Connacht Outdoor Championships, Day 1

6 June 2015 at Claremorris AC track, Co. Mayo

On 6th June 30 juvenile athletes from Longford AC in the U9-12 age group travelled to Claremorris, Co. Mayo to compete in the first day of the Connacht Outdoor Championships. Even though the conditions were challenging with rain and wind several time during the day it never dampened the enthusiasm of our youngest competitors who thoroughly enjoyed the event.

The day started with Relays and Longford AC put forward teams in U9, U10, U11 and U12 Girls and 2 teams in U12 Boys. This was a huge learning experience for all the children that took part and gave them all a great sense of the teamwork required for efficient handovers. Two sets of Connacht medals were won and both of these teams progress on to compete in the upcoming summer GloHealth Athletics Ireland National Finals.

The U11 Girls team of Funmi Talabi, Ella Duggan, Kate Mac Entire and Laura Farrell ran an excellent race with a time of 1.05.38, to beat 12 other teams from the Western Region for the set of Gold medals. Sarah Mc Phillips, Avril Cosgrove, Kate Hagan & Melissa O’Kane won Bronze medals in the U12 Girls Relay. Their event was run in gale force wind and rain and they deserve credit for their very strong performance finishing with a time of 1.03.01.

Then the focus turned to the pair’s competition in sprint and middle distance. The youngest athletes aged U9-11 are paired together to get a combined time. Several children from the Dromard section of the club made their debut in the blue Longford AC singlet.

The outstanding performance of the day was Funmi Talabi, Edgeworthstown, and Laura Farrell, Ardagh, working together as a pair in the U11 Girls 60m sprint. They won the set of Gold Connacht medals from a panel of 15 pairs representing all the counties of Connacht. Funmi recorded the fastest individual time in the entire age group, 9.04 seconds. The girls will move up to the national level running as a pair in Tullamore.

Eleven Longford athletes competed in U12 individual events including turbo javelin, long jump and shot putt. Ardagh’s Melissa O’Kane impressed with her 3rd place finish in the U12 Girls 600m race at 2.01.19. Tommy Corcoran, Granard, won a Silver medal in high jump after clearing 1.25m and he threw 7.50m to finish 4th place in the U12 Boys shot putt. Both Melissa and Tommy join the two relay teams and sprint pair having all secured their places in the GloHealth Athletics Ireland Nationals at Tullamore Harriers Stadium in July. Next weekend the U13-19 athletes will take their turn on the track as Longford AC returns to Claremorris, Co. Mayo for the 2nd day of the Connacht Outdoor Championships.