Although 2020 was a year hammered by Covid-19 impacts, we are happy to announce the winners of the 2020 Athlete of the year award and individual club award winners.
Club Athlete of the Year – Iseult O’Donnell
It was quite the year for Iseult and when she produced that scintillating kick off the bend in the National Senior 800m in Santry last August
It may have been behind closed doors but live Streaming is now very fashionable for the aficionados and the sheer joy and emotion of that wonderful two minutes seven seconds of action had teary eyed Raheny fans reaching for the Posies.
A week earlier Iseult came up marginally short when taking 1500m Silver, albeit lowering her personal best to 4:23.18, less than one second shy of Mary Lynch’s 47-year old Club record of 4:22.50.
Earlier in the year Iseult had taken National Indoor silver, finishing just behind Nadia Power.
Three national Senior medals in the one calendar year is heady stuff
Female Track & Field Athlete of the Year – Iseult O’Donnell
Isuelt achievements to win the female track & field athlete of the year, nominated her for the main award.
Male Track & Field Athlete of the Year – Mark Smyth
Raheny’s fastest man continued his inexorable drive to the top with performances of the highest quality. Nothing beats the sheer animal satisfaction of winning though and Smyth’s brilliant exhibition of controlled power was a joy to watch at the National Indoors in February, winning his first senior national title over 200m.
Mark came perilously close to achieving the indoor/outdoor double, taking outdoor silver behind Marcus Lawlor in Santry.
Smyth’s time of 21.01 seconds, was the second fastest by an Irishman in 2020 and his Indoor mark of 21.04 made him the fifth fastest Irishman of all time.
At U23 level the Smyth Gold medal treasure trove was boosted with a 200m indoor title and a 100m/200m outdoor double.
Male Road & Cross Country Athlete of the Year – Mick Clohisey
Mick is no stranger to awards over the years. For the most prolific of racers, he found himself in the strangest of places as race after race fell by the Covid19 wayside. With no Senior Cross Country competition whatsoever it really came down to who performed most consistently at the highest level on the Roads.
Mick had two significant victories, a personal best 48.16 at the Dungarvan 10 in February and a 65.10 Half Marathon win from a strong field at Charleville.
There was also a 2:18.52 Marathon in London in October.
Female Road & Cross Country Athlete of the Year – Kate Cronin
Masters and Intermediate runners did manage to squeeze some cross country into 2020.
Kate Cronin made the most of it when finishing a superb second in the very competitive W35 category at the national championships and in the process leading the Raheny team to silver medals.
Just prior to lockdown Kate was 1st woman overall at the Lusk 4 Miler.
Kate’s return to top class running follows the birth in the last few years of her two children. She is of course the most accomplished of hill and mountain running having represented Ireland at European and World Level.
Highlight of Cronin’s career thus far was her Bronze medal as a member of the Irish Team at the World Mountain Running Championships of 2013.
Male Junior Athlete of the Year – James Hyland
A product of Club President Paddy Noonan’s St. Fintans nursery; James Hyland had quite the autumn in 2020.
On two consecutive weekends he first of all surged to a thrilling Bronze medal on day one of the national juniors in the 5,000m.
A week later he returned to give the most authoritative and impressive performance when striking gold in the 3,000m steeplechase. In doing so he reduced his previous best by 35 seconds and actually ended up third in the overall senior rankings for 2020 as a result of that performance.
Worth remembering too that James is still eligible for junior in 2021.
Another significant run was a 15.24 time he ran when beating senior competition at one of the all too few summer graded track meetings.
Female Junior Athlete of the Year – Tara Meier
In the 62-year history of Raheny Shamrock we have never had a female 100m hurdles national champion at any age group ever.
Tara Meier ended that particular famine in early September winning the junior championship into a Santry headwind in a personal best of 16.40 seconds.
On the day that matter most in her season Tara delivered, having made the senior indoor final over 60m it well consolidated the progress Tara had been making aided by the coaching team of Brian Corcoran and Michael Hynes.
Her performances did not go unnoticed and this Autumn Tara was the proud recipient of an Athletics Scholarship in Technology University Dublin.
The Quinner Trophies – Fastest Male & Female in Dublin Marathon
The Quinner Awards are in honour of former club great Pat Quinn who sadly passed away in 2006 at the age of 54.
Pat loved the Dublin Marathon more than any other event and competed year after year as well as being a mentor and inspiration to Raheny’s Marathon squad year after year.
While this year’s event was Virtual it nevertheless attracted a large Raheny participation and the Club has no hesitation honouring the first Male and Female home, this time honouring the fastest times recorded.
Male Winner – Graham Ahearne 2:49.52
Female Winner – Mary Walsh 2:57.47
The Committee plan to present these awards at a time, as early in the New Year as restrictions allow and at an occasion that can be as appropriate to the achievements of all the Winners as possible.