Sunday 25 August 2019

Marco and Menapians win medals

The pinnacle of the track and field season took place in Morton Stadium, Santry, last weekend with the National Senior championships.

This year's event was not only part of the build up to the world championships which take place in Beijing later in the month, but also in the run up to Rio 2016, with standards to be achieved by Ireland's top flight.

With superb success at Juvenile level this year, the Senior championships for 2015 saw some predictable performances and a few surprises also. Wexford saw reasonable success, without any golds however.

Marco Pons, ever-dependable in the discus cage, threw below his recent run of 50m-plus throws, but still had an outstanding 49.91m to take the bronze medal, just 4cm off the silver.

Marco, who was defending his 2014 title and won the Irish University championships earlier this year, found himself in second place from the first to last throw, until he was ever so slightly edged out to third after the final throw.

The other medal successes came from the Menapians' relay teams, in both the 4 x 100m and the 4 x 400m, demonstrating as always the club's strength with the batons.

The 4 x 100m team was made up of Shaun Donohue, Micheál Deady, Tony Stafford and Conor Wilson, with the only change being the swap of Barry Upton for Deady for the 4 x 4 team.

In the 4 x 1 they clocked a speedy 43.64 and came in at 3.21.42 for the full circuit event, in which they had two teams entered. Once again the Wexford men showed slick baton changes and excellent relay tactics to take bronze medals in both relay events.

Overall there were some other performances of note from Wexford athletes. Fiona Kehoe ran a very fast final in the 800m to take fifth in 2.09, and Tony Stafford had a very good leap in the long jump to be positioned fourth with a best of 6.89m on both his first and last jump.

A few of our young stars were also in action in their first Senior championships and stepped up to the mark with respectable performances. David McDonald was fifth across the line in the 'B' 100m and Kathlyn Furlong was ninth in the hammer, getting a feel for the extra weight.

Jane Shovlin also competed in the long jump, as did Mikey Cullen, and both will be better for the experience of competition in the very top flight.

This brings the track and field season to an end and a well-deserved break for all the Wexford athletes.

Success abounded at Juvenile level and we would hope to transfer some of this to Senior level over the next few years as these athletes develop to their full potential.

Athletics fans have the world championships in China to look forward to over the coming weeks, but for most local clubs it's soon back into cross-country training to prepare for the autumn season and the first of the county championships which will start in October.

Wexford People