Donore Harriers held their Annual Awards Evening at the Spa Hotel in Lucan on Friday evening (12/12/14). The main guest was Professor Ciaran O’Cathain, the President of the Athletics Association of Ireland and a former member of the club.
The awards celebration brought together the various sections of the club and was a wonderful tribute to the club’s individual and team successes in 2014. It was also a chance to award emerging athletes under the ‘most improved’ categories.
Thomas Byrne, the club’s President, made the opening and closing addresses and thanked all the coaches and volunteers for their continued dedicated work in promoting the club and the athletes. Again a special mention must go to Linda McDonnell who was the chief organiser of the event and gave great attention to detail so as to ensure a wonderful event.
The award winners for best athlete and most improved athlete in the various squads are as follows:
Track and Field Squad ages 8 to 14 (Coached by Ray O’Keeffe & Liam Brennan)
Best Athlete: Kolade Abiodum
Kolade won 8 Dublin titles including the Dublin League. He won the national indoors title for the 60m hurdles and the national outdoors gold in the 250m hurdles. He also won the national combined events title.
Most Improved Athlete: Cara Brennan & Robyn O’Keeffe
Cara and Robyn medalled at the Dublin indoors and outdoors track and field championships and were an integral part of the relay squad that took national bronze.
Sprints Squad ages 8 to 13 (Coached by Philip Martin)
Most Improved Athlete: Brooke Fagan
Distance Squad ages 8 to 13 (Coached by Oana Onofrei)
Most Improved Athlete: Alan Reid
Track and Field Squad ages 13 to 19 (Coached by John Geoghegan and Paul Clarkin)
|Best Athlete: Jack Rudden Kelly
Jack is a very versatile, multi-event athlete. Some of his achievements in the last year include a bronze medal in the Shot Pull and silver medal in the Hurdles at the National Indoor championships. He won gold in the Leinster Schools competing in his favoured 100m Hurdles event (PB of 13.71) and then went on to win a silver medal at the All Ireland Schools. He also took a silver medal in the Leinster Schools championships in the High Jump.
Jack represented Ireland in the Schools International Combined event at Glasgow last December and during the summer he was on the Ireland team that competing in the Celtic Games at Santry against the other home countries.
Most Improved Athlete: Alex Clarkin
Alex won a silver medal in the All Ireland combined events and following an injury recovered to win silver in the Leinster Schools combined event achieving 3 personal bests.
Long Term Development Distance Squad ages 13 to 19 (Coached by Gerry Naughton)
Best Athlete: Fathi Aden
Fathi won the Dublin under 14s cross country championship and then became the first Donore Harriers athlete since John Travers to win a national juvenile cross country title when he won the under 14s championship recently at Dundalk. He won gold and silver medals in the under 14s and under 15s inter-county cross country championships representing Dublin.
Most Improved Athlete: Suzanne Masterson
Suzanne won the Dublin cross country league in the under 16s category and was a member of the Dublin team that won gold medals at the national inter-county cross country championships.
Senior Track and Field Squad (Coached by Gerry Ronan)
Best Athlete: Sean Lawlor
Sean won the under 17s national indoor 200m championship and the All Ireland schools in both the 100m and 200m. He went on to win the Tailteann Games setting games records in both the 100m and 200m. He captained the Irish schools team at an international meeting in Glasgow and was captain again when he represented Ireland at the Celtic Games in Santry
Most Improved Athlete: Lauren O’Keefe
Lauren became the Leinster Schools hammer throwing champion adding 8 metres to the previous school record. She went on to win silver in the All Ireland schools and was also a silver medallist in the Under 16s National Juvenile Track & Field championship in her specialist Hammer event. She improved her personal best by an astonishing 23 metres this year.
Senior Women (Coached by Jim McNamara and Florrie Curley)
Best Athlete: Anne Curley
Winner of the Derry Marathon in 2.57.51, she then recorded a time of 2.58 in the Berlin Marathon – her 10th marathon, all run in sub 3 hours. She was a scoring member of the Donore Harriers team that won silver medals in the Dublin senior cross country championships. Anne recently represented Ireland in the British & Irish Masters at Nottingham.
Most Improved Athlete: Elaine Verdon
Only two years in the sport, Elaine lowered her marathon PB to 3.53 and her half-marathon time to 1.42.50 this year. She also won her first championship medal when she won bronze on the Donore Harriers team in the Dublin 10 mile masters race.
Women Masters (Coached by Jim McNamara and Florrie Curley)
Best Athlete: Ann Woodlock
76 years old Ann is an inspirational figure in Irish athletics. This year she won a W75 3000m silver medal and a W75 1500m bronze medal at the European Masters championships at Budapest. She recently represented Ireland at the British & Irish maters cross country at Nottingham.
Meet and Train Squad (Coached by Jim McNamara & Sue Lynch)
Best Athlete: Emer Rattigan
Emer won the 4 mile event in the Meet & Train road league in the Phoenix Park last summer and recorded 2nd and 3rd placings in other league fixtures. She has also competed well for the club at novice and intermediate cross country championships.
Fit for Life Squad (Coached by Barry Potts)
Best Athlete: Ann Rush
Ann regularly competes in road and mountain races; her exploits included an Alpine race this year. She also lines out annually in the Achill half-marathon and her commitment to training and encouragement to other squad members make her a worthy winner.
