Final indoor weekend brings a superb haul for Wexford athletes
The final weekend of the Leinster indoor championships took place in Athlone International Arena on Saturday and Sunday.
The Juvenile sprints and a range of field events were first up, on Saturday, and Wexford athletes, once again, saw their fair share of medals with a number of Leinster titles to boot. Sunday saw the Juniors, Seniors and Masters in action, with another superb European-standard performance from Adamstown's Ryan Carthy-Walsh in the high jump.
In Saturday's Juvenile 60m sprints, Menapians underlined their class with two Leinster champions. Ciarán Maher won his first provincial title in the boys' Under-18 and Sabia Doyle dominated through the three rounds in the girls' Under-14 to retain her Leinster title.
Also in the girls' Under-14, Bree's Katie Whelan took bronze. Bree's Aoife Rochford was also the Leinster champion in the girls' U18.
At Under-15 level, Menapians' April Keeling ran a powerful 60m for silver as did clubmate Chloe Whelan in the Under-19 grade in a time of 7.99 seconds. Bree's Seán Rowley was another silver medal winner in the boys' Under-12.
Over the longer distance of 200m, Enniscorthy's Ross Daly took silver Under-17, in what was a Wexford-dominated race as Jack Hayden (Menapians) ran a personal best in the same event to earn the bronze podium position. In the Under-19 400m, Sophie McCabe was crowned Leinster champion after two laps of the stadium.
In the field events, the highlight of the day was when Enniscorthy's Lystus Ebosele set a championship-best performance in the Under-16 shot putt to be crowned the Leinster champion.
Also winning the shot, at Under-14 grade, was St. Killian's Jack Forde with a throw of 11.52m. Jack added to this with a silver in the high jump at 1.50m, barely missing out on the gold on countback.
In the long jump, St. Anne's Liam Berry had a powerful jump in the Under-13s to earn bronze and a place in next weekend's All-Irelands alongside all the other Wexford medal winners from both this weekend and the February qualifiers.
On Sunday the Juniors, Seniors and Masters were in action for the last day of provincial indoor competition. The performance of the day was from Ryan Carthy-Walsh when he equalled his personal best of 2.09m in the Junior men's high jump, considerably exceeding the 2.03m standard for the European Youth Championships, being held at the site of his European Youth Olympic medal-winning performance in Tbilisi, Georgia, next July.
With the Leinster Junior title thrown in for good measure, Ryan joins fellow Wexford athlete David McDonald on the qualification list for the European Youths, and these two boys are only improving as the season progresses.
Also winning gold at the Leinster Juniors was Joe Mooney from Adamstown in the Junior men's walk. His sister, Triona, took the bronze in the Junior women's event which was her first outside the juvenile ranks.
Also on the track, the Junior 60m hurdles saw Enniscorthy's Peter O'Connor win silver. In the Junior triple jump, D.M.P's Eimear Gilhooley was second.
Shaun Donohue from Menapians took the Leinster Senior 400m title. Also in the Senior 400, clubmate Ruth Bowe was second.
At Masters level, Menapians' Anne Gilshenan once again ran a great time in the 1,500m over 50, following her 2015 record-breaking performances, taking the gold medal. Also in the medals for United Striders were Gavin Kelly, with silver in the 400m and bronze in the long jump, and John McGrath, with silver in both the 800m and 1,500m.
The first of the national Juvenile indoor championships takes place next weekend with hopes high in the Athletics Wexford camp for more success from our rising stars.
Far from the comfort of the indoor track, D.M.P's Ciara Wilson was in action at the Irish Universities Athletics Association's cross-country championships on a beautiful Sligo course.
Ciara came in second for Dublin City University who won the bronze in the women's team championships. Her 15th overall finish contributed to D.C.U's medal haul.
Teams from Adamstown N.S. and Ballyhack N.S are set to represent Wexford in the national sportshall athletics finals at Athlone International Arena this Wednesday, March 9. Both schools are now becoming seasoned competitors at this event, in the third year that Wexford teams go forward to the national primary schools' event.
The county final took place in the Astro Active Centre, Enniscorthy, on Tuesday with teams from Mercy (Wexford), Crossabeg N.S., Adamstown N.S., C.B.S. New Ross and Ballyhack N.S. competing in a range of track and field disciplines, relays, obstacle races and agility tests.
The event promotes teamwork, fitness and agility in a fun setting and has grown in popularity here in Ireland in recent years following its introduction from the U.K., where it forms an integral part of all primary schools' physical education curriculum.
Organised by Athletics Ireland, Sports Active Wexford and Athletics Wexford, the event saw teams of up to twelve competitors in boys' and girls' categories from third and fourth classes as well as a separate event for fifth and sixth classes.
When the final tally was completed, Adamstown were crowned champions in the girls' third and fourth class category, with Ballyhack claiming victory in the boys' section. In the older category, Adamstown boys' and girls' teams both claimed victory.
The Wexford teams in action in Athlone on Wednesday will compete against a minimum of 15 other counties.