Lifford AC’s youngest qualifiers for national competition were in action in Tullamore last weekend, where the All-Ireland Children’s Games for Under 9 to Under 11 took place.
For most, this was their first experience of All Ireland competition. While it is arguable as to whether there should be national events for these ages, one thing is for sure, the positive, family friendly atmosphere in an environment where children are encouraged regardless of their performance is something that everyone, parents and athletes enjoyed. For the young athletes in question, it was a great experience to be at an All Irelands where the competition made up a small part of a very enjoyable day.
The team based nature of this competition meant two athletes from each club contested each event, with the combined scores for the two athletes deciding their placings. The closest team to the medals was the pairing of Ashleigh McArdle and recent newcomer to the club, Manorcunningham girl Elsa Moore. In the long jump, Ashleigh jumped 3.34m, with Elsa jumping out to 3.30m, both personal bests to bring them agonisingly close to the bronze medal position. Later in the day, both girls contested the 500m, and again, both girls performed admirably, with Ashleigh running 1.39 and Elsa’s 1.42, both personal best runs to finish 6th team overall.
In the girls Under 11 60m sprint, Carrigans girl Alisha Cuskelly, a medallist at a previous All Irelands paired up with Manorcunningham lass Harriet McCrossan. In her heat, Harriet ran a blistering race to win in a time of 9.14s. In her heat, Alisha also ran a stormer to post a time of 9.54s. A long wait ensued to decide the medals, with both girls missing out by fractions of a second to finish 6th overall.
The boys Under 11 pairing of Diarmaid O’Donnell and PJ McGrath took part in the Turbo Javelin, with both lads performing admirably. Diarmaid threw four metres past his personal best to record 18.74m with PJ launching the javelin out to 16.50m a personal best for the St Johnston lad. The combined throw of 35.24m left both lads 8th overall, a well deserved placing.
The clubs youngest competitors, Clara Mullen and Tia McCormick took part in the 60m sprint. In her heat, Clara ran a strong 10.61s, with Tia also putting in a fine first time All Ireland run to record 11.64s, and 12th team overall. A great experience for these young girls.
In the Under 10 sprint and Turbo Javelin, Ciarnan McLaughlin and Joshua McGlinchey paired up to take part in both events. In the 60m, Joshua had a good run in his heat to record 10.49s with Ciarnan recording a good time of 11.15 in his heat. The combined times left an 11th place finish for the two lads. In the Turbo Javelin, Joshua’s first time throwing in the event resulted in a throw of 14.46m, with Ciarnan recording a 10.49m throw, again both lads finishing 11th overall.
All in all, this was a great day out for the young athletes, parents and coaches alike. A big thank you to everyone who travelled, and who did the club proud on the day.
At the Donegal Juvenile Track and Field Championships in Donegal Town on Sunday last, a number of club athletes travelled to what was a poorly attended County Championships. However, for the Lifford athletes that did travel, it was a very useful competition in preparation for the forthcoming All Ireland Track and Field Championships. Shannon Craig 1st Under 17 High Jump 1.55m. Conor Breslin 1st Under 17 High Jump 1.40m, a Hammer throw of 42m and Discus 22.23m. Eoin Breslin, 1st in the U13 80m and High Jump, 1.35m and third in both the Shot and Hurdles. Adrienne Gallen, silver medal in the U13 Shot with 7.20m and Under 12 Long Jump. Cormac O’Donnell, joint winner of the U13 hurdles in 12.81, 2nd in the U13 Shot, 7.92m and third in the Under 12 Long Jump. Finally, Diarmaid O’Donnell, 2nd in the Under 12 Long Jump, 3.48m and 3rd in the 80m sprint. Well done to all.
Attention now turns towards the All Ireland Juvenile Championships over the next two weekends with athletes from Under 12 to Under 19 in action. Best of luck to all the Lifford AC athletes taking part.