A memorable Irish National Championships took place in Dublin last weekend. James Sullivan takes a look at the most successful clubs by way of the 2015 National Championships Placing Table.
The 2015 Irish Senior National Championships Placing Table is a ranking list of clubs based on finishing positions in each track and field event in Dublin last weekend. 8 points are awarded to a club for having an athlete claim a gold medal, 7 points for silver, 6 for bronze, 5 for a fourth place finish, all the way down to a solitary point for finishing eight. Clubs are ranked based on their respective total of points amassed.
In sprint events, only athletes who reach a final are eligible to score points. In a scenario where somebody records a DNF or receives a DQ in a sprint final, such an athlete receives no points for finishing in eight place, and the best ranked, non qualified, athlete from the heats or B-Final is also not eligible to score.
This list is not intended as a definitive ranking system. It is as clear as day that some events last weekend had far more depth than others. But this ranking table serves as a general guide to the relative success of the various clubs at this year’s National Championships.
1) Clonliffe Harriers – 100 pts
For the second consecutive year, Clonliffe Harriers came out on top as the clear victor. The Santry based club racked up 21 top 8 placings, which included 3 gold medals. Ian Rogers defended his pole vault title, while the club crossed the line first in the men’s 4x100m relay. Brian Gregan claimed another national title, with a convincing victory in the men’s 400m, and will head to Beijing as part of the Irish 4x400m relay, who will be targeting a place in the final, and qualification for the Rio Olympics next year.
2) Raheny Shamrock – 74 pts
With 15 top 8 placings, comprising 6 medals, Raheny Shamrock moved up one spot from last year, to take a comfortable second place in this year’s standings. However, the Dublin club had to wait until the very end of the final day before hitting the top of the podium, as both the women’s and men’s 4x400m quartets took home top honours, the latter being anchored by Kieran Kelly, not long after he narrowly missed out on a medal in the 800m final.
3) Dundrum South Dublin – 60pts
Moving up two spots from last year is Dundrum South Dublin, who achieved 12 top 8 placings in the process. Sinead Denny claimed her first outdoor national title in the women’s 400m, having finished in the silver medal position in 2013 and 2014. Newly recruited Kevin Batt was the victor in the men’s 5000m, while Anita White continued her dominance of the women’s javelin with top spot on the podium yet again.
4) Crusaders – 54 pts
Irishtown based Crusaders had another strong showing, moving up one place to fourth in this year’s rankings, collecting 7 medals in the process. Adam McMullen dominated the men’s long jump, leaping to a wind assisted 7.89m, while Colin Quirke was the victor in the discus throw.
5) St Abban’s – 45 pts
Leaping from seventh to crack the top five are Laois outfit St Abban’s, who racked up six medals from last weekend’s competition. Barry Pender claimed the club’s solitary gold in the men’s high jump, while among the five medals collected, Paul Byrne was particularly impressive when taking home the silver medal in the 400m hurdles, equalling his PB in windy conditions.
6) Ferrybank – 40 pts
Dropping two spots from last year to sixth are Ferrybank, who came away from this year’s Nationals with 5 medals, including 3 gold. Kelly Proper completed the 100m and 200m sprint double, while Irish record holder Thomas Barr was a comfortable winner in the men’s 400m hurdles, and will travel to Beijing with a legitimate chance of making the World Championship final.
7) North Down – 36 pts
With 6 top 8 placings, comprising 3 medals, Ulster club North Down moved up three places from last year to finish seventh in 2015. Beijing bound Ben Reynolds was a convincing victor in the men’s 110m hurdles, while Sarah Connolly was the surprise champion in the women’s 100m hurdles.
8) Ballymena & Antrim – 34 pts
One of the big movers from 12 months ago are Ballymena & Antrim who leaped twenty-four spots to a tie for eighth place, a performance which included six top 8 finishes. Christine McMahon easily defended her 400m hurdles national title, while Jonathon Browning and Claire Wilkinson took silver in the men’s 100m and women’s pole vault respectively.
8) Leevale – 34 pts
Runners-up in 2014, Leevale slid six places down to a tie for eight in this year’s standings. The Cork club achieved eight top 8 placings, comprising 4 medals. Alex Wright claimed the club’s solitary gold medal in the men’s 10K Walk, after world champion Robert Heffernan was disqualified at the half way mark, while Beijing bound Michelle Finn performed well to take silver in the women’s 5000m.
10) St Laurence O’Toole – 33 pts
Squeezing into the top 10 this year, with six top 8 placings, are St Laurence O’Toole, who jumped an incredible 56 spots in the standings. The Carlow based club were helped in no small part by sprint sensation Marcus Lawlor, who claimed double gold in the men’s 100m and 200m.
For the full Placing Table see the below excel attachment.
See here for last year’s standings.