Eagle athletes win 5 medals at 2018 National Masters Indoor T&F Chmpionships

EAGLE ATHLETES WIN FIVE MEDALS AT THE NATIONAL MASTERS INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ATHLONE…A short report by Ken Higgs

Hugh McSweeney and Ken Higgs represented the club at the National Masters Indoor Championships on Saturday March 10th 2018. An action packed day at the magnificent AIT Indoor Arena began with Hugh winning the silver medal in the M70 long jump followed very quickly with a bronze medal in the 60m dash (which was won by another Cork athlete Brendan Dennehy of Rising Sun AC).

Hugh bronze 60m-620pix

Hugh McSweeney (L) getting a bronze medal for 60m in the M70 category ,with Brendan Dennehy (Rising Sun AC) getting gold.

My first race was the M65 800m, where I faced daunting opposition from the legendary Joe Gough (who recently broke the world record for the distance) and Martin McEvilly (the National Masters M65 cross country champion). Joe won the gold with ease but surprisingly I found a kick coming down the home straight to win the silver medal in a PB time of 2.43.

Ken in 800m-620pix

Ken Higgs crossing the line to get the silver medal in the M65 800m with Martin McEvilly of Galway City Harriers AC finishing third to take the bronze.

The M65 400m race followed shortly after and I benefited from some pre-race tactical advice from Hugh, a former European Masters Indoor 400m medalist. So holding back on the first lap I finish strongly to get the silver medal on the dip (again in a PB time of 1.09.).

Ken and Joe Gough 2-620pix

Ken Higgs (R) with a silver medal alongside Joe Gough of West Waterford AC (gold) for the M65 400m.

Hugh completed the silver medal haul with a strong run in the M70 200m pushing the winner John McDermott of Sligo AC all the way to the line.

Hugh silver 200m-620pix

Hugh McSweeney (L) with his silver medal for the 200m, along side John McDermott of Sligo AC (gold) and Earl Taylor of Mid Ulster AC (bronze)

At this point everything had gone really well, which brings me to the last race on the track the M65 1500m. It was late in the afternoon, the head and the legs were tired and no longer on the same page. The plan was to hang back and hope for a surge over the last lap, however the reality was quite different. Somehow I found myself leading lead the race for the first six laps only to blow up on the last lap to finish fourth.

Despite this setback, the Masters indoor track and field meeting had been a wonderful experience. It was really great to compete but it was also great to see the wide diversity of events and the high quality of performances across the Masters age categories. During the day I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Kiely, a former Eagle member from the early days of the club. A very fine runner who still competes on the track and wins medals in the M70 category. Overall it had been a very enjoyable and successful day at the races and I thoroughly recommend the indoor track to all our club members.

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