Heffernan walks away with top award

Togher AC’s Rob Heffernan was named as the Athlete of the Year at the National Athletics Awards in association with Woodie’s DIY and Tipperary Crystal on Saturday night.

Heffernan quite literally had the walk of his life at the Olympics and his fourth place finish in the 50k walk was the standout performance by an Irish athlete at major championships this season. In the process Heffernan destroyed his own national record with a time of 3:37.54. Not surprisingly, he was also awarded the Race Walker of the Year Award for 2012.

Dundrum South Dublin (DSD) were the worthy recipients of the Performance Club of the Year Award while Development Club of the Year Award went to Carlow’s St Laurence O’Toole.

Mark English (Letterkenny AC) won the Junior Athlete of the Year gong after he lowered the national junior 800m record to a blazing 1:45.77 and finished a brilliant fifth in a highly competitive World Junior Championship final.

The Endurance Athlete Award went to Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) who struck gold at the European Cross Country Championships in Velenje last December.

Teresa McDaid (Letterkenny AC) was the winner of the Coach of the Year after assembling an incredible squad of international class middle distance athletes including Mark English, Darren McBrearty and Ruairi Finnegan.

Inspirational performance of the year went to Steven Colvert (Crusaders AC) for his outstanding 20.40 second performance over 200m in the heats of the National Senior Championships in Santry.

Meanwhile, the Aviva Tailteann Schools’ Awards were awarded to Sarah Lavin of Castletroy College and Caimin Dunne of Belvedere Colleges.

Other winners:

Outstanding Official Award: Joe and Bernie Walsh (Fingallians AC); Special Recognition Award: Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC) and Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC); Master of the Year: Ciaran O’Doherty (Letterkenny AC); Mountain Runner of the Year: Brian MacMahon (Clonliffe Harriers AC); Ultra Running Award: Ruthann Sheahan (Athenry AC).

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