Athenry Athletic Club – Summer 2005

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With two Irish Senior International Athletes, Paul Hession, and Paul McNamara, the past year has been the most successful to date for the club.

Many individual titles both National and International were won and the Club also had teams competing in National marathon, half marathon and road races throughout Ireland.

Track and Field

The season concluded with Paul Mc Namara taking the silver medal in the 10,000m in 30.14.6 at the National T&F Championships at Santry in July and Paul Hession taking the gold medal in the 200m in 21.43 sec in blustery conditions at the same competition. For Paul Hession, this was the completion of a season in which he strove to achieve the Olympic qualifying time of 20.59 sec for 200m.

In June Paul won the 100m and 200m events at the AAI games in Santry. His time for the 200m was an excellent 20.96 sec. Competing at Celle Ligure in Italy on 29th June, Paul took second place in 200m in 29,90 sec. Four days later he took second place in 200m at the Cork City sports in 20.85 sec. The following day he won the 200m at the National U23 Championships in Tullamore in 21.52 sec. On 17th July, Paul won the 200m at the Flanders games in Belgium in 20.88 sec. in wet and windy conditions. Two days later, Paul competed at the Grand Prix meet at Thessaloniki in Greece where he won the 200m in 20.61 sec. an agonizing 0.02 sec off the Olympic qualifying time. The following weekend Paul competed at the National Championships in Santry as outlined above.

Cross-Country & Road Racing.

For Paul McNamara, this was his best season to date in road racing and Cross-Country. Finishing in the first five in all major National Championships, he was also selected on the Irish Senior men’s teams for the European and World Cross-Country Championships, and also represented Ireland at the Grand Prix Races in Belfast and Cardiff.

In August, Paul finished in 4th place in the National Half Marathon Championships in Castlebar in a time of 67.45.5 in a race won by Seamus Power in 63.20.20. In November, Paul finished in 5th place in the National Inter-Counties Cross-County in Dungarvan and also lead home Galway to 2nd place in the team competition. On St. Stephens Day, he won the Fields of Athenry 10k road race in 31.11 with Gary Thornton of GCH in second place.

At The National Senior Cross-Country Championships held in Santry in February, Paul took the individual Bronze medal in the 12,000m event. In a sprint finish for the line over the final 100m, Paul overtook Joe Mc Allister of St. Malachys, Belfast who had beaten Paul into 2nd place in the 10.000m on the Track the previous July.

In March, Paul took 4th place in the National Short Course (4000m) Championship and also finished in 2nd places in the Connemara half Marathon run from Leenane to Maam Cross. The race was won by Kenyan athlete Lazan Kimutai who was the winner of the 2004 Dublin Marathon.

Paul finished the season by winning the National Senior 10k Road race Championship of Ireland, held at Cappamore in Co. Limerick, taking the Gold medal in a time of 30min.56sec.

Indoor Championships.

At the end of January, Paul Hession won the 200m at the Birmingham Games. His time of 21.12 sec in the semi-final was within the qualifying time for the European Indoor Championships to be held in Madrid. In February he took the silver medal in the 60m at the National Senior indoor Championship. In Sheffield Paul achieved one of the high points of his career, taking the gold medal in the 200m in a time of 21.01sec.

At The European Indoor Championships in Madrid, Paul achieved took second place his first round heat in a personal best time of 20.80 sec. In the semi-final, Paul finished in 3rd place in 21.03 sec. With two athletes from each heat advancing to the final, Paul’s time for the semi-final was the 8th fastest time for the round.

Juvenile Athletics

School All-Ireland Track and Field Championships.

In June, Claire Rockall took the gold medal in the junior girls 1500m in a time of 4.51.39 at the National Finals in Tullamore. Claire McNamara took the silver medal in the Intermediate girl’s High jump with a clearance of 1.60m while Sarah Connolly took the bronze medal in the junior girls 800m in 2.25.41. ln the junior girls Pentathlon (combined score in 75m Hurdles, Long jump, High Jump, Shot putt and 800m) Claire Rockall took the individual Silver medal with a score of 2777 points. This earned her automatic selection on the Irish Schools team for the Schools International Pentathlon, held in Grangemouth, Scotland in December, where Claire finished in 5th place over-all with a very good score of 3063 points.

AAI All-Ireland Track and Field Championships.

Maria Tuohy took the gold medal in the Girls U10 Ball throw. The U10 relay team of Maria Tuohy, Niamh Kindregan, Maria Cooney and Orlaith McGrath took the silver medals in the 4x50m contest. Rachel Shaw took silver medals in the Girls U13 60m hurdles and 600m. The girls U14 relay team of Rachel Shaw, Rebecca Nolan, Aoife Tuohy and Katelyn Duane put in a magnificent performance to take the gold medals in the 4x100m contest. Aoife Bannon, Karen Hession, Elaine Tuohy and Sarah Connolly took the silver medal in the 300m and the bronze medal in 800m. In the Girls U15 pentathlon Claire Rockall took the gold medal with a score of 2874 points. In the “B” Track and Field Championships, Christopher Lally took the bronze medal in the U14 long jump and Elaine Tuohy won the gold medal in the U16 800m.

Schools All-Ireland Cross-Country.

Claire Rockall took the individual silver medal in the Junior Girls competition which earned her automatic selection on the lrish Schools Team for the Schools International CrosI-Country Championships to be held in Northop in Wales where Claire finished in 13th place overall.

AAI All-Ireland Cross-Country.

Claire Rockall won the Girls ul6 Pentathlon in Nenagh in January with a score of 2981 points. Sinead Tuohy took the bronze medal in the girl’s U13 high jump. Rachel Shaw took the silver medal in the girls U15 60m hurdles. The girl’s U15 relay team took the gold medals in their 4x 200m contest with the winning team of Conor Caulfield, Kevin Madden, Liam Finnerty and Thomas Flynn. David Neary took the silver medal in the U18 60m sprint.

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About this record

Written by Dermot McNamara

Published here 08 Jan 2024 and originally published Summer 2003

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