Thanks to Sean Finn for the summary.
If your an athletics fan then the All Ireland schools Track & Field finals in Tullamore are the place to be every June. All track & Field events are straight finals with only the best 8-16 athletes in the country in each event so there is little room for error or having a bad day.
The competition starts early to a strict timetable and a lot of our athletes especially the endurance athletes were not even in Tullamore when Jodie McGrath got us off to a great start when winning the Inter girls Pole Vault in a new national record of 3 meters. This was Jodie's first national schools title so well done to her.
After that initial success we had a mixed couple of hours.
Caitríona Finn finished 6th in the minor girls shot with a throw of 9.46m. This was an excellent performance in her first national schools final and shows a lot of potential for the future.
The best of our juniors was Ben Connolly, Nenagh CBS who was 3rd in his Pole Vault competition. Ben felt he didn't perform to his full potential but the 3m clearence was still enough for the bronze medal.
Also in the junior catagory Ellie McEvoy, St Anne's Killaloe finished 7th in the High jump with 1.45m and Emma Carolan, St Mary's Newport 11th in the Shot Putt with a throw of 8.55m.
In the Inter catagory Sarah Lane, St Anne's Killaloe had a great run in the 800m running 2m17s finishing 4th in what was the most competitive race of the day and won by Newport's Aimee Hayde in a schools record.
James Sage, St Joseph's Borrisoleigh also finished 4th in the 100m hurdles an agonizing .02 of a sec off the bronze medal.
Mark Carroll, Nenagh CBS 5.92m in the long jump and Ted Collins, Glenstal Abbey 2m06s in the 800m were performances below their own expectations but they will bounce back in the upcoming weeks.
St Joseph's, Borrisoleigh quartet of Alex Reynolds, James Sage, Tom McCutcheon and Lewis Doyle did not have their best day with a couple of changes not as slick as normal and eventually finishing 6th.
Our senior boys of Joe McEvoy, St Anne's Killaloe, Sean Carolan, St Mary's Newport and Darragh Miniter, Ennistymon CBS had mixed fortunes Joe was 3rd in the High jump with 1.95m but knocked a hurdle in the 110m H and finished 5th. Seán was 3rd in the Shot with an excellent 14.14m and 4th in the Long jump with a good 6.70m clearance. Darragh was just one place behind his clubmate in 5th with a 6.67m jump.
Our last individual competitor of the day was definitely worth waiting for. Ailbhe O'Neill, St Mary's Nenagh was favourite for the U16 mile in many peoples eyes. For Ailbhe the favourites tag was something new but you wouldn't have known that on the day for she dominated the race from the start and ran away from her competitors on the last lap to win in 5m.20s. This junior cert student has pressures of a different kind this week but I'm sure she will deal with them in the same cool, calm manner she always deals with what life throws at her.
Speaking of exams best of luck to all our junior and leaving cert students in the coming weeks.
Next week we have U12/19 juvenile Munster champs in Templemore on Saturday and Munster junior, U23 and masters also in Templemore on Sunday
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