ON Saturday, the Leinster juvenile relay and track & field events took place in the new national indoor arena in Abbotstown, Dublin.
St Laurence O’Toole had 11 relay teams entered as well as individual entries in the distance races and the pole vault events. The U17 girls team were runaway winners of their relay in a record time, taking three seconds off the old record with a fantastic display of speed and baton changing.
The U19 boys were not to be outdone and matched the girls taking three seconds of the Leinster record, setting both teams up nicely for the national finals.
The U15 girls were threating to win their event over the past few years and this was their year. They trained hard and the result was clear to see as all five members played their part in a great success.
While these teams were the best times on the day, surely the race of the day was the boys U14 4x200m race. The final had to be re-run as there was an infringement to one of the teams. As the O’Toole’s team crossed the line in first place, they were drained and a re-run sounded daunting.
But team manager Ken Archbold got the team together, and with a pep talk, the lads were ready to run. They again ran their hearts out and crossed the line in front with the whole arena applauding the huge effort needed.
The U13 boys ran a super race to claim the bronze medal, as did the boys U16s who also climbed onto the third step of the rostrum to collect their medals. The boys U18s were up against the national champions and finished second, thus booking their place at the national finals on 25 March.
The U18 girls ran a cracker also and collected silver medals. Other teams to run well on the day and make the Leinster finals were the girls U13s and the girls U14s who both finished fifth. The girls U12s finished eighth out of 33 teams and the experience gained in both running on the indoor track and in the Leinster finals will stand to the girls.
Hacketstown AC won silver in the girls U12 relay with a team of Tara Lyons, Leila Colfer, Sophie and Lucy Myers, Emily Heffernan and Kate Ryan.
The long distance races over 1500m saw local club athletes compete. First up was Corrine Kenny in the U16s, who ran away from the field winning the gold medal and putting in a fine performance.
Catherine Doyle (U18) followed up, running a tactical race around the tight bends of the arena and she claimed the gold medal. Niall Harvey (U19) followed up winning his 1500m while Sara Doyle finished in second place and also made the national finals. Others to run well without reaching the rostrum were Ruairi O Conchubhair, Michael Spillane and Paraic Deering.
The field events of the pole vault and high jump also produced medal-winning performances and records for club athletes. Ella Duane (U17) vaulted to a new record of 2.65m to win gold. Matthew Callinan-Keenan, Art Murray and Jonathan McKenna also vaulted well and took home the gold medals.
Tadgh Ryan took the silver, as did Dean Nolan, thus ensuring a place in the national finals. Dean and Tadgh also took place in the high jump taking the silver medals in their age groups while Sandra Donatus (U17) finished in fourth spot in her high jump.
Girls U12 (Aoife Kelly, Maeve O’Neill, Marie Cranny, Chloe Ryan, Aine Fallon, Ciara Kelly); Girls U13 (Eva Doyle, Kate Wall, Aoife Byrne, Ella Molloy, Lily O’Neill, Ellen Redmond); Girls U14 (Louisa McGovern, Arabella Adekoya, Maeve Fallon, Ellie Carroll); Girls U15 (Ciara Moore, Zoe Garrigan, Aoife Ryan, Lyndsey Ward, Aibhe Kiernan); Girls U17 (Ella Duane, Inez Duane, Sive O’Toole, Chloe Hayden, Ella Hendricken, Jasmin Brennan-Dowling); Girls U18 (Chloe Nolan, Enya Lyons, Chloe Hayden, Ella Hendricken, Ella Duane, Inez Duane); Boys U13 (Daniel Uncendu, Aidan Ryan, Matthew Farrell, Padraic Spillane, James Cranny, Sean Breen); Boys U14 (Jack Dunne, Jack Archbold, Caleb Jaffares, Jack Murphy, Ikye Dalton); Boys U16 (Cian O’Brien, Michael Spillane, Alan Miley, Padraic Deering), Boys U18 (Chris Adekoya, Jack Mitchell, Matthew Callinan-Keenan, Dean Nolan); Boys U19 (Brandon Martin, Jonathan McKenna, Niall Harvey, Jack Mitchell)