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Susan bows out with a double

Aug 20th, 2000:  Susan Smith-Walsh today announced that she has run her last race on Irish soil.  She will retire from athletics after the Sydney Olympic Games next month.  The following tributes were made to her in today's National newspapers.  Tom O'Riordan wrote, as follows, in the Irish Independent:

Smith-Walsh and McGuirk final flourish


A SENSE of nostalgia filled the air at Santry yesterday when two of Ireland's finest, Susan Smith-Walsh and Tom McGuirk, ran their last ever races on Irish soil after adding to their list of achievements in the 400 metres hurdles.  Both athletes will run their last races in the green vest at the forthcoming Olympics in Sydney.  " I've been thinking about it for a year and there would be no better place to retire than after you have competed in the Olympics,'' said the wonderfully brave and talented Smith-Walsh.

The Waterford woman has a marvellous record as she smashed the national record for this killer event [400mH] on a half a dozen occasions over the previous four years.  She was speaking after completing yet another 100-400m hurdles double to bring her total of gold winning performances to 14 since she won her first as a teenager back in '89.

She took the 400 yesterday in 56.23 which was just outside her championship record after flying over the barriers in the opening 300 before hitting the strong wind on the straight.  An emotional Smith-Walsh said afterwards: " The reception from the crowd was simply fantastic.  I just could not stop smiling to myself with happiness as I came to the last hurdle.''


She continued: " I've been crying all morning thinking that this would be my last race at Santry and on Irish soil because it's been such a wonderful experience with so many great memories.  I've enjoyed everything about my sport.  It's been hard work but brilliantly rewarding and now it's great to be thinking ahead of Sydney and getting one big last effort.''

McGuirk was born in San Francisco of Irish parents but since he gave his commitment to Ireland in 1993 he has been coming non-stop to the championships.  He collected title number six yesterday in 50.59 secs - a time which could have been under 50 had he not flattened the last flight.

A delighted McGuirk said afterwards: ``I would not have missed this whole experience of running for Ireland for anything.  " It's been a joy and a privelege and now I've just one last ambition left and that is to break my Irish record (49.73) in Sydney.''  McGuirk finished eight yards clear of his DCH clubmate, David Keoghan (52.30).


In the Irish Times newspaper, Peter Byrne wrote

Smith-Walsh ends in style

21/08/00: Susan Smith Walsh bade an emotional farewell to domestic athletics by completing an admirable 100 and 400 metres hurdles double in the TNT national track and field championships at the Morton Stadium yesterday.  After winning the first of her races, the 400 metres hurdles, Smith Walsh, one of the enduring personalities of the sport here, announced that she would retire after competing in the Olympic Games.

"I made up my mind last year that I would finish after Sydney, and while it's never easy to say goodbye I intend to stick with it," she said.

She went out in much the same manner as she entered - hurdling with a fluency which put her apart from the opposition on a day when Tom McGuirk, another who has contributed to the improvement in hurdling standards, also took his leave of a stage he has graced so well.  Like Smith Walsh, he will exit after the Olympics and while he failed in his stated objective of running the first sub 50-second race in the history of the championships, his success in the 400 metres hurdles was conclusive enough to brook any argument.



TNT - AAI Track & Field Championships of Ireland, Morton Stadium, Aug 19/20, 2000


100m; 1, S Reilly, Birchfield Harriers 11.64; 2, E Maher, Kilkenny City Harriers A.C. 11.77; 3, L O´Callaghan, Wycombe Phoenix Harriers 12.07 (Wind : -0.2).

200m; 1, S Reilly, Birchfield Harriers 23.55; 2, C Sheehy, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 23.59; 3, E Maher, Kilkenny City Harriers A.C. 23.77 (Wind : -0.2).

400m;  1, K Shinkins, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 52.54 (CBP); 2, M Mc Carthy, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 53.92; 3, C Sheehy, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 54.08;

800m;  1, S O´Sullivan, Ballymore Cobh A.C. 2.04.71; 2, A Byrne, Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 2.06.07; 3, F Davoren, U.C.C. A.C. 2.07.09.

