5k looking very strong. Well done to all!


There is training Cullahill GAA Grounds at 7.00 pm each Monday evening. There will be a group run in Ballyroan beginning at the Church each Monday evening at 7.30pm. This is a easy run with the emphasis on a relaxed pace that would suit runners of all abilities. Anybody with an interest in Running is welcome to attend. We would love to see you there.

There is training each Tuesday evening at 7.30 pm at Ballyroan GAA grounds. There will be a tempo run on hills each Saturday morning in Cullenagh. The run will commence at 10am with easy warm-up prior to this at 09.30.

Anybody with an interest in athletics/general fitness regardless of age or experience is most welcome. All levels of fitness are catered for. We would encourage and welcome parents especially to bring their children and maybe even participate with them in becoming fit for life.

For any further information regarding training times andlocations please contact either Grace at 085-7542078 or Martin at 087-2068969.


Club News

The Primary Schools were held on Wednesday 12th June in St Abban’s. Emo National School had a number of athletes competing and we congratulate Rath National School as this was their first time to compete in these championhips. The events were held for 4th 5th and 6th classes. From 6th class Gillian Keenan 2nd in Highjump with a jump of 1.38 and Zoe Keegan 3rd with a jump of 1.31, Eoin keenan came 2nd in the Highjump with a jump of 1.41, Donal Hetherington came 2nd in the 80m for 6th class Rath. In 5th class we had Jason Woods 1st in Longjump with a jump of 3.75m, and Rebecca Balfe 2nd for 5th Class with a jump of 3.65m, 5th class did well in the long distance too with Eddie Allen 1st in the 800m and Jason 3rd in that 800m, Rebecca Balfe was 3rd in her 800m. Our relay teams did very well also 6th class girls came 1st with Emma Lawlor Gillian Keenan and Zoe Keegan, 6th class boys from Emo School were 3rd with Ned Ryan Eoin keenan and Evan Harding, while Rath 6th Class boys were winners with Donal Hetherington, Johnhenry Ward and Sean O’Flynn. Our 5th Class girls relay were 2nd with Rebecca Balfe, Victoria Moore and Kitty Deacy sub Jennifer Geoghan. There were over 350 athletes this year at the event so well done to everybody who competed. No 4th class children from Emo competed as they had rounders championships to attend.

Leinster championships were held in Tullamore on Sat and Sun 15th and 16th June.On Saturday we had Emma Lawlor and Gillian Keenan competing in hurdles both came 3rd in their heats first two qualified for the semifinals. Gillian Competed in the shot putt and Emma in the Highjump but unfortuneately neither were placed. Eoin Keenan threw well in the discus and came 3rd a wonderful achievement at Leinsters. Zoe Keegan competed in the Shot Putt and Javelin but was not placed. Brian Ryan competed in the 1500m. On day two of events Eddie Allen competed in the Longjump and 600m he had a heat time of two minutes flat but did not qualify for final. Rebecca Balfe and Victoria Moore competed in 80m sprint, Rebecca was 3rd in her heat but first two qualified for semi-finals. Rebecca ran in the 600m with a time of 2.02 but did not qualify for the final. Donal Hetherington ran well in 80m sprint and 800m distance but did not qualify for finals in either. Conor Montague ran well in his 600m, Una Hetherington ran well in her 100m sprint and Brian Ryan jumped well in his Highjump. Eoin Keenan threw well in shot putt and came 6th over all again a terrific achievent at Leinster level. The competition was fierce this year so well done to all of you.



Seniors - Tuesday and Thursday @ 7pm at the track. Saturday in Oakvale Woods, meet at 10.45, run starts at 11.00 sharp. Sunday: Training in Emo Court, Meet at 10.15, run at 10.30 sharp.


Tuesday and Thursday @ 7pm on track for sprints, long jump, hurdles, distance. Sunday @10.15am at Emo Court for 11yrs +. Throws and Shot Putt @ 6pm on Tuesday at the Track. Hammer and Discus @ 11 is on Sundays in St Fintan’s field.

Meet ‘N’ Train

The Portlaoise Athletic Club “Meet ‘N’ Train” programme continues each week, at the track on Thursdays from 6pm to 7pm.

If you are interested in continuing your current programme or thinking of starting training, why not come along and do it in a friendly atmosphere with likeminded people. This programme is also open to new members so spread the word and bring a friend. Membership forms will be available at the sessions.

Upcoming Races

Laois Credit Union Track & Field St Abbans: 19th July.

Leinster Juvenile Track and Field Championships

Tullamore Harriers was the venue for this year’s Juvenile T and F Championships. Over the two days we saw some fantastic performances from our athletes, some of whom had just finished their Junior Cert. Exams. It would be difficult to single out any one individual performance, but some in particular did stand out.

Aoife Campion has been going from strength to strength all year, and this weekend saw her set her first Leinster outdoor record. A superb run of 58.26 saw her take an amazing 4.45 seconds off the U-17 400m championship best performance. She followed this up with silver in the inter-county 4x100m relay.

