End of year Q&A with some of Wexford’s top athletes

Want to know the inner thoughts and plans of some of County Wexford’s top athletes? As December 2017 drew to a close we asked a selection of athletes, from Juvenile through to Masters, to answer a few questions. Here is what they said: 

Name: Ann Sullivan
Club: DMP Wexford
Age Category: Masters O55

Personal Athletics Highlight of 2017
January 2017 Won Leinster Masters over 55 Cross Country title
February 2017 Won National Masters Cross Country Title over 55.
October 2017 Part of Dmp silver medal Senior CC County Team
November 2017 Represented Ireland as part of over 55 Silver Medal winning team at the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International IN Derry.

Overall Sports Highlight of 2017
A particular highlight does not come to mind. I just embrace watching sport in general and athletics events in particular.

Personal Athletics Plans for 2018
Aim to compete in the Leinster Masters CC in January and National Masters CC in February. Aim also to return to track competition in the summer and to compete in the National Masters T&F in July/August 2018. I was unable to do this compete on track in 2017 due to fall and tendonitis injury. I would also like to gain selection for the 2018 British and Irish Masters CC in Swansea in 2018.

Role Model
Sonia O’Sullivan, Catherina Mc Kiernan.

Name: Claragh Keane
Club: DMP AC
Age/Age Category: 13 years old

Personal Athletics Highlight of 2017
I’ve had a good year: All Ireland B Cross Country Champion U13 in February; 800m and 1500m Track County Champion U14; County Cross Country champion U14 and U15 (3rd year in a row winning both in and out of age titles); Leinster Cross Country U14 3rd and U15 5th.

Overall Sports Highlight of 2017
My camogie club St. Martins winning the senior camogie county title for the first time, a very proud day for all the members of the club. Conor, my brother and training partner, winning his first cross country county title this year and Éabha, my sister, winning an individual Leinster medal in her first ever Leinster cross country.

Personal Athletics Plans for 2018
To try my best and achieve more than I did this year. As I am in first year in secondary school I get to compete in schools cross country in early 2018 for the first time, I am looking forward to that and aiming to do well. Track in the Summer, I’ll get to compete at Leinsters this year as last year I played All-Ireland Féile Camogie with my club and missed out on Leinsters. Then my favourite season, Cross Country, starts again. I love to run and hope 2018 will be a good year.

Role Model
Fionnuala McCormack she has achieved so much in her career and is an amazing cross country runner, I got to meet her and had a photo taken with her at the All Irelands in Santry in 2015 when she won the All Ireland Senior title.
Ann Sullivan another amazing cross country runner that is also my club mate. Both these athletes inspire me to keep running and show what you can achieve when you put in the hard work.
My coach John Joe, he runs most days even though he doesn’t compete anymore he loves running and athletics, he knows a lot about running and is always there to support and help me.

Name: Karyn Murphy
Club: Enniscorthy
Age: Category U17

Personal Athletics Highlight of 2017
Winning silver in both Hurdles and Long Jump at Leinster level, achieving pbs in both.

Overall Sports Highlight of 2017 as above

Personal Athletics Plans for 2018
Continue to improve

Name: Liam Turner
Club: DMP
Age Category: U19 and Junior Men

Personal Athletics Highlight of 2017
Making the Leinster team for the All Irelands in Cross Country; came 2nd in Boys U-19 3000m in Leinsters; came 2nd Junior Boy in Rás na hÉireann and sixth overall; achieved 16:57 in 5000m.

Overall Sports Highlight of 2017
Running in All Ireland Track and Field 2017 and All Ireland Cross Country 2017. Running at Stormount Cross Country.

Personal Athletics Plans for 2018
Get on DCU college athletic team; Get closer to breaking 16 minutes in 5km; Generally improve in strength, stamina and speed.

Role Model
John Joe Doyle

Name: Maeve Hayes
Club: St Paul’s AC
Age Category: U16

Highlights of my year:-
Retaining my Leinster High and Long Jump titles; Representing Leinster in the Tailteann Games; Improving my PB’s in both long & high jump; And finally getting my first individual National High Jump Medal – Bronze.

Name: Marco Pons
Club: DMP
Age Category: Senior

Personal Athletics Highlight of 2017
Competing at European Winter Throws Cup

Overall Sports Highlight of 2017
Ireland beating the All-Blacks in Chicago (November 2016) & a successful Lions tour with lots of Irish talent including Wexford native Tadgh Furlong.

Personal Athletics Plans for 2018
To compete at European Winter Throws Cup 2018 & Win Irish Senior Championship.

Role Model
Brian O’Driscoll

Name: Niall Sheil
Club: St Killian’s AC
Age Category: Masters O40

Personal highlights of 2017
Hard to choose having run more than 40 races this year. some really important local races from winning the Kilmore 10k, the Ben 5k, the Wexford Night Run, winning 6 in-a-row County Masters Road titles and 5 in-a-row County Master Cross Country titles, to national events where I retained my o35 national indoor 1500m title, won the national o40 5k outdoor track title, getting to the final of the European o40 1500m final and 9th in the final of the 5k but qualifying for and being part of the o40 Irish x/c team to win the British and Irish cross country championships is probably the highlight

Overall highlight of 2017
Lot to choose from again from Mo Farah in his 10k in London to Galway in the hurling but for me it has to be Gary O’Hanlon at 43 winning the national senior marathon title in 2 19 pips it.

Personal Athletics Plans for 2018
Retain my national indoor and outdoor titles, get to final of European indoor 1500m in Madrid and qualify again for British and Irish cross country championships.

Role Model
I had the pleasure of witnessing Kenenisa Bekele win the final of the 10,000m in the iconic birds nest at the Olympics in Beijing. The last 800m was unbelievable with the great Haile Gebreslassie in contention till the end. For me Bekele is a true legend of the sport.

Name: Pádraig Hore
Club: Taghmon AC
Age Category: U18 (2017)

Personal Athletics Highlight of 2017
My selection for and participation in the Celtic Games last August, where I represented Ireland in the discus and finished 2nd with 50.39m, my best throw to date using a 1.5kg discus.

Overall Sports Highlight of 2017
Watching my heroes in action in the London 2017 World Athletics Championships.

Personal Athletics Plans for 2018
Aim to throw over 50m with the 1.75kg discus, as I’m moving to a heavier weight.

Role Model
It has to be Germany’s Robert Harting.

Name: Saidhbhe Byrne
Club: Enniscorthy Juvenile A.C.

Personal Athletics Highlight of 2017
Competing in Glasgow in an international arena, winning Gold in Hurdles at Leinster level and representing my County at the Leinster relays and taking Gold.

Overall Sports Highlight of 2017
Winning Gold at Leinster & All Ireland Combines.

Personal Athletics Plans for 2018
To continue to improve and emulate my success of 2017

Role Model
Thomas Barr, Derval O’Rourke and Jessica Ennis Hill

Name: Aedan Rogers
Club: United Striders AC
Age: 17

Personal Athletics Highlight of 2017: 5th in Leinster U19 Cross Country

Overall Sports Highlight of 2017: The Lions beating New Zealand.

Personal Athletics Plans for 2018: To get as close to 4 minutes in the 1500m as possible and challenge for the Leinster 1500m title.

Role Model: Callum Hawkins.

Name: David McDonald
Club: Menapians
Age: 18

Personal Athletics Highlight of 2017
National senior silver medal in 200m; Qualification for European juniors. Rest of season was injured.

Personal Athletics Plans for 2018
Medal in national seniors. Qualify and compete competitively in World Juniors.

Role model
Wayde van Niekerk


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