09 July 2014 - Karl Griffin and Kate McGowan win National Junior titles in Cork

The opening thirty minutes of competition in the Irish Junior/U20 Championships at the Cork IT Stadium on Sunday Morning had messages on ‘Facebook’ reading ‘Kate McGowan and Kelly McGrory finish 1st and 2nd in 400hurdles at National Juniors in Cork this morning. Both had huge PB’S with Kate getting under 62secs and Kelly close behind. McGowan came from 4th to 1st in final the 50 metres’.This was the beginning of a successful fairy tale days competition for seven club athletes who went on to record numerous PB’s win nine medals, three National Titles, secure three runners up spots, one bronze medal finish and two 4th place finishes.


The three National titles came at the extreme ends of the day. Kate McGowan and Kelly McGrory have had a roller coaster week. On Wednesday night they lined up in Belfast in an International meet at the Mary Peters Track, were not fazed and ran very positively. Daily throughout the week they supported and coached in a very successful club summer camp. On Saturday morning they travelled to Tullamore and as part of a successful quartet smashed the Irish 4 x 100m U19 age group CBP. It could be argued that this was not ideal preparation for Sunday’s Junior Championships.


The women’s 400m Hurdles over ten 2’6’’ flights of barriers spaced 35metres apart is one of the most demanding events in track and field athletics. Words such as courage, rhythm, oxygen debt, lactic acid, technique and energy systems can be used to describe. McGowan, Lane 2 and McGrory Lane 4 ran the opening 200m controlled and conservatively and were placed in 5th and 3rd positions when the real race began with 150m to go. Kelly ‘clobbered’ the 8th hurdle while Kate held her form with two barriers to go. At the final barrier and 50 metres remaining both girls continued to attach. Kate came from 4th to win a remarkable race in a new PB time of 61.88secs while Kelly who had fought her way to 2nd prior to Kate’s final effort pushed again for a runners up spot at the finish line, a one/two for friends and club mates. Result 400m H

(1) Kate McGowan 61.88

(2) Kelly McGrory 62.33

(3) Leanne Prout, Carrick on Sur 62.88

Kate McGowan wins 400m Hurdles at Irish Junior/U20 in Cork



As the afternoon came to a close, Karl Griffin lined up in an eight man 800m final, had qualified via semi-finals earlier in the afternoon. The opening lap was conservative with one of the favourites, Robert Tully, Star of the Sea, leading the field through the bell. The Meath man, who had secured a 2nd standard for the World Championships in Belfast’s International meet on Wednesday night and where he also finished in front of Griffin began to wind up the pace, Karl covered every move and in a blistering attach at 150m to go overtook and outsprinted Robert for a most satisfying victory. The final lap was covered in 53 seconds.

Karl Griffin, UCD/Tir Chonaill AC centre

Winner of National Junior 800m with Robert Tully. 737,

silver and Cian McBride 719 bronze



County Record for Relay Team
The relays at the end of the day found the club quartet of Brady, McGowan, McMullan and McGrory show very little sign of tired limbs when they impressively powered their way to a new county record of 48.46secs, a record of 48.98secs that has stood for over twenty years and was held by the St Columba’s school quartet of Michelle Given, [Lifford] Anne Marie Lynch, [Finn Valley] Elish Levelle, [Finn Valley] and Shauna Colhoun, [Lifford].

Tir Chonaill Girls Team that smashed Irish Championships Record

at Tullamore and County 4 x 100m Record at Irish Championships in Cork

L-R: Emma Brady, Kate McGowan, Eva McMullan and Kelly McGrory


More Impressive Performances
Eva McMullan, from Ballyshannon, was delighted with her 400m performance. She ran a positive race and showed a lot of determination and dug very deep over the final 70metres to record a PB time of 60.21secs and wins a bronze medal, her first at National level.

Eva McMullan comes home to win bronze

in 400m at Irish Junior Championships


Eva McMullan 400m Bronze Medal Winner


Barry Quigg, from Carrick, secured a silver medal in the U23 High Jump with a best of 1.85m and later finished 4th in the Triple Jump with a 13.36m PB recording.


Conal Mahon, from Irivinstown, a 3rd level colleague of Barry Quigg’s, at NUIG, took bronze in the triple jump with a best of 13.39metres. Conal expressed some dissatisfaction afterwards as he expected a better placing, he is a 14m + triple jumper.


Emma Brady, filled 4th in the Junior Triple Jump with a best of 10.43m.


Finally Christopher Doherty, who has been having the season of his life, was the unfortunate athlete of the weekend. The Gortloskey, Donegal Town, based Trinity College, medical student achieved PB’s during the past month, most recent 4.20metres. On Sunday evening he warmed up confidently and entered the competition at 4 metres, alas he no heighted and the possibility of a national winning medal evaporated. However Christopher re assess, learn from the experience and move on.

Christopher Doherty, Barry Quigg and Conal Mahon at irish Juniors in Cork

Congrats to all seven on a remarkable and successful weekend and thanks to club coaches and parents that travelled to support.