Seodhna Hoey had personal best performances in all three of her events. On Saturday she was 3rd in a very close u16 Shot Putt with a throw of 10.18m. She followed this up with two gold medals on Sunday, with throws of 27.56m in Discus, and 39.81m in Hammer.

David Mulhare had a PB of 1.59.82 coming third in a very competitive U-19 800m on Saturday. He returned to the fray on Sunday where he had the performance of his Track and Field career with a fantastic run in the 1500m.His Gold medal performance of 4.04.74 was only 10 seconds away from breaking the Leinster record.

Anna Healy returned with no less than four championship medals from the weekend. On Saturday she was second in U-17 Triple Jump with 9.15m, and had a fine win in the 800m. She joined with Aoife Campion, Eimear Corri, and Lauren Kealy (St. Abban’s) to take silver in the Intercounty relay. She came back on Sunday to come 3rd in the 1500m.

Eimear Corri added a Long Jump Bronze (4.95m) to her relay silver medal. Injury forced her withdrawal from the 200m final, but her fourth place finish in 100m qualified her for the All Ireland. Dayna Graham was 6th in u16 Long Jump with 4.39m, and made the final of 100m.

Niamh Quinn’s jump of 4.81 secured the Bronze in u18 Long Jump, while she was second in 3000m, and Roisin Dunne was sixth.

Louise Stack almost missed her 1500m due to illness, but she recovered in time to finish 4th and qualified for her first Track and Field All Irelands.

Emer Healy was unlucky not to make the podium, but she will have been very happy with her excellent performances. She was seventh in U-13 High Jump, Her new Shot Putt PB of 10.02m should have been good enough for a medal, but this very competitive event saw a championship best performance from the winner, and Emer had to settle for 6th place.

Amy Walsh competed well in U-15 800m, Shot Putt, and 1500m, while twin sister Charlie competed in Long Jump. Katie Walsh took part in U-13 Shot Putt. Jack Fortune had to withdraw from U-15 100m final due to injury.

Elaine Daly threw very well in U-14 Shot, and twin sister Aoife was 6th in Javelin. They both competed in 200m, and joined with Emer Healy and Erone Fitzpatrick for the Inter-County relay.

This was a great weekend for the club. A great group of juveniles gave of their best, but the way they represented themselves in victory and defeat was just great to watch. Well done, guys!

Heart of Laois 10k

Well done to all who ran in this 10K in Abbeyleix, All had great runs in what was a lovely calm morning. First home was Aengus Burke 35.09, followed by Trevor McCormack 37.31, Trevor Percy 41.17, Maria Cuddy 48.48, Noreen McEvoy 50.07, Niamh Kavanagh 50.56, Amanda McDonald 51.36, Olywn Larkin 53.12, Elaine Moore 53.36, Denise Bonham 58.01, Sinead Ging 64.41, Geraldine Campion 65.31, Regina Daly 68.04, Ann Marie Delaney 68.16, and Laura Hosey 76.14

St Abban’s

Nessa Goes Sub 60

Getting a late call up to represent University of Limerick in their annual match against a USA selection, St Abban’s AC athlete Nessa Millet made excellent use of the American athletes to turn in a magnificent performance and set a new PB along with a club and county record when she clocked 59:87 for the 400m hurdles. Drawing a favourable lane on the inside of her American opponent it was obvious from the first hurdle that a great battle was under way. With the American having a slight advantage up to the 5th hurdle Nessa started to motor and it was level at the 7th hurdle with Nessa starting to get some daylight over the 8th and 9th. Unfortunate to strike the 10th theAmerican took advantage and had the momentum to the line to record a narrow victory. Nessa while initially disappointed not to win was more than happy when the times were announced and delighted to have broken new ground and to achieve the ‘B’ standard for the European junior championships.

Siobhan Happy with First Attempt

Another club athlete just fresh from completing her Leaving Certificate Siobhan Nash was an excellent 8th in the 10K Small Nations Race Walking event in Breda, Holland over the weekend. This was Siobhan’s first venture over 10K and she recorded a time of 57 minutes and 51 seconds and a narrow win for Ireland over England on a score of 32 points to 31 points, with Switzerland 3rd and Netherlands 4th, from Denmark 5th and Belgium 6th.

Congrats Alison

Many congratulations to Alison miller who was accorded a civic reception by Laois County Council on Wednesday last for her exploits as the star performer on the Irish ladies rugby team that won the first ever Six Nations, Triple Crown and the Grand Slam in 2013. Wishing Alison and the Irish team all the best for the World Sevens in Moscow over the next couple of weeks.

Happy Crew in Tullamore

The Leinster U-13 to U-19 championships were decided in Tullamore over the weekend. Our squad, though smaller than usual in numbers, acquitted themselves well and most came home happy and content. Oisin Ryan was 11th in his 800m and did the long jump, Dylan Byrne was 4th in his 800m, with Orla Davis 8th in the high jump with a 1.15m clearance.

