Talented teens among medals at schools tests
It was another busy week in the athletics calendar on the provincial front, with the Leinster Schools track and field championships starting on Wednesday, with day two in Morton Stadium, Santry, on Saturday.
With the Mr Oil Masters county road race taking place on Friday evening in Kilmore, there was something for all ages in the sport.
The highlight performances on Wednesday in Santry were Aisling Kelly, Loreto Wexford (Taghmon A.C.) who took the Leinster title in the Minor girls' 75m hurdles, with Sophie Codd, Colaiste Abbáin (Bree A.C.) winning bronze in the same race.
The Leinster triple jump champion in the Junior girls' age grade was Grace Cloney, St. Mary's (Adamstown A.C.), with a very good hop, skip and jump of 9.75m.
Also from St. Mary's and Adamstown, Kate Jackman took silver in the javelin.
The boys also represented themselves well with Darragh Casey, C.B.S. Enniscorthy (Bree A.C.) taking silver in the Minor 75m hurdles.
Gergely Pap, representing C.B.S. Wexford, did the double in the throws with a win in the Minor boys' discus and shot, with a particularly good putt of 13.18m.
Also in the Minor throws, Maxwell Shoyeju of C.B.S. Enniscorthy (Enniscorthy A.C.) was the silver medal-winner in the javelin.
In the Junior boys' 1,200m walk, Ramsgrange Community School's James Hanlon (Taghmon A.C.) had an easy victory to be crowned Leinster champion.
In the Under-16 boys' long jump, Jacob English of Enniscorthy C.B.S. (Enniscorthy A.C.) took silver. Also representing Enniscorthy C.B.S. and Enniscorthy A.C. was Peter O'Connor who had an outstanding run in the 110m hurdles at Senior level to win the gold and the Leinster title.
The second day of the competition took place the following Saturday and once again the medals flowed for the Wexford students in a competition that is of a much higher standard than regular championships, with the inclusion of the Dublin schools and the amalgamation of age groupings, especially at Intermediate level.
In the younger age groups, the earliest of the medals went to Marguerite Furlong representing St. Mary's (Adamstown A.C.) when she won gold in the shot putt and followed up with a silver in the discus. At the same age grade, Bronagh O'Hanlon, Presentation Wexford (Taghmon A.C.) won the silver in the hammer.
In the sprints at Intermediate level, Aoife Rochford of Coláiste Bríde (Bree A.C.) also had a double medal haul with bronze in the 100m and silver in the 200m.
A number of Senior medals came Wexford's way when Eimear Doherty, Loreto Wexford (D.M.P. A.C.) took the Leinster title in the high jump, as did Sophie McCabe of Mean Scoil Gharman (Bree A.C.) in the triple jump.
Katelyn Furlong of Coláiste Abbáin (D.M.P. A.C.) was another medal-winner in the hammer, only 10cm off the gold.
Not to be outdone, the boys also delivered some outstanding performances with the Good Counsel trio of Shane Power, Ryan Carthy-Walsh and Joe Mooney taking their Leinster titles in style.
Ryan Carthy-Walsh (Adamstown A.C.) broke the Leinster Schools record when he cleared 2.05m in the Inter boys' high jump, which was another standard for the European youth championships. Joe Mooney had a comforatble win in the 3k walk with almost three minutes to spare on his nearest rival.
Representing New Ross C.B.S., Pádraig Hore (Taghmon A.C.) was a double medal winner at Intermediate level in both the discus, taking the silver, and the shot, taking bronze.
Conor Gaffney (St. Peter's Wexford and Menapians A.C.) had another comfortable win in the 400m hurdles at Senior level to take the Leinster title.
Also representing St. Peter's, Shane Parle (D.M.P.) continued his progress in the high jump with a silver medal.
The third medal of the day for St. Peter's went to Mikey Cullen (Menapians A.C.) in the Senior long jump where he won bronze.
All of these athletes are now going into preparation for the All-Ireland Schools before the end of May, with aspirations high in Co. Wexford for another medal haul.