Siobhan Whelan (left) and Ciara O’Neill at the National Junior Championships in Santry last weekend where Siobhan won the Junior 1,500m gold.
Santry was the venue last weekend when the cream of Irish athletes assembled for the National Junior and Under 23 Championships, with many of these athletes already qualified for the European Championships.
It was brilliant to see three talented athletes from the Clonmel Athletic Club performing so well on the national stage, it augurs well for the future.
Saturday saw Evan Fitzgerald compete in his first National Track Championships when he competed in the under 23 5,000m. Evan ran a great race throughout, putting in a massive effort over the final 800m (2 mins 14 secs) and on the final lap he produced a super 64 second lap to finish third in a brilliant time of 14 mins 55.48 secs, a massive personal best. His previous best was 15 mins 0.35 secs set earlier this year. It is worth noting that Evan is eligible for this event again in 2022.
On Sunday we had Siobhan Whelan competing in the Junior women’s 1,500m. Here we witnessed a class act. Right from the start Siobhan moved up the inside lane and after 100m was in control of the race. She gave a masterclass of a tactical front running performance. She ensured that the pace was strong enough that soon saw the field dwindle down to a small group at the front. She maintained that pace and she was able to inject pace whenever it was needed to ensure that she was in command. Then on the final lap she increased the pace, ensuring that she was ready for any challengers. The challenges came down the back straight and around the final bend, but she withstood all of them to come home a very worthy champion in 4 mins 34.79 secs, a superb and mature performance by this talented athlete.
In the under 23 women’s 1,500m race the club was represented by Ciara O’Neill. Ciara, making her debut in these championships, put in a brilliant effort over the final 200m to move in fifth place and closing on the fourth spot when crossing the line in 4 mins 48.62 secs.
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