Aran Murphy threw the javelin 35.43m for bronze with Mikayla Kelly getting the discus out to 23.40m for bronze also, while it was bronze as well for Liz Brophy in the hammer with a throw of 24.01m. James Moore was also a bronze medallist with 2-09.78 in the 800m and Cara Maher was in a similar position with 1-47.43 in the 600m metres.

Cian Kelly took silver in the high jump with a clearance of 1.50m while Daena Kealy also scored silver in the high jump with a jump of 1.45m, as well in the 800m in 2-30.85. Daena’s sister Lauryn took silver in her 800m in a fine time of 2-23.89

Ruby Millet struck gold in the long jump with a new P.B. of 4.46m and added bronze in the hurdles for good measure. Nicole Kehoe-Dowling had a very satisfactory championships taking the gold in the discus with 28.80m and silver in the javelin with a throw of 28.55m. Perhaps the performance of the weekend from a club perspective came from Tom Buggy running 1-45.24 in his heat of the 600m and going out later to run 1-43.04 in the final and take the gold medal in style down the home straight. Many congratulations to one and all and best wishes for the All-Ireland’s.

Wolfhill for Round 4

With such a fine turnout and a brilliant atmosphere in round 3 of the JFSports/Fit4life Summer League in Newtown we’re off to Wolfhill for the 4th stage this Wednesday 26th June. Those to feature among the spot prizes in Newtown included:- Tom Brenan (Coolcullen), Niall English (Coolnariska), Tony Gartland (Hacketstown), Mairead Moore (Ashfield), Sean Doyle (Tinryland), Fergal Doyle (St. Fiacc’s), Mags Phelan (Arles), Olyn Larkin (Portlaoise), Kate Bermingham (Carlow), Ann Marie O’Reilly (Newtown), Sharon Buggy (St. Abbans), Aisling Tayloe (Leighlinbridge), Gerry O’Regan (St. Fiacc’s), Linda McDonald (St. Fiacc’s), Caroline Wall (Bagenalstown and Jude McEvoy (Ballyadams). Naturally we would be delighted to see you and wish all those turning out another enjoyable experience in Wolfhill.

Graded Meet

Six St Abban’s club members took part in the Dublin graded meet last week and turned in some fine performances. Maire Griffith made her debut over 800m on the track with Lauryn Kealy recording 2-26.21 for 7th in the 800m. Stephen Lawlor ran 9-08.12 when finishing 18th in the 3K (He was also 3rd in the Eigse mile in Carlow), James Moore had a PB running 2-07.36 in the ‘C’ 800m finishing 3rd. It was another PB of 1-58.39 for Cormac Kelly in the ‘B’ 800m when leading them home. In the ‘A’ 800m it was the turn of Brian Kelly toshow how to do it when he came home in an excellent time of1-52.41 – a nice evenings work all round.

Colm and Niall in Abbeyleix

The heart of Laois 10K saw Niall English and Colm Burke record worthy performances in the Abbeyleix/Ballyroan promotion.

Primary Schools Results

Big numbers from all over the county led to some keen competition at the club grounds when the Laois Primary schools championships were decided. Local athletes to feature included Doireann Coogan, Ruby Millet, Nicole Dowling, Colin Dragoi and Tom Buggy from Moneenroe. Cara Maher, Ciara McDonald, Orla Davis and Aoife Cawley Killeshin. Dean Shields Newtown and the Ballylinan relay teamof Ronan Brennan, Larry Delaney and Eugene Arogundale. Again thanks to everyone that helped out.

All Primary school children are welcome to register for out summer camp early in August. The best value camp around, forms available in the clubhouse or on the St Abban’s AC club website.

St Michael’s

Ballyroan Abbeyleix AC 10k

St Michael’s AC were out in full force at the Ballyroan Abbeyleix AC 10k on Sunday16th June, fantastic performances were put in by all, but a particular well done to Olivia Sheering who was 3rd lady home in a time of 41.25, well done to all our other athletes who competed in this very well organised race.

Paddy Fitzgerald 5K

Our club was represented at the Paddy Fitzgerald 5K memorial run and juvenile races. Well done to all participants, full results to follow.

Adult Training Schedule

Senior Training takes place at Emo court every Tuesday at 7pm. This training caters for all levels of fitness from complete beginners to the more serious athlete, we love to see new members. John Fenlon leads the Tuesday training session

Sunday Morning Run

The long run on Sunday morning continues at the scheduled time of 10am – Meeting at Lidil contact Wes - 085-1252352.

St Michaels AC Club Contact Details

Website: e-mail:; Facebook: Search for “Michaels AC” send friend request. Contacts: Aidan Mullally Tel 087-6968844, Noel Coss Tel:087-9900840; Wes Reilly Tel: 085-1252352.

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