Category: Archive

Irish runners hitting stride

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

A bevy of Irish runners have broken the tape at conference outdoor track championships recently. Western Kentucky’s Enda Grandfield nailed the men’s 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the Sun Belt Conference Championships in New Orleans. The sophomore from Killorglin, Co. Kerry, posted a winning time of 14:37.91 in the shorter heat, with Louisiana-Lafayette’s Walter Whitfield second in 14:40.03. Grandfield ran the 10,000 in 32:18.64, with runner-up

Nick Mokashi of North Texas along in 32:19.71. The Hilltoppers finished third in the men’s standings, which were topped by North Texas.

Western Kentucky’s Irishwomen, meanwhile, produced a victory and three second-place finishes as their squad placed eighth in the 10-team field, which was led by New Mexico State. Olga Cronin ran a winning time of 17:35.14 in the 5,000 meters, with teammate Jill Shannon right behind in 17:37.39. WKU’s Terri Hennessy ran the course in 19:44.15 for a 17th-place finish. Cronin, a junior, and Hennessy, a senior, are from Cork, and Shannon, a freshman, hails from Jordanstown, Co. Antrim.

Cronin also took second place in the 3,000 meters steeplechase. She ran the course in 11:06.28. Arkansas-Little Rock’s Leah Thorvilson’s 10:54.02 clocking led the pack. Thorvilson also led Shannon to the tape in the 1,500 meters. The winner’s time was 4:30.33, while Shannon’s was 4:39.28. South Alabama’s Wendy Davis, a junior from Co. Antrim, finished sixth in the 800 meters. She ran the oval in 2:17.04, while teammate Bibiche Mankatu led the field home in 2:12.98.

Providence College’s Roisin McGettigan, a junior from Wicklow, won the 3,000 meters steeplechase at the Big East Conference Championships for the second straight year. Her time of 10:24.70 provisionally qualifies her for the NCAA Championships. The Friars’ Mary Cullen also had an NCAA provisional time with the 16:44.73 she posted in the 5,000 meters. She finished fifth in the race. Cullen is a freshman from Co. Sligo. Galway senior Kathryn Casserly finished ninth in that race, in 16:57.22.

Dermot Galvin had the best showing of the Providence men with a second-place finish in the 10,000 meters. The senior from Kilrush, Co. Clare posted a time of 29:52.20. Paul Reilly, a senior from Loughrea, Co. Galway, ran fifth in the 5,000 meters. He finished in 14:29.80. Placing eighth in their respective races were freshmen Liam Reale and Patrick Guidera. Reale, from Hospital, Co. Limerick, ran 3:48.59 in the 1,500 meters. Guidera, from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, ran the 3,000 meters steeplechase in 9:12.24.

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Iona had a win at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships, courtesy of Vinny Mulvey. The Ashbourne, Co. Meath, senior won the 10,000 meters run by a narrow margin over teammate Gr’me Reid. Mulvey’s time was 30:22.58, with Reid along in 30:22.82. Freshman Sean Connolly was third at 1,500 meters (timed in 3:52.39) and fifth at 800 meters (1:57.60). Connolly calls Tallaght, Dublin home. The Gaels finished third overall, with Manhattan on top.


Alabama-Birmingham’s Gr’me McDowell shot a career-low 63 en route to a nine-stroke victory in the Atlanta Intercollegiate Golf Championship at Eagle’s Landing Country Club in Stockbridge, Ga. His 197 (65-69-63) was well ahead of the 206 carded by the runner-up, Augusta State’s Scott Jamieson.

McDowell, a junior from Portrush, Co. Antrim, has now won six tournaments in the 2001-02 campaign. Despite McDowell’s romp, UAB placed only seventh in the team scramble, won by Auburn.

Kent State’s women missed a trip to the NCAA tournament by one stroke, but Martina Gillen’s bag will remain packed. Gillen took second place in the NCAA Central Regional, held at the Forest Akers West Golf Course in East Lansing, Mich., and qualified as an individual. Gillen, a Dublin sophomore, shot 223 (71-77-75) for 54 holes. Tulsa’s Stacy Prammanasudh led the way at 219. Kent finished ninth in the 21-team field, one shot behind Michigan State, the eighth and last team to qualify. Tulsa led the field.

Toledo’s men ran away with the Mid-American Conference Championship. They enjoyed a 25-stroke victory over Ohio at the Medallion Club in Westerville, Ohio. The Rockets’ Sean McTernan finished the 72-hole tournament on even terms with Miami of Ohio’s Eric Phipps at 284, which was the low individual score. The two then went four additional holes to settle medalist honors, with Phipps prevailing. McTernan, a Sligo junior, carded rounds of 71, 74, 69 and 70. Toledo’s David Jones, a junior from Derry, tied for ninth place at 294 (73-73-73-75), and teammate Alan Murray, a senior from Bray, Co. Wicklow, tied for 19th place at 302 (75-72-77-78).

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