Thrills, Spills and Success in Nenagh

Sat/Sun 5/6 April 2008


When 'Part 1' of the 'All Ireland Indoors' took place on Sat/Sun 5/6 April, six young Tír Conaill/St John Bosco Athletes had a most successful experience at Nenagh's Indoor Arena. Accompanied by parents and coaches David Doherty and Jackie Harvey, athletes Kate McGowan, Ryan Haughey, Katie O'Grady, Ema Brady, Karen Tracey and Louise Harvey put in some remarkable performances.


On Saturday Ryan Haughey and Katie O'Grady competing in the Under 13 Boys and Girls Shot Putt disciplines both finished in excellent 10th positions with best putts of 7.54m [Ryan] and 5.63m [Katie]. Kate McGowan in an exciting Under 13, 60metres filled 4th place in her heat. With the first three from two heats progressing to the finals and two fastest losers club mentors hoped that Kate's time would be fast enough to gain a final qualification place. When the results were posted the Donegal Town lass was one place outside. Never the less ninth place in National final is no mean achievement.


On Sunday it was an early start for the trio of Emma Brady, Karen Tracey and Louise Harvey. The 60m Hurdles for all age groups commenced at 10.30am. It was hectic in the warm up area as approx 120 athletes in the 13 to 19 age groups attempted to warm up. Emma and Karen were drawn in separate heats of the Under 13 event. Karen got her stride pattern mixed up as she approached the first hurdle and consequently hurdled the remaining obstacles leading with her `weak' foot. She finished a close 4th and qualified for the afternoon final. In heat 2, Emma Brady, the smallest girl in the entire race was fast and aggressive from the start and won from Ulster Champion Aislinn Mc Phillips. Louise Harvey, in Heat 2 of the Girls Under 16 event ran a P.B. of 9.36 secs and entered the final with a real chance of victory.


The hurdles finals, ran in the early afternoon, were exciting, and closely fought with the electronic timing on numerous occasions being called upon to support the finish judges.


Girls Under 13, 60m Hurdles preparations for the Final


Girls Under 13, 60m Hurdles Assemble for the Final


Emma Brady on her way to winning the Girls Under 13, 60m Hurdles Heat 2


Karen Tracey & Emma Brady line up in Under 13, 60m Hurdles Final


Emma Brady in Under 13, 60m Hurdles Final


Karen Tracey & Emma Brady


Emma Brady with mum Thiss


In the Girls U13 final Clodagh Fitzgerald, Carrick on Suir, the fastest qualifier, won by a stride -10.20secs - from the fast finishing Ulster pair of McPhillips and Brady. The Monaghan girl getting the silver -10.39secs against the Donegal Town girls' 10.42secs time. It took the electronic timing to decide the places as three hundredths of a second can be described as centimetres. Karen Tracey, 10.71secs, ran a super race, battled all the way and was delighted with her 6th place finish.


The Under 16 Girls final was an even closer affair. One hundredth of a second separated Chloe Fahy and Louise Harvey and it was thirty minutes after the race that the result was announced. The Tír Conaill/St John Bosco lass, recently introduced to starting blocks, led by a fraction as the athletes touched the ground after the last hurdle. It was a scramble for the finish line with the Munster girl getting the verdict.


Louise Harvey in red vest, centre lane


Louise Harvey on her way to winning


Result Chloe Fahy, Nenagh, 9.21 secs PB, Louise Harvey 9.22secs PB and Tara Fogarty, Carrick on Suir, 9.67 secs.


First three in Girls Under 16 Hurdles Final


Louise Harvey & Chloe Fahy in Girls Under 16 Hurdles Final


Girls Under 16 Hurdles Medal Winners

Louise Harvey, Chloe Fahy & Tara Fogarty


Electronic Timer at finish


The club would like to congratulate all six athletes on their outstanding performances and thank the parents and coaches that travelled to support and coach.



The Tír Conaill ¸Club would also like to extend a word of congrats to athletes from the following Donegal Clubs that achieved medal winning places over the weekend - Sliabh Liag, Rosses, Cranford, Innishowen, Letterkenny and Finn Valley. It's the largest cross section of clubs, in the history of the sport in the county, to achieve such success at National level in a single weekend. Numerous performances during the two days were outstanding but the story behind Letterkenny's Darren McBrearty Under 18 -1,500m -4mis 11 secs, bronze medal winning final performance had to be witnessed to be believed. Early in the race, following a settling in period he was spiked in the heel and lost a spike/shoe. To run on tartan in the bare feet is guaranteed to encourage blisters. Approaching half way in the race he took a tumble and bloodied his elbows, right side and knees. The skin burn from falling on tartan is not pleasant. He dragged himself from the track and gradually worked his way back into contention. As the race was entering the crucial final laps and tactical decisions were being made about long runs for home Daragh again found himself on his face on the track. He already had won the affection of the large crowd and the commentator with his earlier heroical fight back. Again he hauled himself to his feet and with deafening support passed runner after runner to cross the finish line in third place. It certainly won't be the last we will hear about his lad. To run 4mins 11 secs on a blistered foot, following two nasty falls has to be performancece of the year.

Looking forward to next weekend we wish the following athletes every success:

1. Aoife O'Connor, Louise Harvey, Kelly McGrory and Emma Brady who are part of Donegal Sportshall teams in Birmingham and

2. The Under 13 and Under 17 Girls relay teams of Kelly McGrory, Emma Brady, Kate McGowan and Karen Tracey, Aife O'Connor, Louise Harvey, Kitty O'Kennedy and Amie Brogan who compete in Nenagh next Sunday when the final part of the Indoor All Ireland Juvenile takes place.