John Buckley Graded League Rd 4:
Last night we had 5 athletes competing in the fourth and final round of the John Buckley Graded League. Kevin O'Brien came close to breaking the 2 minute barrier for the first time with 2.00:10 but even despite a desperate dip for the line it was not to be. Fiona running her second 800m of the year ran an excellent second lap holding of a girls from Emerald AC and Youghal to win in 2.24. Norah was also in the same race and ran an unconfirmed 2.53. For the final race of the night Donal and Eadaoin lined up in the 3000m. Donal, missing his usual racing partners, tucked in behind Grace Lynch for 6 laps and shamelessly let her do all the work. With 600m to go he made his move for the finish and crossed the line in a brilliant 9.46. Some would say a great racing strategy others might question his ethics.
Eadaoin, in the same race, ran 11.49. This was a few seconds down on the previous 3k but without the "company" of Michelle it was a great solo effort. In the spirit of the graded league, Frank and Patrick chanced their arms at a 200m. Frank ran 25.90 and Patrick 27 seconds. The saying "Use it or lose it" comes to mind for this, that sort of speed doesn't stay with you forever. Although paradoxically we did see Flor O'Leary run a O85 World record in the 200m. Running it in under 45 seconds!!
Shane Harrington traveled to his ancestral homeland of Bere Island at the weekend to run the Bere Island Midsummer run. He was 2nd overall. Squad member Caitriona also ran and was one of the leading ladies. Results to follow. Frank ran in the National Juveniles on Sunday and was 8th in the U-19 1500m in 4.38.
National League Final - Tullamore July 20th:
The National League Final is on this Saturday in Tullamore. The teams have been announced and we have three athletes selected. Kevin O'Leary has caught the selectors eyes with his very impressive recent 5k performances on the roads. After back to back 15.23 and 15.37 last week he will spearhead the charge in the mens 5000m. Kevin O'Brien will put on the Captains armband and double up again in the 1500m and the 800m for the third time this year. Fiona, who doubled up in the previous round competing in the 1500m and the 3000m, has been strategically picked for just the 3000m this time around. With the women having a realistic chance of promotion to Premier division there will be pressure on our most successful athlete this year to deliver the goods! Interestingly Fiona has won 57% of all her races this year, so all in good hands.
Other squad athletes that will be competing will be Frank O'Brien in the 3k Steeple.
General Info - The National League is divided into two groups with promotion and relegation between the two. The top tier is the Premier Division and the second tier is Division 1. 2018 was the first year in a long time that the East Cork Division had entered teams in the National League and it was a successful one in division 1. The women qualified for the finals and while the men were competitive in the first two rounds they just missed out making the finals. A year on we have taken another step forward with the women leading the way. They qualified for the final in joint top position with Waterford County on 219 points and have a very realistic possibility of getting promoted to the Premier division for next year with a big performance on Saturday. The mens team have also qualified for the final finishing in 7th position in the qualifying rounds out of 12 teams. A great result for the men would be top 5 overall.
See full teams announced below and qualifying positions.