Most Improved Athlete: Deirdre Brennan
Since joining the squad two years ago Deirdre has lowered her personal best time for 5 kilometres from 45 minutes to 26 minutes – a true mark of her dedication!
Senior Men (Coached by John Downes, Iain Morrison & Mick Bourke)
Best Athlete: John Travers
John represented Ireland in the 1500m at the European senior Track & Field championships in the summer. This followed his spine tingling performance in the Morton Mile at Santry Stadium with a massive personal best of 3.55.44; and then his bronze winning run in the national 1500 metres that ensured his qualification to the Irish team.
John was a key man in Donore Harriers Track & Field League team that won promotion, doubling up to score crucial points in the 1500m and 800m in the League final at Tullamore. His strong team/club ethos was also prominent when he placed 4th in the National Senior Inter-Club cross country championship and in the process led the Donore Harriers team to bronze medals. He recently placed 2nd in the Dublin senior cross country championship and won the University athlete of the season award.
Last week John set a new course record (14.05) when winning the Jingle Bells 5km race in the Phoenix Park.
Most Improved Athlete: Lee Van Haeften
Lee was the second scorer on the Donore team that won bronze medals at the National Inter-Club cross country championships. He improved his 5km PB to 14.41 at a British Milers club meet at Manchester and placed 7th in the national 10.000m on the track with 31.25 PB time.
Junior Men (Coached by John Downes)
Best Athlete: Oisin Fitzgibbon
Oisin placed 4th in the National under 17s 3000m in a time of 9.00.04, taking more than 30 seconds off his previous best time. He improved his 5km time from 17.23 to 15.55 when winning the junior category at the Kilcock road race in the summer.
Most Improved Athlete: Sam Gallagher
Sam ran a personal best of 16.49 when winning a 5km race in Central Park, New York in the summer. He was second junior in the Kilcock 5km in a time of 16.59. He shows great aptitude and knows no fear when it comes to racing.
Masters Men (Coached by John Downes, Iain Morrison and Mick Bourke)
Best Athlete: John Dunne
John won the Dublin Masters Championship in 2014 and finished 3rdOverall in the National Masters Cross Country and led the Donore team to Gold in the Dublin team Masters and bronze in the National team Masters Cross-Country. He was the key 4th scorer when securing the bronze medal for the club in the national inter-club cross country championships.
John earned his first Irish vest finishing 3rd scorer on the Irish M35 team that won silver medals in the British & Irish cross country championship at Nottingham. On the road he anchored our masters relay team to second place medals in the M35 class. John improved his PBs to 16.05 for 5km and 33.29 for 10km. More recently he was the runaway winner of the Dublin intermediate cross country championship.
Most Improved Athlete: Niall Lynch
Niall won the Leinster Masters cross country championship having dominated the race at Avondale. He led the Irish team, finishing 8th, to silver medals in the British & Irish Masters championships at Nottingham, having previously won the Irish M40 trial at the Phoenix Park. He won the gold medal in the Dublin M40 category and was a part of the Donore Harriers gold medal team in the M35-49 class.
Niall placed 5th in the Dublin Novice cross country leading home the winning Donore Harriers team. He was second Over 35 in the National Half-Marathon and was part of the Donore team that won silver medals.
Niall ran in some of the Irish Mountain Running Association races in the summer and regularly placed in the top 5.
Team of the Year
Winner: Men’s Senior Track & Field Team (Captained by David Campbell and Managed by Maurice Ahern)
Having narrowly missed promotion in the previous two years it was a case of ‘job well done’ this season under the excellent leadership of captain David Campbell and team manager Maurice Ahern.
Having made it through to the Division One league final following strong team performances at the qualifying rounds at Sligo and Athlone it was all down to the last day at Tullamore. With the addition of some very talented junior and juvenile athletes and with a stronger throwing section developed during the winter months the team went into this year’s league final determined to win. On the day athletes like Eamon Fahey, Niall Allen, John Travers, Jaco Oostenhuven, Eoin Molly, Sean Lawlor, David Campbell, Conor Fox, Conor O’Ceallaigh, Ray Hynes and Mark Dooley all performed magnificently to ensure an 8 points victory over runner-up Nenagh Olympic with Kilkenny City Harriers four points further back. Eric Keogh (injured) and Rolus Olosu (away) were unable to compete on the day, but were integral to the team’s qualification through to the final.
Club Person of the Year:
Winner: Leonie Newman
Leonie is the Juvenile Team Manager for both Track & Field and Cross Country. In that capacity she ensures all team entries and arrangements. She also makes herself busy in supporting other club activities such as social events, fundraising and registrations. Leonie also acts as an official during competitions and represents the juvenile interests of the club at Dublin Athletics Board meetings.
Together with Juvenile Section Secretary Linda McDonnell she has been central to the growing status of the club’s juvenile squads through her organizational abilities and her care and attention to the needs of the athletes.
A very worthy and popular winner indeed!
At a special reception held at the Glashaus Hotel in Tallaght on Thursday evening (11/12/14) Jim McNamara was inducted into theEcho Sports Hall of Fame. Young sprints star Sean Lawlor was short listed in the sports star of the year category. The awards are held every year in conjunction with the South Dublin County Sports Partnership.