The Leinster juvenile indoor championships was held last weekend at Athlone IT, we had 20 athletes competing from the club from u12-u18 in both track and field events.
On Saturday Ella Healy, Aoife Rutherford and Tom Kilgannon competed in the U12 600m, Ella and Aoife had a good run, both finishing 3rd in their heats in 2.01s and they were very unlucky not to qualify for the final. Tom Kilgannon ran a very good heat and was a comfortable winner in a pb of 1.53.70, but there was a lot more to come in the final, Tom took control from the start and with a very confident run led the field from gun to tape finishing 2 seconds clear in a terrific time of 1.49.27s to claim the first track gold of the day for the club. Rachel McPartlin and Emma Coroner competed in the girl’s u13 high jump, Rachel finished 6th with a jump of 1.2m, Emma was below her best finishing 13th with 1.15m. Meanwhile Lili O’ Connor competing in her first indoor championships was in great form jumping 4.01m in the girls U12 long jump to win by the narrowest of margins from her nearest competitor with 4m. Matthew Buckley is really making a name for himself setting yet another record in the boys U13 60m hurdles, Matthew had a close battle in the heats, but was a clear winner in the final with a new Leinster championship best of 9.7s earning the 3rd gold of the day for the club. Brian Kiernan and Tommy Friel competed in the boy’s u16 200m, a first for Brian and Tommy at the shorter distance, Tommy finished 3rd in his heat but didn’t make it to the final, Brian won his heat in 24.67s and finished 5th in a very competitive final, a lot more to come from Brian and Tommy at this distance. Eoin Clayton also got in on the medals, setting a new pb for himself with a jump of 1.55m in the boys u17 high jump finishing 2nd.
On Sunday morning Lili O’ Connor and Daragh Casey competed in the u12 and U14 high jump, Lili finished 5thth with a jump of 1.18m, Daragh finished 7th with a pb of 1.30m. Emma Coroner and Kevin Conway competed in the u13 long jump, Kevin didn’t make it to the final, Emma jumped out of her skin finishing 3rd smashing her pb with a jump of 4.28m to claim her first individual Leinster medal. Meanwhile on the track our 800m athletes were in action, Ciaran McCarty ran in the boys U18 800m and finished 5th with a time of 2.09.80s, Peter Kilgannon and Philip Marron both qualified comfortably for the U17 800m final, Peter and Philip had a great run in the final both smashing their pbs, Peter finishing 3rd in a time of 204.15s with Philip hot on his heels in 4th with 2.05s. The speed merchants were up next in the afternoon, Lili O’Connor, Ella Healy, Aoife Rutherford and Emma O’ Connell competed in the girls u12 60m, a huge entry meant 8 heats were required with only the 8 fastest times making it through to the final, Emma and Aoife just missed out on a final spot running 8.39 and 8.32s, Ella and Lili made the final where Lili finished 3rd in a time of 8.72, Ella finished 6th in a time of 9.11, a great result for the girls considering the high standard of competition. We had four athletes competing in the u13 age group, again a very competitive age group with 8 heats in both boys and girls events, Kevin Conway and Rachel McPartlin ran well but didn’t make it out of the heats, Emma qualified for the final and ran a great race finishing 4th with a pb of 8.77s, Matthew was in flying form in the heat setting another new Leinster record of 7.94s and he won the final in style in 8.01s. Daragh Casey, Ivie Okome and Aine Cooney competed in the U14 60m, Brian Kiernan made his debut over 60m in the u16 age category, all ran well with Brian, Daragh and Aine setting new pbs. Aine and Brian very unfortunate not to make the final being only out by 100/second, Aine took .5 of a second off her time from last year, a big improvement. Ivie made the final and ran a strong race to finish third in a time of 8.28s, again another pb.
Thanks to all athletes and parents who made the trip, 2 long days of competition but the event this year was organised and ran very well with no delays. With only 20 of our athletes competing, to come away with 9 medals was a huge success and a real breakthrough for the club at Leinster level. Thanks to Athletics Leinster for a great event and Athlone IT for their world class facilities. Best of luck to all our qualifiers for the All Ireland on March 22nd and 23rd.