Tullamore Harriers Club Report 31st August 2020

Emily Grennan Takes All Ireland Senior Medal 
 
The final sessions of the Athletics Ireland Senior Outdoor Track and Field Championships took place at the weekend in Santry Stadium in Dublin. With the stadium empty and parents and coaches either hooked to the livestream on YouTube or staring in through the few gaps in the stadium fencing it was a surreal experience for all those taking part. 
Emily Grennan was competing in the 3000m Steeplechase in her first senior championships. A lack of races due to Covid and then the mini lockdown of Laois, Offaly and Kildare meant that Emily lined up having not raced a Steeplechase race in over 12 months. Still she looked confident and for the first 5 laps kept a good rhythm going as she clocked 90 seconds for each lap ran. She also looked comfortable over the barriers, particularly the water jump. In the last kilometer Emily dug deep to get home and ran a massive PB of 11.35. 
Winning the race was Michelle Finn from Cork who ran in the Rio Olympics and has the qualifying standard for the Japan Olympics next year. Emily had ran alongside Aoibinn McGoldrick from Dublin for the first mile and half when a gap opened up with McGoldrick getting a significant lead. Then with two hundred meters to go Emily started to gain as the dublin woman faltered over the last three jumps. Emily’s late burst wasn’t enough for silver but she and her coaches were delighted with her first National Senior medal. 
Emily started running ten years ago when she was spotted by Tom Godley at a trial he organized in Killina Secondary School. She was slow to commit to the sport and in her first year came to training once a week. It’s interesting to note that with a lack of races available Tom put Emily through a 2000m Time Trial  ten days ago to try and give her confidence for the then upcoming All Irelands. 
 
Ava and Ruby Gain Experience at 800m
 
Sixteen year old’s Ava O’Connor and Ruby Stueven competed in the 800m at the Senior Championships. In the heats Ava ran at the front of her race from the gun and qualified for the Senior final. Ruby failed to make the final as she made her first appearance at the Senior Championships level but gained valuable experience against some women much older than herself. 
In the final Ava found herself in lane two and three as the race was run in a tactical fashion. She dug in on the second lap and fought all the way to the line to finish 9th and to run 2.12 just a second off her PB. Like Ruby the weekend will have given Ava valuable experience for the years ahead!
 
Emmanual Ilori returned from college this summer to both compete with and help coach his Tullamore Harriers track & field colleagues. The last two weekends seen him take part in the National Senior Athletics Championships; weekend one seen him race the 100m where conditions were anything but favourable for sprints with strong headwinds however Emmanual defied the conditions to run a personal best of 11.47 seconds into a -2.4 wind. Weekend two he contested the 200m and again mix with the very best in the country and this time in more favourable conditions he equaled his personal best of 23.13 seconds. Next weekend he will be lining up with some of those he is now coaching and many more Tullamore athletes in the National Junior Championships and in a season where competition has been scarce these recent races and his form should help set him up nicely for his junior championships.