Thursday 22 August 2019

Curtain drawn on local track and field season

The second day of the Mr Oil Senior track and field championships took place at Enniscorthy Sports Hub on Wednesday.

Six athletes who had competed in the first leg of the county Senior championships were called up to represent Ireland within days of their appearances on the track in Enniscorthy. Four Juveniles received invitations to wear the Irish vest in the schools' international which takes place in Scotland on July 18: Ryan Carthy-Walsh (Adamstown) in the high jump; David McDonald (Menapians) in the sprints; Chloe Whelan (Menapians) in the 300m hurdles, and Sophie McCabe (Bree) in the triple jump.

Ryan Carthy-Walsh also received the National Governing Body nomination to the Olympic Council of Ireland to compete in the European Youth Olympics Festival, departing Dublin Airport for Georgia on July 22.

Phil Healy (Bandon) who competed in the sprints as a guest, was also called up for the European Under-23 championships, and Caim's own Michael Bowler (Kilkenny City Harriers), who ran the 400m and 100m heats, is one of three combine eventers to represent Ireland in the European Cup.

With this type of standard at our local county championships, one would think that competing at domestic Wexford level would be a daunting affair. Not so for the large numbers, particularly from United Striders, Enniscorthy A.C., Menapians, Croghan, Slaney Olympic and Kilmore, who took to the track and to the field.

Once again the sprints were the highlight of the night, with excellent standards in all events from Novice to Over-50 grades.

The 1,500m and 800m races also produced some excellent spectator events, with Ger Forde (Slaney Olympic) and Paul Doran (United Striders) giving the crowd a thrilling event.

The impact of the impending Juvenile, National Under-23 and Junior competitions made for reduced numbers of younger athletes, but the Masters made up the numbers, showing excellent form in many events.

Local track and field is now done and dusted, and the new county track and field Secretary, United Striders' Linda Rogers, must surely draw a breath of relief, but celebrated by being part of the gold medal-winning ladies' 4 x 400m relay team for her club.

The men's 4 x 400m relay saw every lane full and with every age from Over-50 to Under-17 taking to the tartan, it made for a celebratory finish to the Wexford championships. Next up in Wexford is the cross-country in October.

Wexford People

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