Wexford men best in league

Three Premier teams in 2018

Jimmy McDonald, winner of the 3,000m walk, with Menapians team manager Conall Gaffney
Jimmy McDonald, winner of the 3,000m walk, with Menapians team manager Conall Gaffney
Joe Mooney (Wexford county) competing in the 3,000m walk

Last weekend in a rather damp Tullamore the Wexford county men's team won Division 1 of the Irish Life Health National League final.

In doing so they automatically qualify to compete in the Premier Division in 2018. This means we will have three teams competing at the top level as Menapians and the Wexford county women's team are also assured of top-flight competition next year.

The county men's team finished well ahead of their closest pursuers, St. Laurence O'Toole and Bandon Striders. The well-deserved win came about about thanks to a huge team effort with several of the athletes performing heroically at more than one event.

Menapians did not do as well as would have been expected in the Premier Division due, primarily, to a number of their athletes being unavailable. One man who was available was three-time Olympian Jimmy McDonald. Jimmy gave a master class in technique as he took the win in the 3,000m walk in 14.55.11.

Overall, Menapians can be happy to have qualified for this year's final and happy to have performed sufficiently well to hold onto their place in the Premier Division.  

Key to the Wexford county win in Division 1 were versatile brothers Michael and Tim Bowler. International multi-eventer Michael won the 110m hurdles (15.03s) and the pole vault (4.20m); he was second in the long jump (6.80m). Tim placed third in both the 400m hurdles (57.85s) and the shot putt (10.47m); he was fourth in the 56 lbs. for distance (4.68m).

Chris St. Claire Johnston was first in the 800m (1.59.48s) and second in the 400m (50.43s). 

Ryan Murray was fifth in the 200m and sixth in the 100m.

Peter O'Connor placed third in the high jump (1.65m) and sixth in the triple jump (11.41m). 

The ever-consistent Peter O'Shea won the javelin (44.33m) and placed fourth in the discus (22.85m).

The county team placed second in the 4 x 400m relay and fourth in the 4 x 100m. 

Moving up to middle distance, Enda Cloake placed second in the 3,000m steeplechase (10.08.49m) while Liam Butler picked up some valuable points with a seventh place in the 1,500m. 

With the league finals over we can draw a line under the 2017 track and field season and turn our attention to the coming cross-country season.

Clubs throughout the county have commenced their winter training programmes. All are happy to welcome new members at both Juvenile and Senior levels. Find your nearest club on the Athletics Wexford website: http://wexfordathletics.com.

Fixtures: August 27, Oylegate 10k and half-marathon, hosted by Slaney Olympic; September 3 (11 a.m.), St. Paul's Rochefreight five-mile road race, Kilrane; September 11 (12 noon), Adamstown open cross-country, races for Under-9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, Juniors and Seniors; September 16, Kilmore 10k road race; September 17, open cross-country, Taghmon; October 1, Juvenile even ages and Novice cross-country hosted by United Striders; October 15, Juvenile uneven ages and Senior cross-country hosted by S.B.R.

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