The Laois / Westmeath / Offaly inter county track & field championships were held on Friday 18th March at the Tullamore Harriers Athletics Stadium. Although the evening was cool, there was some hot competition on the track.
The club sent a number of athletes to this competition and the club would like to thank the Offaly County Board for the invitation. Ikeya Collins competed in the girls under-13 600 meters and dominated the race with a class performance to take the gold medal, no doubt she will be in contention for provincial medals later in the season. Ikeya ran behind the race leaders for the first 500 meters and with 100 meters to go, out sprinted all the competitors to win easily and in some style. Ikeya won her heat of the 80 meters in fine fashion and took the silver medal in the final.
Brendan Finnan showed what a class athlete he is over a range of events he competed in. In the under 10 500 meters, he won the race with considerable ease and was never troubled throughout. Brendan won the ball throw and this was an excellent introduction to this competition for him. Next event Brendan competed in was the heat of the 60 metes where he won. The final was extremely competitive and he finished with an excellent bronze medal. The final event Brendan took part in was the long jump where he again took a bronze medal. Not a bad return for Brendan and his final medal collection was two gold medals and two bronze medals.
Another athlete to show class and in her first competition was Adeyemi Talabi who collected the complete medal collection of gold, silver and bronze in the under ten events. There were high expectations that she could compete at the highest level in the sprint event and she certainly delivered. In the 60 meter heat, she easily qualified for the final in first place. There were some excellent competitors in the final but Adeyemi dominated from start to finish taking the gold medal with a class display. Using her strong sprint speed, she jumped her way to a silver medal in the long jump and used her strength to take the bronze medal in the ball throw. No doubt we will see more of Adeyemi in the coming years.
What a pair the club has for the under nine pair competition if they can compete in Connaught, these are Sarah Mc Phillips and Aideen Mulligan. Both girls put in outstanding performances on the night in the events which they competed in and would be expected to medal in Connaught. Both girls easily qualified from their respective heats to qualify for the sprint final. Sarah won the final in fine fashion with some degree of authority. Aideen put in a tremendous performance and took the silver medal and completed the one two for the club. Having first and second place was a sight to behold for the club supporters on the night. Next up was the 300 meters which was a final with a large number of competitors and right from the start both girls went to the front. Aideen finished strongly taking the gold medal and Sarah the bronze. Aideen was not finished yet and went on to take silver medal in the ball throw competition. Both girls showed boundless enthusiasm.
Next up was Cian Mc Phillips who was recovering from injury and was competing in the under 11 boys 600 meters. There was an excellent standard of competition in this race with a number of athletes expected to figure prominently in the National finals later in the summer. On this occasion, Cian ran extremely well to take the silver medal and can be really satisfied with his performance despite his recent injury. Cian competed in the sprint and qualified for the final. In a close final he finished fourth and can be satisfied with his performance.
Niamh Harte jumped really well in the under eleven girls’ long jump to take the bronze medal.
Emily Mc Carty took the bronze medal in the under twelve shot pump with an excellent throw on her final attempt, the two Longford shot putt officials were really impressed considering her previous attempts were well outside the medal positions. Emily finished second in the sprint heat but was unfortunate not to medal in the final.
Lauren O Connor won her heat in the under eleven 80 meters sprint with some style but finished just outside the medals in the final, she is looking forward to her next competition. No doubt Lauren will learn and improve from this experience. Lauren competed in the long jump and finished sixth.
James Moran was second in his sprint heat and finished an unlucky fourth in the final.
Dearbhaile Rooney competed in the under twelve sprint and finished fourth in the heat just missing out on the final.
Thomas Ivel finished fourth in the under twelve heat and again missed out on competing in the final, this was the same fate for Niamh Brady, all four were eliminated on fractions of seconds, this is the true essence of championship competition. In the boys under thirteen race over 600 meters both Thomas Ivel and James Moran ran well but did not finish in the medal positions.
In the middle distance races for girls over 600 meters, Emily Mc Carthy, Sarah Sloane, Dearbhaile Rooney and Niamh Brady ran well but finished outside the medals. This was a fantastic competition for our juveniles to compete in and no doubt they will continue to improve in the future, there was some really excellent competition in both track and field events on the night, well done to all.