After two days of competition at the GloHealth National Juvenile Indoor Championships, held at AIT International Arena on March 12 & 13, 2016 Longford AC came home with 1 x Bronze – Cian McPhillips, 2 x 4th place-Nelvin Appiah, 1 x 5th place-Yemi Talabi, 1 x 6th place-Brendan Finnan and 1 x 7th place-Nelvin Appiah.
Day 1 saw the fastest young athletes from across the country putting on a very impressive display. Both Funmi Talabi and Aaron Kelly ran well in the heats of the 60m sprint but did not qualify to move to the next stage. Yemi Talabi made the U15 girls final and clocked a new pb of 8.11 seconds, finishing in 5th place overall. The winning time of 7.83 seconds gives an indication of the very high standard of Irish Athletics.
Brendan Finnan finished 6th place overall in the U14 Boys High Jump notching up a new pb of 1.40m. Brendan will pursue the Combined Events in the outdoor season, with high jump being an important part in this overall event. He will be focusing on hurdles and shot putt to be able to bring all 5 events together.
Day 2 saw five Longford AC athletes in action. The 800m race is a balancing act for any athlete as they must run well in the heat in order to qualify for the final while still keeping a reserve to give an all-out performance after only a few hours break. Joe Reilly, Moyne, was unfortunate not to get the last qualifying place in the U14 Boys final with his time of 2:27.07. Cian McPhillips was in great form as he won bronze in u15 800m, time 2:10.82, only 1 second off the winner. He held his pace as the 4th place runner fell away as the top three rounded the final curve after 4 laps and sprinted to the line. This medal winning performance comes only one week after Cian ran in the Athletics Ireland National Secondary Schools Cross Country Championship finishing 13th in the Junior Boys 3500m race, a year ahead of his usual age group.
Aideen Mulligan, Killoe, was out on the track for the U13 Girls 60m Hurdles. She gained experience in this extremely fast event that she can bring forward to the upcoming outdoor track season.
Nelvin Appiah did himself proud competing in three events in his first outing at National level, setting new pbs in all three. The challenge was to pace himself over the course of the long day, saving his last burst of energy for the 200m final. Nelvin finished 4th place in both the U16 Boys high jump at 1.75m and in the 200m. Earlier in the day he won his heat, 23.75 seconds, and he went on to a 7th place finish in the Long jump at 5.80m.
Peter Parker, Strokestown, also hit the board at the long jump pit with his best of 3.41m. Although he did not replicate his Connacht jump Peter enjoyed the opportunity to complete at the National forum. Well done to the nine juvenile athletes from Longford Athletics Club that represented the Club at the Indoor Championships and to their achievements and new pbs over the two day event. Next weekend six teams will compete in the All-Ireland Relay finals.