1500m;  1, S O´Sullivan, Ballymore Cobh A.C. 4.09.37; 2, G Nolan, Kilkenny City Harriers A.C. 4.15.57; 3, E Fitzgerald, Waterford A.C. 4.16.58

5000m;  1, B Dennehy-Willis, Bandon A.C. 15.25.32; 2, U English, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 15.26.69; 3, M Mc Cambridge, Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 15.45.93.

100m Hurdles1, S Smith-Walsh, Waterford A.C. 13.49; 2, D O´Rourke, Leevale A.C. 13.84; 3, D Gahan, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 15.33(Wind : +0.8).

400m Hurdles1, S Smith-Walsh, Waterford A.C. 56.23; 2, M Carey, West Dublin A.C. 61.07; 3, F Kavanagh, St. L. O´Toole A.C. 64.24.

5000 mWalk;  1, N Menendez, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 24.22.84; 2, S O´Keeffe, Kilkenny City Harriers A.C. 24.58.58; 3, G Tuohy, Tullamore Harriers A.C. 25.03.94.

High Jump;  1, D Ryan, Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 1.70m; 2, F Kavanagh, St. L. O´Toole A.C. 1.65m; 2, U Fay, Lisburn A.C. 1.65m.

Long Jump;  1, S Colhoun, Lifford A.C. 5.65m; 2, A Furlong, D.M.P. A.C. 5.60m; 3, J Stokes, Ferrybank A.C. 5.59m.

Triple Jump;  1, S Hoey, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 12.03m; 2, M Mc Loone, Tirchonaill A.C. 11.50m; 3, M Devlin, Ballymena & Antrim A.C. 11.50m.

Shot Putt;  1, E Massey, Windsor, Slough & Eton 14.90m; 2, N Coffey, Navan A.C. 12.07m; 3, B Lynch, Tirchonaill A.C. 11.15m

Discus;  1, A O´Brien, D.M.P. A.C. 45.99m; 2, E Massey, Windsor, Slough & Eton 44.98m; 3, E O´Keeffe, Kilkenny City Harriers A.C. 43.59m.

Javelin;  1, J O´Sullivan, Cushinstown A.C. 41.94m; 2, S Moran, Slaney Olympic A.C. 39.17m; 3, F Kavanagh, St. L. O´Toole A.C. 33.36m.

Hammer;  1, O Kelleher, Farranfore Maine Valley A.C. 53.72m; 2, E O´Keeffe, Kilkenny City Harriers A.C. 52.02m; 3, N Coffey, Navan A.C. 49.56m.

Pole Vault;  1, J Claffey, Borrisokane A.C. 3.00m; 2, Z Brown, Ballymena & Antrim A.C. 2.90m


100m;  1, G Ryan, Nenagh Olympic A.C. 10.55; 2, J Mc Adorey, Ballymena & Antrim A.C. 10.56; 3, D Power, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 10.69 (Wind  -0.6)

200m;  1, P Brizzel, Ballymena & Antrim A.C. 20.73; 2, G Ryan, Nenagh Olympic A.C. 20.96; 3, T Comyns, Limerick A.C. 21.09. (Wind : +1.4)

400m;  1, T Coman, Templemore A.C. 46.56 (CBP); 2, D Finegan, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 47.32; 3, B Liddy, Crusaders A.C. 47.57

800m;  1, J Nolan, U.C.D. A.C. 1.46.83; 2, D Caulfield, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 1.47.79; 3, D Matthews, U.C.D. A.C. 1.47.87.

1500m;  1, K Nason, Metro/St. Brigid´s A.C. 3.52.27; 2, C Mc Lean, St. Malachy´s A.C. 3.52.66; 3, D English, Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 3.53.00.

5000m;  1, M Carroll, Leevale A.C. 13.55.76; 2, J Mc Allister, St. Malachy´s A.C. 14.26.41; 3, C Lombard, Leevale A.C. 14.27.35.

10,000m;  1, S Power, Kilmurray/Ibrickane A.C. 28.54.61; 2, P Matthews, Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 29.04.33; 3, N Berkeley, Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 29.51.13.

