The track and field season kicked off in earnest last weekend with the Louth juvenile championships at Bush track where a number of new faces made their first appearance for St Gerard’s AC.
Making their debuts for the club were Pierce O’Broin and Megan McKenna who were joined by Gina Akpe Moses, Orla Buckley, Kate Smyth, Niamh Hayes, Bronagh Matthews, Anna Gilgunn, Kate O’Connor, Caitlin Mulholland, Luke and Ellie Gorham, Patience and Patricia Jumbogula, Cameron Moran, George Maas, Ruari O’Connor, Alana Duffy, Sophie Coburn, Katie Murphy, Ellen Murphy, Emma Coleman, Niall Bastible Diaz and Marko Jovanovic.
Once again the clubs athletes performed with distinction accross the board and bagging a whole host of medals and a few county records in to the bargain as well.
Ellie Gorham gave a number of accomplished performances in the girls U9 60m, long jump, ball throw and 200m and can consider herself unlucky not to have take a medal for her efforts.
In the boys U9 both Marko Jovanovic and Niall Bastible-Diaz gave their all with Marko finishing in the dreaded fourth place with a great effort in the ball throw. Pierce O’Broin gave brave performances in the U10 boys events and gained valuable experience on his competitive debut.
The girls U10 team had a busy afternoon with Patricia Jumbogula, Emma Coleman and Ellen Murphy putting their best feet forward.
In the 60m all three girls won through their heats and semis to make the final six. In the final Ellen finished a fantastic third place with the two girls just behind in a blanket finish.
The long jump proved to be one of the best competitions of the day with Emma leading the field until the very last jump where once again Ellen underlined what a great championship performer she is leaping to victory to land a terrific one two for the club with Patricia just out of the medals.
In the 200m a large field were sent off together which lead to traffic problems in behind, confidence now soaring Ellen bounced from the traps and avoided the trouble in behind to battle her way to a fine third spot with the girls caught up behind finishing in the pack.
All three girls went on to take part in the ball throw competition where they gave their best once again.
Alana Duffy, Sophie Coburn, Katie Murphy and Megan McKenna all did themselves and the club proud with their efforts in the girls U11 events without getting on the podium.
Alana in particular gave some eye catching performances in her events having just come back after a bout of illness and looks set to challenge for prizes once again in the season ahead.
George Maas and Cameron Moran took part in the boys U11 events with Cameron unfortunately missing the ball throw event where he would have been one of the favourites for a medal.
Cameron made the jump off for the long jump competition but just missed out on the medals. Patience Jumbogula once again underlined her immense potential to qualify for the final of the girls U12 60m, where despite a slow start powered home for her first county title, now for Leinster.
Luke Gorham put in another excellent shift with wins in the boys U13 long jump and 600m and a close second in the sprint to finish off another great championships for this talented athlete.
Kate O’Connor once again showed her quality in the girls U13 competition. In the javelin she took gold with a new county record and followed that up with two more in the long jump and 600m to complete the treble.
Caitlin Mulholland competing in her first Louth championship had great performances in the 80m, 600m and shot putt competitions.
In the girls U14 events the unstoppable Gina Akpe Moses took gold in the 80m, 200m, high jump and long jump with another county record in the latter.
Niamh Hayes made it a one two for St Gerard’s when finishing runner up to Gina in the long jump and showed the benefit of her recent work in training with a close second in the hurdles.
Bronagh Matthews had a brilliant victory in the javelin competition where Orla Buckley made it a fantastic one two for the club.
Orla went on to gain a great third place in the shot putt. Kate Smyth took part in the 80m and 200m sprints where despite her inexperience she performed with great credit.
Anna Gilgunn joined the girls and once again gave her best despite not making the podium in any of her events.
The relay events provided an exciting finish to Saturday and the clubs teams didn’t disappoint with strong performances all round and plenty of first time county medals for the clubs participants.
The girls U10 squad of Emma Coleman, Ellie Gorham, Ellen Murphy and Patricia Jumbogula finished an excellent second place.
The boys U11 squad of Pierce O’Broin, Cameron Moran, George Maas and Ruari O’Connor finished an unlucky fourth place just getting passed for third in the final strides.
The club had two teams in the girls U11 competition with Sophie Coburn, Katie Murphy, Emma Coleman and Patricia Jumbogula finishing third, with Alana Duffy, Ellie Gorham, Megan McKenna and Ellen Murphy finishing a valiant fourth place.
The girls U14 squads picked up silver and bronze medals with strong performances. The team of Caitlin Mulholland, Niamh Hayes, Anna Gilgunn and Gina Akpe Moses just failed to close the gap on the leaders for with a strong finishing second place and were followed home by Orla Buckley, Kate Smyth, Bronagh Matthews and Kate O’Connor in third place.