Success at the community games

Success at the community games

(With thanks to Coach Keith for this fantastic report)

After qualifying through both the area of Dunboyne and Meath our Dunboyne AC girls made it to the National stage of the Community Games being hosted by University of Limerick. This year we had a 4 X 100 U/14 Girls relay team made up of Lucy Eglington, Kala Ryan, Kate Griffin and Rachel Norman, also we had Lorena Harrisson competing up in age in the girls U/16 100m and of course Rachel Norman again in Long Jump.

Getting to this stage alone is a huge achievement never mind making a final. To qualify you have to win at area level to then go through the rounds at County where you are required to finish in 1st place just to make the qualifying rounds at the Nationals. To put into perspective, at Olympic level once selected an Athlete may have 2 rounds to get to a final but at Community Games an Athlete may have to go through 8 rounds of qualifying in order to make a final.

So Limerick it was was for these 5 girls where UL did a fantastic job and put on a wonderful show with excellent atmosphere and facilities.
An early start on Saturday saw the relay team of Lucy, Kala, Kate and Rachel up for a round of qualifying to come out 1st in their heat and qualifying with ease into the Semi Final. Later in the afternoon the quartet up again in a tough heat where they qualified again with ease in to the finals taking place on the Sunday. Back home late, up again on Sunday for the long trip to Limerick for the final. This time it was different. Nerves were showing from all teams in the U/14 Girls 4 X 100m final. Meath/Dunboyne drawn lane 7. Lucy got off to a brilliant start, with first team to change the baton with Kala who battled up the back straight in lane 7, again a perfect change into Kate, who stormed the bend and handed the baton into Rachel who dominated up the home straight holding her place and not giving up with a finish in 3rd place claiming the bronze medal. What a race, finally these girls who have finished 4th this year at the indoors, schools and all Ireland’s to finally get a medal. Tears and smiles of joy from Athletes, Parents and Coaches with the excitement of winning this long well deserved, hard earned medal. (This medal is not to be taken for granted, after Mark English won his European indoor 800m Silver medal he made comment that his Community Games medal was still his most hard earned and proudest medal.) We have no doubt that these girls can and will go on to compete at the highest level as they mature into junior/senior Athletes.

Also up on the Saturday was Lorena Harrisson who was competing in the Girls U/16 100m. Loreana arrived slightly late on the Saturday with a limited warm up only to run and finish in first place in her heat. Meath to Limerick in 2 hours, 12 second race and 2 hours back home for Lorena. Back to Limerick on the Sunday for the Semi final where Lorena had a slight slip at the start but recovered well and finished 2nd, claiming a spot in the final later that day. A few hours wait for Lorena and back up in the final after lunch. Again this time it was different, Lorena shadowed by the height of her competition who all normally compete U/17 and Lorena competes U/15. Making this final is a huge achievement for her where Lorena had a fabulous start and finished an amazing 5th place and another sub 13 sec 100m run. Lorena can run this age group again next year in 2019 and she has demonstrated her ability and progress of her 3rd sub 13 second 100m this summer and can compete again what I can only describe as, fully grown mature women.

Rachel was on the double this weekend competing in the U/14 relay and her own Long Jump. (Just like Olympian Jessie Owens) After qualifiers on the Saturday of relays, her Dad Alan made the wise choice to stay in Limerick and prepare for her early start of Long Jump prior to her relay final. It being a long summer with Leinsters, National’s All Ireland’s, holidays and now CG Nationals for Rachel. With limited time to train, slight lack of facilities, slightly tired from her previous days qualifiers, Rachel managed to finish 7th in the U/14 Girls Long Jump final with a jump of 4,37 just outside her PB.

What achievements from the girls who straight after their events in Limerick headed to Navan where they were invited to partake in a TV interview with Meath daily TV on the Extra Mile. Watch out this week on Wednesday where their interview will be aired and advertised across various Social Media sites.

Well done to all these girls, Lucy, Kala, Kate, Rachel and Lorena who have trained up to 6 days a week since last September. Juggling starting secondary school, homework, Athletics Training for Dunboyne AC, Meath, and St. Peters along with GAA training and dancing. There girls show tremendous tenacity and determination building ever lasting friendships and memories. As parents, Coaches and club members we are all very proud of your achievements and wish you the best of luck for the next season. 1 weeks rest for the girls and we are all back building again as we enter preseason to get ready for the Cross Country and start to build for the much loved T&F season for 2019.

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