Young guns in flying form
Mighty medal haul at the Leinster indoor championships
The Leinster Juvenile indoor championships took place in Athlone Institute of Technology recently. With three national qualifying places up for grabs in each event, the competition was extremely strong, adding a growth in numbers for each event this year.
Athletes from Under-12 upwards to Under-19 chased the places on the podium in a range of track and field events, and Wexford performers excelled in almost all disciplines, recording a number of championship best performances also.
In the hotly-contested 600m, the final saw no less than four athletes from Wexford line up in the boys' Under-12 following five heats. United Striders' Aidan Shannon hit the front from the gun to take the gold medal. Conor Gaffney from Menapians ran an impressive 800m in the boys' Under-19 to earn a bronze medal with a new P.B.
The 60m hurdles event saw a number of Wexford athletes come through the qualifying rounds and the medals went to: Katie Whelan, Bree, silver in the girls' Under-13; Darragh Casey, Bree, silver in the boys' Under-13; Shane O'Neill, Menapians, bronze in the boys' Under-14; Karyn Murphy, Enniscorthy, bronze in the girls' Under-15 60m hurdles; Aaron Smith-Tierney, Menapians, bronze in the boys' Under-16; Aoife Cloke-Rochford, Bree, bronze in the girls' Under-17; Sam O'Neill, Menapians, silver in the boys' Under-17; Peter O'Connor, Enniscorthy, bronze in the boys' Under-18; Tim Bowler, Enniscorthy, silver in the boys' Under-19, and finally Ryan Murray, Bree, who put in a blistering performance to take the Leinster title in the boys' Under-18, the first of three golds over the course of the championships.
Wexford's high jumpers put in storming performances with a record going in the process. Ryan Carthy-Walsh of Adamstown had cleared the field of opponents when he had his first attempt at the Leinster record of 1.91m in the boys' Under-17. Clearing the height with ease, he went on to record a new P.B. of 1.98m in an attempt at the European Youth Olympic standard.
Eimear Doherty from D.M.P. also took the gold in the Under-19 high jump, with Kilmore's Leona Reville taking the silver in the same event. The third high jump gold went to Jack Forde of St. Killian's with a very good 1.38m in the boys' Under-13.
Other high jump medallists included Laurence Power, Adamstown, bronze in the boys' Under-12; Maeve Hayes, St. Paul's, bronze in the girls' Under-14; Clodagh Walsh, Adamstown, bronze in the girls' Under-17; Peter O'Connor, Enniscorthy, bronze in the boys' Under-18, and Tim Bowler, Enniscorthy, silver in the boys' Under-19.
The throwers were equally impressive with Lystus Ebosele of Enniscorthy breaking the twelve-year-old record in the girls' Under-15 shot putt by over a metre. Lystus in fact recorded three throws over the old C.B.P. which was 11.34m to take the Leinster championship with a best throw of 12.57m.
Other throwers making the podium included Gergely Pap from St. Paul's, boys' Under-14 Leinster champion with 10.99; Marguerite Furlong, Adamstown, girls' Under-16 Leinster champion with 11.85; Laurence Power, Adamstown, silver in the boys' Under-12; Festy Ebosele, Enniscorthy, bronze in the boys' Under-14, and Pádraig Hore, Taghmon, silver in the boys' Under-16.
In the 60m sprint events there was success in many of the age groups, but for the Wexford audience the girls' Under-13 grade was where the main action was seen. Sabia Doyle from Menapians broke the C.B.P. in her semi-final and was joined in the final by Bree's Katie Whelan. Both put in outstanding performances to see Sabia take the gold in a record time of 8.08, and Katie take the silver, making it a one-two for the Model county to the delight of the supporters.
Another gold went to Ryan Murray in the boys' Under-18, making him a triple Leinster champion. Other sprint medallists included: April Keeling, Menapians, silver in the girls' Under-14; Festy Ebosele, Enniscorthy, bronze in the boys' Under-14; Jack Hayden, Menapians, silver in the boys' Under-16; Ciarán Maher, Menapians, bronze in the boys' Under-17; Chloe Whelan, Bree, bronze in the girls' Under-18, and Jane Shovlin, Menapians, silver in the girls' Under-19.
The 200m events saw some success again from these sprinters with Ryan Murray doing a powerful lap to take the gold in the boys' Under-18. Ciarán Maher won silver in the boys' Under-17; Sophie McCabe from Bree won silver in the girls' Under-18, and Ross Daly from Enniscorthy took the bronze in the boys' Under-16.
Likewise the 400m saw success for Sophie McCabe, winning bronze, and Tim Bowler was second in the boys' Under-19 with James Fortune, also of Enniscorthy, third in the same event.
The long jumpers had multiple successes, starting at girls' Under-13 level when Aisling Kelly from Taghmon earned gold. Jane Shovlin from Menapians also became Leinster champion in the girls' Under-19.
Other long jump medallists included: Jack Forde, St. Killian's, silver in the boys' Under-13; Maxwell Shoyeju, Enniscorthy, bronze in the boys' Under-13; April Keeling, Menapians, bronze in the girls' Under-14; John Hogan, Enniscorthy, bronze in the boys' Under-16; Ryan Carthy-Walsh, Adamstown, bronze in the boys' Under-17, and Peter O'Connor, Enniscorthy, silver in the boys' Under-18.
All medallists from the four days of regional championships held over the past month will go on to compete next weekend in the national finals, once again in Athlone. With record-breaking and quality performances to date, we will be eagerly awaiting some good results from the indoor arena over the coming weekend.