Striders retain honours
The final round of the Juvenile winter league was held in glorious sunshine on Sunday in Enniscorthy.
The event had been postponed from December and moved to the track due to flooding on pitches, but it was worth the wait and the effort. There was a great display of running from all athletes with some fine performances.
The league title went once again to United Striders who went into the final round with a lead over S.B.R. Mel Heynan accepted the cup on behalf of the club and addressed the assembled group of young athletes with some kind and encouraging words.
There were ten athletes competing for star awards, awarded to athletes who win all four races in their age categories. There was stiff competition and many of those in the running had to battle hard for their awards.
Eabha Keane of D.M.P. was the first to collect her star award, winning the Under-8 girls, but she was chased all the way by an improving Leah Bolger of Bree. Third place went to Stephanie O'Connor of Enniscorthy.
Katie Doyle of S.B.R. took the honours in the Under-9 but again had to shake off the challenge of Marbelys Fernandez of Enniscorthy with Stephanie Deegan in third.
In the Under-10, Niamh Murphy battled with Cliona Kearney of Menapians, both coming into the home straight together, but Niamh put in a massive sprint finish to take the win and star award in spite of losing her spike with 40m to go. Cliona was safe in second with Aoife Byrne third.
Orla Deegan of S.B.R. won the Under-11 race from Sinéad O'Reilly of Menapians, and Leona Berry of United Striders was third, with Leona celebrating her birthday on the day. There was no star award in this competitive age group.
Chloe O'Toole of Taghmon won the Under-12 followed by Aoibhinn Mernagh of St. Paul's and Saibhe Byrne of Enniscorthy.
Danika Gilshinan of Menapians was a convincing winner of the Under-13 and received her star award. Aisling Kelly of Taghmon was second with Aoife O'Connor of D.M.P. third.
Róisín O'Reilly of Menapians also got her star award, shaking of challenges from Maeve Hayes of St. Paul's in second and Hannah Kelly of Taghmon who was third.
The Under-15 went to Rebecca Bawden with Alannah Byrne second and Joanne Kelly third, all scoring good points for United Striders. Striders took the Under-16 and -17 races also with Ciara Kelly and Elaine Browne.
There was no star award in the Under-8 boys. Peter Stefanor of St. Paul's won the race with Charlie Ryan of Menapians second and Dara Stone of D.M.P. third.
Kevin O'Mahony of D.M.P. won his star award in the Under-9 boys, winning his race with Ronan Shannon of United Striders second and Sam Meyers of United Striders third.
Conn Mernagh of St. Paul's was another star award recipient in the Under-10 boys, with Jerry Sheridan of S.B.R. second and Rob Stirling of St. Paul's third in a close finish.
Myles Hewlett of United Striders made sure there was no risk of him passing over his star award, but he had to shake off Jay Hogan of S.B.R. and his brother, Cosmo Hewlett (United Striders).
Aidan Shannon of United Striders won the Under-12 from Conor Doyle of S.B.R. and Darragh Flannelly of United Striders in another of the day's close races.
Adam O'Connor of Striders won the Under-13, taking a star award. He was chased hard by Joe Byrne of S.B.R. and Conor Holloway of S.B.R.
Aaron Browne of United Striders was a popular winner of his star award, winning the Under-14 with his team-mate Cian Flanagan second and Conor Keane of D.M.P. third.
The Under-15 boys' winner was Adam Kehoe of D.M.P., with Josh Hogan of S.B.R. second. Tomás Breen of S.B.R. won the Under-16 with Tony Roe of D.M.P. second.
United Striders retain the cup with S.B.R. second and Menapians third. In all 264 athletes competed in the league, with some fine performances over the four rounds. Well done to everyone.