Funmi lays on the speed to bring home double gold

Day 1 of the Connacht Indoor Track & Field Championships held at AIT International Arena, 20th February 2016

Longford AC juveniles were out in force competing on Day 1 of the Connacht Indoor Track and Field Championships at the International Arena at Athlone IT last Saturday. 325 athletes in the U12-13 age group from throughout the Western Region took their places on the starting line in sprints, middle distance and relay events over the course of the day.

Well known in Longford for sprinting, Edgeworthstown’s Olufunmilayo Talabi proved to be the fastest girl in Connacht winning the u12 60m sprint in 9.06 seconds. Knowing she could be counted on to bring speed Funmi was also a key member of two girls’ relay teams. She helped her teammates win Gold in the U13 Girls Relay (59.10 seconds) as well as Bronze in the U12 Relay (62.30 seconds), qualifying for all three events in the upcoming GloHealth Athletics Ireland National Indoor finals.

Sian Gallagher, Rachel Mulligan and Tara Crossan rounded off the U12 Girls Relay team running together for the very first time at this competitive event. The U13 team of Sarah McPhillips, Melissa O’Kane and Aideen Mulligan had the benefit of more experience, having competed together several times over the past few years in both indoor and outdoor relay.

Trying out Hurdles for the first time, several juveniles showed good form and style in this event with Aideen Mulligan winning Bronze. As there is keen interest in hurdles it looks like the Club will put more emphasis on training for this event for the outdoor season.

Long Jump, High Jump and Shot Putt were all taking place simultaneously with the track heats, giving a great display of the range of events available for juvenile athletes. Killian Derwin, Jack Gallagher, Tommy Corcoran, Seamus Walsh and Ross Shields were in action for Longford.

Well done to newcomers Karen O’Boyle, Rory Carr, Eileen, Padraig and John Boyle, who all wore the blue Longford AC vest for the first time. Day 2 will see 23 Longford juvenile athletes in the U14-19 age group competing in a wide range of track and field events. With close attention to the technical aspects of lane changes and baton handovers the Club is hoping to duplicate last year’s success in the older age group relay events as they have entered four very competitive teams.