Ryan leads the way
The Athletics Wexford annual awards night took place on Saturday in Enniscorthy Rugby Club with a large turn-out from the Wexford clubs in attendance.
All medals for the 2015 track and field, road race and cross-country championships in Novice, Intermediate, Junior, Masters and Senior grades were presented alongside the major athletics awards.
The big award was the Mr Oil athlete of the year award, and the M.C., outgoing County Secretary, Jane Porter, announced the winner to be no surprise: Adamstown's Ryan Carthy-Walsh.
During the 2015 season Ryan was the Wexford Under-17 and Senior champion, Leinster Under-17 and Junior champion, National indoor and outdoor high jump Under-17 title holder, setting championship best performances in both national championships.
He also was the Irish Schools Intermediate high jump championship, was schools international champion and European Youth Olympic silver medallist. The athlete of the year award was a fitting tribute to one of the most consistent, high performance Juveniles Wexford has seen in recent years.
The award was presented by Marie Mooney, representing Mr Oil, Paddy Morgan, Chairman of Athletics Wexford, and Nicky Cowman, Vice-President of Athletics Wexford and Ryan's coach.
On the Juvenile side, the Ann O'Keeffe Cup was presented to Adamstown's Shannon Wall who was the top performing girl Under-17 across all disciplines in the county track and field championships.
This year's Under-17 competitions, in both the boys' and girls' categories, were more competitive than ever with minimum scores separating the winners. On the boys' Under-17 side, the Harry Keyes Cup went to Ryan Carthy-Walsh for his achievements on both the track and field in the county championships.
The Brother Egan Cup for the best performing Senior track and field club from the memorable county championships last summer was presented to jubilant members of Menapians.
The club had turned out in force for the events on the track at Enniscorthy Sports Hub and were duly rewarded for some outstanding performances at Senior level. Club Vice-Chairperson, Emer Halpin, and coach, Jimmy O'Neill, accepted the cup on behalf of the Wexford town club, who were present in large numbers.
In recognition of their team performances at the cross-country championships, United Striders were called up to receive the Jim Redmond Cup for the second year in a row. This award goes annually to the club that fields the most winning teams at cross-country, including Juvenile, Junior, Senior, Novice, Intermediate and Masters. Nicky Cowman presented the cup to Matt Flannelly, who was one of the many contributors to the Striders' success.
The Kehoe Foods Award for outstanding service to athletics in Wexford went to a very surprised Eamonn Owens, who served as the Treasurer of Athletics Wexford for ten years.
He manages the very successful Wexford women's National League team, chairs the county development committee, and is an outstanding throws coach with St. Paul's.
David McDonald from Menapians was presented with the Mr Oil January 2016 athlete of the month for his outstanding performance at the national Junior indoor championships.
David was crowned Junior 200m champion in late January when he took the title in a time of 21.99; only the third Wexford athlete ever to run the distance in a sub-22 seconds time and at only 17 years old. David also won bronze in the national Junior 60m and is in superb form going into the 2016 track and field season.
National record breakers were acknowledged with special plaques detailing their achievements, and 2015 saw its share of standards set.
The Menapians Under-17 4 x 100m relay team were first up. Sam O'Neill, Ciarán Maher, John Murphy, Luke O'Neill, Jack Hayden and Aaron Smith set a new record time of 44.62 seconds last summer in Tullamore.
Also from Menapians, Sabia Doyle received an award for her Under-13 60m indoor time of 8.04 seconds. Menapians' third record-breaker was Ann Gilshenan who broke the national Masters 0ver-50 1,500m record in a time of 5:01.69.
The final recipient in this category was Ryan Carthy-Walsh for his indoor Under-17 high jump of 1.98m and also the outdoor Under-17 record of 2.08m.
Wexford's international athletes received recognition awards, which was a new category, in light of the outstanding achievements representing Ireland during the year.
The rolls of honour went to: Ryan Carthy-Walsh (Adamstown), member of the Irish team at the European Youth Olympics, silver medallist, and member of the Irish team and gold medallist at the international schools track and field in Scotland;
Marguerite Furlong (Adamstown), member of the Irish team and gold medallist in the Celtic Games;
Sophie McCabe (Bree), member of the Irish team at the international schools track and field, and member of the Irish team and gold medallist in the Celtic Games;
David McDonald (Menapians), member of the Irish team at the international schools trackand field and Irish relay team medallist;
Kathlyn Furlong (D.M.P.), member of the Irish team at the international schools track and field;
Chloe Whelan (Menapians), member of the Irish team at the international schools track and field;
Jackie Carthy (Kilmore), member of the Irish team and medallist at the British and Irish Masters cross-country;
Ger Moloney (St. Paul's), member of the Irish team at the British and Irish Masters cross-country, third individual Over-55 and member of the Irish team which won gold in the World Masters Mountain Races in Wales last September;
Niall Sheil (St. Killian's), represented Ireland in the Five Nations cross-country championships in Santry in November;
Tom Hogan (S.B.R.), member of the Senior Irish team at the World Mountain championships in Wales;
Bernard Fortune (S.B.R.), member of the Senior Irish team at the World Mountain championships.
The final special presentation was made to the highly-efficient outgoing County Secretary, Jane Porter of Slaney Olympic, in acknowledgement of her years of service to the County Board.
County Chairman, Paddy Morgan, acknowledged the work of his fellow officers and of coaches and athletes from across the county, making the year gone by one of the most successful for Wexford ever.
He wished all athletes every success for 2016 before handing over to D.M.P's D.J. Ronnie Bent for music and dancing until late.