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A super day of athletics on Saturday at the Connacht U9 – U13 Championships in Athlone. Although the dry spell of weather came to an unwelcome end, the damp conditions didn’t prevent the young athletes of Connacht from performing excellently in both the track and field.

A long day of competition began with a Longford first across the line with the U13 4 x 100m team of Leah Waters, Cadhla Golden, Sophia Smith and Sarah Connolly combining to win their heat which earned the girls silver medals overall.

More medals soon followed when Ashlee Brady and Emily Weafer teamed up to win silver in the U9 Turbo Javelin pairs. Ashlee also won individual gold for the longest effort with an outstanding 11.26m. In the afternoon, Ashlee continued her great form as she and Maia Belton paired up for silver in the 60m. The U9 medals didn’t end there as our 4 x 100m quartet of Ashlee, Emily, Maia and Caitlin Eager each ran superbly to win bronze in the relay.

There was another outstanding Championships for the very talented John Fitzpatrick who won triple gold with topping the podium in each of the U13 High Jump, Shot Put and Long Jump. Despite the trying conditions, John’s 1.50m in the High Jump equalled the Connacht record and his 4.59m longest jump was only 0.04m off the record.

Andrew Fitzpatrick and Jamie McCaffrey won gold in the U11 Turbo Javelin pairs with Andrew also winning individual gold following an excellent throw of 27.44m during a downpour. Andrew later secured silver in a high quality U11 600m as he and Jamie paired up for bronze medals overall.

The medals didn’t end there for Andrew as he teamed up with El’Nathan Okoh, Donncha Farrell and Adam Mulleady for gold in the U12 4 x 100m. This was another brilliant showing by the boys and their 57.62 seconds clocking equalled the Connacht Record. Following indoor success in March, the boys brought back the the ‘Bolt’ celebration to the podium! El’Nathan had earlier clinched silver in the 60m with a swift 8.97 seconds with Adam placed into fourth by only 0.01.

Brilliant displays of throwing by Jairo Aklassou and Zac Nolan saw the boys win gold in the pairs for the U10 Turbo Javelin with both placing in the top four individually. Jairo bagged a silver medal for the second-best throw overall.

The 60m saw many more fantastic performances in the wet conditions. In the U10 age group, there was great gold medal individual success for Joe Rooney in the boys event setting the fastest time of the 36 entrants. Speedsters Joe and Jairo teamed up for gold in the pairings too. Vilte Krasikova won a brilliant bronze in the girls 60m and later won silver for the Long Jump.

Following her earlier relay success, Sarah sprinted her way to bronze in the U13 80m and narrowly missed out on a medal in the 600m. Both jumping a best height of 1.30m, Leah won bronze in the High Jump with Cadhla placing fourth in a personal best.

A very enjoyable day of athletics saw many members achieve qualification for the All-Irelands in three weeks’ time in Tullamore. Congrats to all qualifiers.

Thanks to the girls and boys and parents on a day where it was great to see so many children competing for Longford AC. Well done to all:

Jairo Aklassou, Maia Belton, Ashlee Brady, Eabha Brady, Georgia Brady, Holly Brady, Conor Brennan, Ciaran Comerford, Sarah Connolly, Philip Davis, Caitlin Eager, Caoimhe Eager, Sean Eager, Donncha Farrell, Andrew Fitzpatrick, John Fitzpatrick, Ted Fitzpatrick, Rian Foley, Múireann Foley, Cian Geoghegan, Cadhla Golden, Eoin Grehan, Tom Hourican, Emily Kane, Vilte Krasikova, Keeva Manning, Grace Masterson, Jamie McCaffrey, Sean McDermott, Eamonn McGinnity, Adam Mulleady, Dean Mulleady, Zoe Mulligan, Tadhg Murphy, Molly Murphy, Jessica Neary, Zac Nolan, Charlie Nolan, Emily Oge Nnachi, El’Nathan Okoh, Joe Rooney, Mollie Sheridan, Setanta Smith, Aoife Smith, Hollie Smith, Evan Smith, Sophia Smith, Sienna Smith, Julie Taitt, Sarah Taitt, Dillon Walsh, Jack Waters, Leah Waters and Emily Weafer.

Qualifiers towards the National Championships in Tullamore on Saturday, 1 July:

U9 60m Pairs: Ashlee & Maia
U9 Turbo Javelin Pairs: Ashlee & Emily
U9 4 x 100m relay: Ashlee, Caitlin, Emily & Maia
U10 60m Pairs: Joe & Jairo
U10 Turbo Javelin Pairs: Jairo & Zac
U11 600m Pairs: Andrew & Jamie
U11 Turbo Javelin Pairs: Andrew & Jamie
U12 60m: El’Nathan and Adam
U12 4 x 100m relay: Adam, Andrew, Donncha & El’Nathan
U13 High Jump, Long Jump & Shot Put: John
U13 80m: Sarah
U13 High Jump: Leah and Cadhla
U13 4 x 100m relay: Cadhla, Leah, Sarah & Sophia

Our thanks to the competition officials for their hard work in making the event possible for the almost 1000 participants from across the region.