Connacht Outdoor Track & Field Championships 2017- Relays
Sligo IT, 10 & 17 June 2017
Longford Athletics Club has eight teams through to Athletics Ireland National Relay finals in July after two weekends of action on the track at Sligo IT. Three Girls teams, U13, U14 and U17 plus all the Boys U15-18 Teams have qualified and now have a brief window to fine tune their skills for the All-Ireland Outdoor Relay Championship on 2nd July in Athlone.
After winning Silver at the National Indoor Relay Championships in March, Longford athletes Nelvin Appiah, Cian Nolan, Killian Rawle and Cian McPhillips are eager to put their speed to the test on outdoor conditions All-Ireland level.
Nearly 800 juvenile athletes in the youngest age groups, U9-13 years old, travelled to Sligo for competition on Day 1 of the Connacht Outdoor Track & Field Championships 2017. Relay was the first event on the programme and Longford had their work cut out for them with 81 girls teams and 65 boys team from across the Connacht region registered for 4X100m relays on the day.
With their largest group of competitors to date Longford put out 13 teams giving every child the chance to try this event, many for the very first time. Top honours go to the U13 Girls team: Funmi Talabi, Siog Reilly, Laura Farrell and Rachel Mulligan winning the only set of medals for Longford on Day 1. The girls won their heat with a good lead, time of 57.99 seconds, but had to wait as the results for all 15 teams in their age group were tallied to hear they had claimed 1st place Gold.
Both the U10 Boys Team: Conor Wright, Max Gallagher, Cormac Mulligan & Padraic Mulligan, time 1:06.13 minute and the U13 Boys Team: Jack Belton, Joseph Carrigy, Matthew McCormack & Ryan Keogh, time 58.79 seconds, performed very well, each taking 4th place on a highly competitive day.
Longford was very confident heading to Sligo for Day 2 of the Championships with many of the Club’s more experienced athletes competing for places on the qualifiers’ list. This is one of the busiest days of track and field action in the Western Region with 500 teenagers from over 30 Clubs taking part in the packed Programme of Events.
Teams from Galway, Mayo and Sligo earned their qualification to Nationals at County level so many chose only to focus on their individual events. Six of Longford’s eight relay teams sailed through. U14 Girls: Sarah McPhillips, Aideen Mulligan, Laura Farrell and Funmi Talabi took Bronze, time of 57.69 seconds. U17 Girls: Gospel Idahor, Yemi Talabi, Precious Oseyemi & Edwige Mota won Gold, time 54.63 seconds.
Many of the U15-18 Boys were on double duty, running in their own age group and moving up an age to enhance teams. U16 Boys: Killian Rawle, Cian McPhillips, Cathal Farrell and Nevelone Dampare got Silver, time 51.24 seconds. Then it was two more Gold for U17 and U18 Boys Teams with Nelvin Appiah and Cian Nolan prominent in both victories. Trying a new event for the first time the U18 Boys all from Kenagh: Dylan Horkan, Aaron Kelly, Corey Molloy and Cian Nolan, ran the 4X400m Relay adding another set of Gold to their earlier 4X100m victory.
The U15 Boys team Cathal Farrell, Nevelone Dampare, Paul Idahor and Davidson Olusanya won their race, time 53.38 seconds, but were subsequently disqualified for a zone infraction. Despite this small set back they still go forward as a County team and will use the next two weeks training to focus on improving their handover timing.