Last Saturday and Sunday saw the top juvenile athletes from around Ireland battling for podium places in the National Juvenile Championships in Tullamore and a large number of Finn Valley athletes were to the fore.
The Kelly brothers John and James were competing in their specialist event the Shot Putt and both walked away with not only Gold medals but 2 new Championships records too. John claimed the u19 Boys title throwing the 6kg Shot out to 16.95m while James added the u-15 title and older brother John record in that event when he hurled the 3.25kg implement 17.88m.
It is a testament to these boys hard work and talent guided by coach and father John Snr that they now hold all the Shot Putt Championship records from u-12 to u-19 a truly amazing achievement.
Aaron Mc Glynn continued to show his class in the u-15 Boys 800m with a gun to tape win and new Championship Record of 1 min 59.12 seconds and backed that up the following day to reach the 200m final and ran a respectable 23.94 seconds for 4th place against seasoned sprinters.
Blathnaid Patton was in Gold medal winning form when she leaped out to a new pb of 11.54m in the u-19 Girls Triple Jump, she also claimed a Bronze earlier in the day in the High Jump much to the delighted of the Patton family and coach Niall Wilkinson.
Teammate and training partner Simone Crawford won the Silver medal in the same u-19 Triple jump witness by mum Helena and a phone call to dad Adrian would have been met with a sense of pride as Adrian was an Irish Champion in the Triple Jump back in the 1980’s.
Jade Leeper was in a battle for the Gold in the u-18 Girls Discus with only centimetres between the top 2 until the final round but Jade had to settle for Silver on this occasion throwing 32.73m.
Daniella Jansen has been putting in the hard training in recent weeks since the Ulster Champs under the watchful eye of Dermot Mc Granaghan and it certainly paid off with a Siver medal in the u-13 Girls 600m and a new pb of 1 minute 42.94 seconds.
Lauren Callaghan who almost didn’t compete in the Long Jump having aggravated a hip injury competing the High jump the previous day but under the guidance of coach Paul Wilkinson took a chance that the hip would hold up jumped out tp 4.76m for Silver with Micheala Byrne who also nearly pulled out with a high temperature the night before claiming the Bronze with a 4.61m effort.
Niamh Mc Granaghan gained another Bronze medal in the u-16 Girls Hammer with a 39.60m just 14cm of the Silver, a little below her best but could not throw her own hammer as it did not pass the weigh in just a fraction light. She then was 6th in the Shot Putt with teammate Bridget Mc Dyer in 8th place.
Young Amy Mc Menamin has been burning up the track this year and gained a much deserved Bronze medal in the u-12 Girls 600m with a fantastic 1 minute 46.57 with teammate Chloe Coyle 7th 1 minute 52.76 and Andrea Browne 1 minute 58.59 a great bunch of girls brought through the year by Mairead Mc Grath who was beaming with pride.
Others who performed well just out of the medals were
Oisin Gallen u-18 Boys 3,000m: 5th - 9.00.57 was up with the pace and in Bronze medal position until the last 100m
Janine Boyle 5th in the u-16 Long Jump 5.16m and 7th in the 200m 26.91 secs
Caoimhe Mc Menamin 5th in the u-19 Girls Triple Jump and 9th in the Long Jump.
Karen Gallagher ran a great race in the Girls u-14 1,500m, 5th: 5.06.41 with Aoife Mc Grath 9th: 5.09.73.
We had 4 girls in the u-13 High Jump: Lauren Callaghan 5th 1.40m, Michaela Byrne 7th 1.35m, Daniella Jansen & Abby Meehan 8th 1.30m.
Valisa O’Donnell 7th in the Shot Putt 8.81m (pb) 6th in the u-13 Girls Javelin 22.94m (pb) with Louise Mc Sorley 12th with 18.42m.
Ian Brennan just shy of his pb was 6th in the u-18 Boys Long Jump 6.31m, coach Adrian Lecky very pleased with Ian’s progress this year.
Joey Donald was 6th in the u-16 Boys Long Jump 5.19m.
Dylan Kearns made it through to the u-16 Boys 250m Hurdles and finished 7th 40.05 seconds.
Alex Mc Geehan 8th in the u-14 Boys High Jump 1.35m
Cousins Oisin & Mark Mc Elhinney had pb’s with Oisin improving over 10m when throwing 24.72m in the u-14 Javelin and Mark 10.29m in the u-14 Shot putt both just outside the top 8.
Jack Gillespie was 10th in the u-14 Boys 1,500m 5.01.41.
Amy Boyle-Carr ran near her best in the u-14 Girls 200m 10th 28.40 seconds.
Cate Smyth was 12th in the u-13 Girls Long Jump getting over 4m with a 4.10m leap.
Gavin Mc Laughlin was off his game with a 10th place finish in the u-18 Boys Discus and is much better than that result shows.
Jamie Lecky competed in his first Irish Championships and threw the 400g Javelin 17.84m
Summary: 7 Gold, 7 Silver and 7 Bronze, 4 Championship Records and a host of personal bests over both weekends.
With a least three of our top athletes unavailable due to injury etc this total would have been even higher and it will be interesting to see where we stand overall in the rankings when all the results are analysed.
This is the final Juvenile Championships for some of our athletes and we would like to wish John Kelly, Fellan Mc Guigan, Patrick Penrose, Blathnaid Patton, Caoimhe Mc Menamin, Simone Crawford and Shannon Mc Laughlin the best of luck in the Junior /Senior ranks in future.
Celtic Games: Celtic Games selection could be on the cards for 2 or 3 of our athletes in the coming days so watch this space.
Youth Development League: Training will continue for those athletes interested in completing the Youth Development League program on the 9th of August and the Final on the 31st of August.