Sprints/Hurdles & National Combined Events Squad Annual Report 2012

Monday, January 14th, 2013

130712BM0092By Hayley Harrison, Sprints & Hurdles Coordinator & Kieron Stout, National Coordinator for Combined Events

Since March this year the following sprints/hurdles days have been held:

2 ‘coach education’ days for sprints & hurdles coaches (of all levels of experience, coaching all ages & level of athlete)
2 national sprint squads (one exclusively for youths & juniors)
1 national hurdles squad
1 national youth/junior sprint relay squad
1 speed development day
2 local sprints/hurdles workshops

In total, 82 coaches & 78 athletes have attended these sessions; the largest participation numbers were for the speed development day in May.

My thanks go to coaches Karen Kirk, Shane McCormack & Gary Ryan; consultant Dr Drew Harrison; Niamh Whelan for her technical support, the athlete demonstrators & the facility managers for contributing to the success of each of the sprints & hurdles related days shown above & to all the athletes for their commitment to attend and be involved in the sessions.
As for the coaches, some were assisted to attend the European Sprints and Hurdles conference, others have been involved in communities of practice and it is hoped that they will continue to thrive and grow as technical coaches in the sprints and hurdles events.

2013 is a busy year and we hope to have sprinters, hurdlers and relay teams participating in many of the major championships: European indoors, EYOF, World Youths, European Juniors, European U23, World University Games & the World Championships. A busy year for all of us. Well done for 2012 & Good luck for 2013!

Hayley Harrison

National Combined Events squad review 2012

The Combined Events got off to a terrific start in 2012 with one hundred juvenile athletes competing in the National Juvenile CE Championships in Nenagh on January 28th. A week previous seventeen junior and senior athletes and a dozen master multi eventers battled it out for the first National multi’s titles of the year. The indoor season peaked in February with Mairead Murphy (Ferrybank AC) putting in two marvellous pentathlon performances in the US resulting in one of only two National Senior Womens indoor records to be set in 2012. Mairead broke coach Brid Golden’s Irish pentathlon record with a total of 3934 at the end of February. At the end of January Mairead went very close and was only 11 points shy of the national indoor pentathlon which stood since 1992.

With the indoor competitions completed the National CE Squad gathered and began working toward the summer. Home was the Waterfront in Kilkenny where the national coaches met with the squads to review and plan preparations. Tullamore and Morton stadium also provided excellent venues.

The national coaches for combined events in 2012 were;
• Brid Golden, sprint hurdling
• Lucy Moore, high jump
• Juliet Claffey, pole vault
• Rosemary Daniels, high jump
• Ailish O’Brien, shot and discus
• Alan Golden, long jump
• Garry Power, shot, discus and javelin

The coaching team provided much more than their event expertise during the year. Advice on planning, periodisation, nutrition, strength and conditioning and plyometrics were just some of the topics covered by the coaching team.

Summer started with another national record for Mairead Murphy in May. Placing 4th overall in the Big 12 conference in Kansas she scored 5399 points to record the best ever score by an Irish woman in the heptathlon. That’s the indoor and outdoor pentathlon and heptathlon National records for Mairead in the same year. Our aspiring elites then followed up with Sarah McCarthy (Mid-Sutton AC) taking bronze in the England Athletics U20 CE Champs in Bedford with 4,813 points in the heptathlon. In July Michael Bowler (KCH) competed in the men’s senior decathlon at the Hexham International in the UK where he took bronze with a total of 6215. These were great results for Sarah and Michael in their most competitive competitions to date.

Olympic fever took over and in August over 100 athletes participated in our National Combined Events Championships which saw Michael Bowler (KCH) and Julie Morrisson (Spa Muckross AC) take the senior men’s and women’s national titles with 5992 and 4187 points respectively.

In late August a squad of five athletes travelled to compete over two days at the Antrim Forum for the ANI Combined Events Championships. In the U17 girls heptathlon Amy McTeggart, (Boyne AC), took gold in the heptathlon with a total of 3908 points. This was a significant 500+ point victory over her nearest competitor. It was a great performance with Amy demonstrating her competitive spirit coming less than a month after she took gold at her own national championships. In the junior women’s heptathlon Karen Dunne, (Bohermeen AC), took silver by a margin of 386 with a total of 3476 points over two days of competition. This was only 27 points short of Karen’s total at the Woodies DIY National CE Championships where she took silver. Helen Buckley, (Raheny Shamrock AC), took gold in the senior women’s heptathlon with a total of 3614 points. Eric Stam (Bandon AC) and Shane Aston (Trim AC) battled hard for two days in a competitive decathlon. In the end Eric prevailed taking the bronze medal with 5,016 points, just 186 behind his rival with whom he competed valiantly all weekend. Shane took fourth place despite a foot injury sustained at the start of day 2.

The next big event for combined eventers was the Irish Schools championships culminating in the annual SIAB International in Glasgow. The autumn schools campaigns provided some notable performances from athletes who joined with the national squad as they prepared for their SIAB international match.

In total there were six national combined events squad days in 2012. The majority of athletes participating were aged between 16 and 20. This year a juvenile development squad was included for athletes under the age of 16 that demonstrate talent and promise. This has proved very successful and will yield and help nurture future champions. This can already be seen in the calibre and commitment of athletes in the youth category for 2013. Good support is being shown by the clubs and coaches who involve themselves in the national squad. A spirit of camaraderie, learning and pride is emerging from the national squad that is evident each time we meet as a squad or at competition. 2013 will be a great year with more athletes participating in combined events competitions at home and abroad, experiencing the uniqueness of pentathlon, heptathlon and decathlon.

For more information on the National Combine Events Squad please contact;
Kieron Stout, National Coordinator for Combined Events
Email: combinedevents@athleticsireland.ie
Mobile: 086 2450134

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