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Connacht Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Day 2

Claremorris, Co. Mayo

Longford AC had fourteen juvenile athletes competing at the second day of the Connacht Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Claremorris last weekend. This competition attracts over 500 teenage athletes in the U13-19 categories from throughout the Western Region. The Programme of Events includes hurdles, steeplechase, race walks, sprints and a variety of middle distances from 200m up to 3000m. The day started well with all 3 boys relay teams, U13, U14 and U15, winning medals and thereby qualifying for the Athletics Ireland National Relay Finals in July in Tullamore.

U13 Boys: David McDonnell and Evan Moran both from Strokestwon and Ardagh’s Cathal Farrell and Brendan Finnan. 2nd place, time 58.62

U14 Boys: Daire McManus, Cian McPhillips, Adam Shields and David McDonnell. 3rd place, 56.84

U15 Boys: Martin & Peter Parker, Strokestown, Adam Shields and Daire McManus. 2nd place, time 57.36

Brendan Finnan continued his success this year in field events winning a gold, silver and bronze in U13 Boys high jump, 1.30m, hurdles and long jump, 4.07m. Brendan shows a real flare for multi-events and will be able to compete in this forum starting next year at U14.

Cian McPhillips took on a new challenge of running the U14 Boys 1500m as well as his usual 800m which was a very demanding combination in the same afternoon. Two age groups, U14 and U15, ran the 1500m together making it difficult to distinguish which runners were in each age group. When the results were finally posted Cian’s time of 4.48:81 was 0.0:33 off the 1st place U14 Boys winner showing he is very competitive in this distance. The 800m race was the final event of a very long day.  In true style Cian ignited the crowd as he sprinted the final 60m of the second lap to win gold in the 800m adding a second medal to his earlier silver medal run in the 1500m.

Representing the Dromard section of the club, Sarah Murphy won Bronze in the U14 Girls 800m race. Sarah managed to stay on her feet as a runner overtaking close to the finish cut in tightly directly in front of her snatching second place at the finish line.

Brothers Daire and Sean McManus will both make the trip to Tullamore in July as they qualified for Nationals in sprint and shot putt respectively. Sean threw 9.55m, showing improvement to his pb of 9.18m from the Connacht Indoor Championship in March, to win bronze in the U17 Boys shot putt. Twins Martin and Peter Parker from Strokestown will join them competing in the U15 Boys 200m and hurdles.

Kenagh’s Corey Molloy medalled twice in U16 Boys 100m and 200m putting in very strong performances in both races. The standard for sprints is always competitive and this is a great achievement for Corey putting him forward in both events at the National level.  The longest race of the day saw Niall Nerney, Stonepark, on the track for the U19 3000m. Niall finished in 2nd place with time of 10.18:18 sees him as the final qualifier from Longford AC to go on to the Athletics Ireland Nationals in Tullamore in July.