110m Hurdles;  1, P Coghlan, Crusaders A.C. 14.08; 2, P Conroy, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 14.35; 3, T Flannery, Nenagh Olympic A.C. 14.73. (Wind : +0.5)

400m Hurdles;  1, T Mc Guirk, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 50.69; 2, D Keoghan, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 52.30; 3, I Neely, Ballymena & Antrim A.C. 53.74.

3000m Steeplechase;  1, C Smith, Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 8.51.22; 2, M Kearns, Lusk A.C. 9.07.98; 3, L Reale, Limerick A.C. 9.09.31.

10 000m Walk;  1, J Costin, West Waterford A.C. 42.49.84; 2, C Griffin, Ballinamore A.C. 45.00.72; 3, P Ryan, Mullingar Harriers A.C. 46.22.68.

High Jump;  1, B Reilly, Belgrave Harriers 2.20m; 2, A Burke, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 2.15m; 3, A O´Dwyer, Kilkenny City Harriers A.C. 2.00m.

Long Jump;  1, G Devlin, Ballymena & Antrim A.C. 7.22m; 2, K Burke, Dooneen A.C. 6.83m; 3, T Mc Glynn, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 6.80m.

Triple Jump;  1, V Goncear, Crusaders A.C. 14.32m; 2, M Mc Donald, Ballymena & Antrim A.C. 14.24m; 3, P Shannon, Ballybrack A.C. 14.21m.

Pole Vault;  1, K Morris, Finn Valley A.C. 4.90m (CBP); 2, P Mc Gloughlin, U.C.D. A.C. 4.40m; 3, D Donegan, Kilmore Raheny A.C. 4.20m.

Shot Putt;  1, J Dermody, Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 17.86m; 2, J Leahy, Limerick A.C. 16.51m; 3, I Mc Mullan, Cardiff A.C. 15.09m.

Discus;  1, N Sweeney, Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 57.48m; 2, J Menton, Donore Harriers A.C. 53.13m; 3, J Dermody, Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 45.85m.

Javelin;  1, T Mc Hugh, Dublin City Harriers A.C. 80.27m (CBP); 2, N Tuckey, Raheny Shamrock A.C. 60.06m; 3, D Kelly, Kilcoole A.C. 59.59m.

Hammer;  1, P Mc Grath, Raheny Shamrock A.C. 69.00m; 2, E Healey, St. Brigids A.C. 57.20m; 3, J Thompson, Tullamore Harriers A.C. 55.61m.

56lb Distance;  1, N Sweeney, Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 8.28m; 2, S Fitzpatrick, North Laois A.C. 7.55m; 3, L O´Neill, Brow Rangers A.C. 7.35m.

56lb Height;  1, S Fitzpatrick, North Laois A.C. 4.20m; 2, L O´Neill, Brow Rangers A.C. 3.90m; 3, M Heneghan, Mayo A.C. 3.70m.

Aoife Hearne transfers to University of Tennessee

Tennessee Women's Track & Field Team Adds Three To Signing Class


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - University of Tennessee women's track and field head coach Myrtle Ferguson has announced the signing of three athletes to scholarships for the 2000-2001 academic year, bringing the total of newcomers to seven. Slated to join the Lady Volunteer program in the fall...[is] transfer sprinter Aoife (pronounced E-fuh) Hearne of Waterford, Ireland.  

...Hearne, the product of Ursuline Convent [Waterford] joins the team after two years at the University of Rhode Island. While at URI, Hearne claimed the Atlantic10 55m dash title as a freshman and narrowly missed winning in 2000 after being nipped at the wire in a photo finish at 7.19. Outdoors, she placed second in the league 100m dash as a rookie and was fifth as a sophomore in 12.31. The two-time All-Atlantic10 selection twice earned league Rookie of the Week distinction in 1998-99 and also took eighth that season in the conference 200m dash.

Back in her home country, Hearne was the 1997 Irish Junior National 60-meter dash champion with a record time of 7.57. She also competed in the 100m dash and 4x100m relay for the Irish Junior National Team. She has traveled extensively, competing in Belgium, Finland, Lithuania, Scotland and Slovenia. Among her performances was a 12th-place finish at the 1997 European Junior Championships.

The above is taken from the University website                        

What is not mentioned is that Aoife won the Irish National senior 100m title in 1998.