Clare athletes showed true grit and determination in qualifying for the national league final for the first time at the second round of the Mazda Track and Field League, which was held in wet and windy Athlone.
On the way, they recorded some personal best times and the first man to compete was Lunga Bulman, Marian AC, who rose to the occasion when winning the long jump in a leap of 6.00m. In his second event, the javelin, he finished second with a throw of 42.02m.
Keith King, Kilmurry Ibrickane/North Clare, continued his good form by finishing second in the high jump, clearing 1.75m, and later on that afternoon, he was third in the discus with a throw of 25.06m.
Micheal Keane, Ennis Track, added vital points to the Clare cause, competing in the 400m hurdles and 56lbs.
Mark Boland, Marian AC, produced a great performance on the track when winning the 200m in 23.68secs and he followed this up with a sensational second place in the 100m in a time of 11:85.
The rain had eased somewhat when Darragh Lynch, Ennis Track, finished third in a very fast time of 52:90 in the 400m.
Another 18-year-old Kevin Chesser, Ennis Track, ran a very tactical race in the 800m, finishing fourth in 2.05:62.
Brian McGinley, Ennis Track, dug deep in the 1,500m to finish third in a time of 4.11:38 and less than 30 minutes later, showed his true battling qualities when finishing second in the 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 9.56:53.
Team captain Brian Murphy, Ennis Track, made a blistering start in the 5,000m and fought all the way to finish third in 15:48.
The final races of the day were the relays and the 4 x 100m Clare team of Darragh Lynch, Micheal Keane, Lunga Bulman and Mark Boland finished third and set a new Clare record of 47.01secs, while the 4 x 400m team of Brian McGinley, Aidan Kearney, Micheal Keane and Darragh Lynch finished fourth and also smashed the Clare record in a time of 3.37:75.
Attention will now turn to the national league final in Tullamore on August 15.