Blackrock AC’s grand tradition with relay squads continued last Sunday at the Athletics Leinster Juvenile Relays staged in a gloriously sunny Greystones track.
And though with less success this year than on many others, the splendid efforts by the by the Blackrock kids over these 4 x 100m races still yielded plenty of metal. And all was done with plenty of style.
The big winners were the imperious U11 Girls who once again swept all before them. Fastest of the qualifiers, these remarkable girls always looked like they would have another great day in the sun once the long striding Caoilfhionn McCarthy flew out of the blocks and handed the baton to Aoibhin McMahon.
There was an audible gasp from the crowd as Aoibhinn thundered down the back straight and swept Blackrock into the lead. Running a fine bend at number three Aoife O’Brien kept Blackrock ahead for what now looked to be an inevitable victory because of the strength of Blackrock’s anchor Neasa Reilly.
But what was remarkable was the sheer professionalism of the final baton change from Aoife to Neasa. The girls exchanged like lightening, and there is no nine or ten year old in Ireland who could live with the fleet footed Neasa as she powered away for a hugely convincing victory from Ratoath and their neighbours in Dunleer AC. These girls were joined by squad members Leah McArdle and Eimear Fee for a joyous medal ceremony.
Neasa’s day was not finished. Both she and Aoibhinn moved up an age group to join Sarah Morgan and Ciara O’Hanlon for the U12s. And what a fine race these girls ran against Leinster’s best.
Ciara, Aoibhinn and Sarah ran the first three legs keeping Blackrock always up near the lead with Neasa again taking the anchor. But this time Neasa had a huge fight on her hands down the home straight as three teams were stretched across the finishing line fighting it out for third. But she has grit as well as speed, and the fans cheered loudly for these four girls’ wonderful bronze medal.
Sarah and Ciara moved up to join Penny Morris and Ava Kiernan in the U13s, and these girls, who were brilliant winners of silver in the Leinster Indoorsin March, just could not make it to the medals this time, yet finished an excellent seventh place in a large field of competitors.
The U14s finished a very close up 5th. Gemma McCrave, Clodagh Roe, Grace Brosnan and Shauna McMahon ran magnificently and were unfortunate not to reach the podium in a very hot contest.
The U10 girls, so talented, also finished 7th. Faye Tinsley, Aibhlis Todd, Lily McEntegart and Maebh Fee can be very proud of their sterling efforts against another huge field of opposition.
The strangest result of the day was for those perennial medallists, the U18 Girls who have taken so many Leinster golds over the years. The full squad of Rebecca Carr, Amy Dalton, Meghan McGuigan and Annabelle Morris were not present when their decider was run one hour and a half before the advertised start time.
As a result, the officials accommodated a re-run of the race in which Blackrock nosed home ahead of earlier winners Kilkenny City Harriers. The girls were awarded a consolation gold and take their part in the Irish finals in July, along with the U11s and U12s.
Once again, Blackrock showed their prowess on the provincial stage.
THE Ardee and District AC Girls U9 team produced a dazzling display to win gold at the Leinster Relay Championships in Greystones, Co Wicklow on Sunday last.
Ava McNally, Jessica Smith, Orlaith Carolan and Ruth Gillespie performed with panache and faultless baton changing to take top spot on the podium.
It was to prove to be a double celebration for Jessica who had received her First Holy Communion the previous day.
Friday evening saw the annual Cooley Coast Run take place and amongst the runners were many Glenmore AC Juvenile and Fit for Life members.
First man home in the 10km for Glenmore was Pat Ferguson whilst Anne McEvoy was the first woman home.
Congrats to all of the following for finishing the 10km: Bernadette McCullagh, Tracy Sharkey, Gerry Stewart, Fionne Lynch, Laura Hoey, Nicola Ferguson, Gavin White, Paul Gallagher, Annie McGuinness, Dan McKevitt, Cathal Quinn, Lillian O’Reilly, Niamh Rice, Maeve White, Aimee Farnon, Ellen Barry, Katelyn Quinn, Chloe Barry, Ciara Quinn,Geraldine Rafferty, Cian McGuinness, Elizabeth Rafferty, Nora Rafferty, Mary Rafferty, Mary Woods, Stephen O’Connor, Susan O’Neill and Deirdre Woods. Shane Arnold and Gabrielle O’Hanlon ran the 12.5km.
Stephen O’Connor, Kenneth McBride and Gabrielle O’Hanlon completed the Mint 10km in Dundalk lasst week.
Glenmore AC Fit for Life members can pick up their registration cards and order club tee shirts at track next Wednesday. Fun on the Run continues for 7yrs+ on Tuesdays from 7-8pm and Thursday from 7-8pm for Juveniles whilst Fit for Life group meets every Wednesday at 7 and Sunday morning at 8.30am.
The Cooley area community games take place at the track on Thursday May 23 at 6.30pm for all those interested in going forward to County competition on Saturday May 26. Please see www.glenmoreac.com for more details.
Dunleer AC had tremendous success at the Leinster Juvenile Relay competition in Greystones at the weekend with nine teams competing from U9 to U14.
Provincial bronze medals were won by the boys U13 team of Neal Hodgins, Conor Matthews, Finn Reilly and Cathal Quinn, the girls U11 team of Rachel Leonard, Olivia Carroll, Aeyla Orr and Grace Fitzpatrick and the girls U14 team of Erin Orr, Niamh O’Connor, Seoda Matthews and Emma Cheshire. The other teams acquitted themselves very well and qualified for the finals.
Next outing for the club will be the Leinster U9, 10, 11 and 12 Championships this weekend in Tullamore.
Dunleer AC and Scoil Ui Mhuiri join forces
Congratulations to the Scoil Uí Mhuirí Athletics team and Dunleer AC who hosted a Fun 3K run at White River Karting, White River, Collon on Wednesday evening, May 8.
Well done to winner Garry Campbell (Dunleer AC) and to Liam Fussey, first Scoil Uí Mhuirí athlete home in 5th place overall. Thanks to the Stig for making a guest appearance and a great run despite a pit stop mid race.
Many thanks to the Dunne family for allowing the hosts to organise the event at the White River Karting venue, an excellent local facility.
Carl Dunne, son of owner Martin Dunne, home for the summer holidays from his athletics scholarship in the USA was on hand to present the prizes and a great evening was had by all.
The 19 young athletes will be travelling to Warwick Rhode Island in the USA in September to compete in the Ocean State Cross Country event organised by former Dunleer AC athlete and Ardee native Charlie Breagy and his team in the USA.
Any athletics fans who would like to support or sponsor the team in any shape or form please contact Jacqueline Matthews at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her at Scoil Uí Mhuirí.
Meanwhile in other schools athletics news, Scoil Uí Mhuirí athletes competed very well in the North Leinster Track and Field Championships with three individual qualifiers: Liam Fussey at inter boys javelin, Kaitlinn Smyth, junior girls javelin and Niamh Fussey, senior girls 100 metres hurdles.
In the Leinster finals, there was cause for much celebration with Niamh Fussey earning herself a silver medal and a place in the prestigious All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore in June.
Kaitlinn was a heroic 5th in her final while Liam was a gallant 6th earning a 38.95m PB.