Menapians and Bree capture top honours in Tullamore
WEXFORD HAS always had a good record with its relay teams and this was evident in the national Juvenile relay championships held in Tullamore on Saturday last.
Wexford was represented in the inter-counties by teams in the boys' Under-13, girls' Under-15, boys' Under-15 and boys' Under-19, having had a great run through the Leinster championships in June.
Three clubs from Wexford - Menapians, Bree and Enniscorthy - also had teams qualify for the eagerly-awaited inter-club nationals.
Victory went to the Menapians boys' Under-15 team of David McDonald, John Murphy, Sam O'Neill, Jack Hayden, Luke O'Neill and Ciarán Maher, who smashed an Irish record that had been set 26 years ago.
Running a fantastic 4 x 100m in 47.52 seconds, the boys endured sweltering heat to take the gold when anchorman, David McDonald, crossed the line in first place.
The Under-16 Bree girls' team also became national champions in the next race.
In the Under-18 4 x 400m the Enniscorthy team of Tim Bowler, Ciarán Joyce, Chris Saint-Claire Johnson and Cathal Byrne put in another fine performance to take silver medals. This group of young men have been part of the Wexford men's National League team this year as well as making their debut at Senior level in the counties, and they deservedly topped the season off with a set of All-Ireland relay medals.
In the inter-county championships which took place late in the afternoon, our youngest team, the boys' Under-13, took national honours when they earned themselves silver medals in the 4 x 100m competition. Enniscorthy's Raphael Abidoye and Dylan O'Sullivan and Bree's Daire Rochford and John Kehoe were managed by Catríona Corcoran and went into the national championships as Leinster silver medalists, aided by Tommy Wickham from St. Paul's.
The boys sprinted the race of their lives to cross the finish line in second position and become the only county team to take home All-Ireland medals.
As most of the older county teams had some athletes competing in the inter-clubs earlier in the morning, the heat of the day together with injuries took its toll on both the girls' and boys' Under-15 teams who put in fine performances nevertheless, and on the boys' Under-19 team who had all competed earlier in the day.
The County Board would like to congratulate all of the athletes who put on the purple and gold singlet for Wexford in very warm conditions and especially applauds the work of the dedicated county relay team managers.
Thanks to Catríona Corcoran, Jimmy O'Neill, Marie Mooney, John Wall and Pat Carty, who put in a huge effort to get the best from their teams.