Mr Oil Wexford T&F Championships 2021

There were several outstanding all-round performances at last week’s Mr Oil Wexford Track & Field Championships held, over two fine evenings, at Enniscorthy Sports Hub. 

This year’s event was as much a joyous celebration of a return to live athletics as it was a battle for county honours. If there was rivalry, and there always is, it was very much of the friendly variety with an absence of nervous energy and a great sense of brotherhood and easy camaraderie among all present. On top of that, both evenings were highly entertaining, serving up plenty of close-fought contests. Wexford County Board is to be congratulated for all the work they put in to ensure the event took place in a well-managed and safe way. Sometimes adverse circumstances bring forth the best and that was definitely the case this year.

Conditions were ideal on both evenings – warm, with not a whisper of wind and a picture postcard backdrop of Mount Leinster under red skies promising no imminent end to the fine weather. The idea of bringing together senior, masters and junior athletes works very well. The young up and coming stars get to park their sense of awe as they line out alongside the more established names and the elder lemons. The latter, meanwhile, get to deliver their “you are young, grasshopper, and you have much to learn” narrative to the youngsters. 

With the relaxed environment many athletes chose to take part in events they would not normally do. So we witnessed a mass participation in the walk (including, it must be said, a few graduates of the ‘Funny Walks Department’), pole vault and, for the first time in a county championship competition, 3000 metre steeplechase. There were distance runners throwing shot and javelin and discovering that there is more to triple jump than hopping, stepping and jumping. Dave Mahon, Slaney Olympic, winner of the men’s 5,000 metre race on Wednesday night came back on Friday and ran the 100m. Tony Harpur of Menapians, a seasoned masters cross country runner, ran his first ever 5,000 metres on the track last Wednesday. Not only was he not chastened by the experience, he returned on Friday for more, running the 1,500m, 400m and 400m relay. 

A number of athletes showed great versatility and stamina by competing in multiple events over the two evening. We focus on a number of these who particularly stood out.

Orlaith Deegan (SBR) won U17 100m Hurdles, 800 metres, 1500 metres and shot put. She placed second, under 17, in Javelin and 400m, and second in both senior 100m Hurdles and senior 800 metres. She was third in under 17 100 metres.

Multi-eventer Saidhbhe Byrne (Enniscorthy) won both under 18 100m and 200m races, as well as winning the senior 100m and placing second in senior 200m; she then went on to take golds, at both under 18 and senior levels, in Javelin and Triple Jump. She was second in under 18 and senior 400m Hurdles; second in under 18 shot put and third in under 18 and senior 400m.

No less busy over the two evenings was the much-improved Eimear Halpin of Menapians who really shone at this year’s championships. Check this out: gold in under 18 and senior 400m Hurdles, gold in under 18 3k Walk and second in the senior event, second in both under 18 and senior 100m, gold in under 18 shot put and silver in the senior event, gold in under 18 and senior 400m, second in under 18 sprint hurdles and third in the senior event, second, under 18, in 800m and 200m, third in senior 200m, second in under 18 Javelin, third in under 18 3k Walk, third in both under 18 and Senior Triple Jump, third in under 18 1500m. And gold in 4x400m relay.

Ailbhe White of Menapians won the 200m at both under 17 and senior levels. She went on to win under 17 Javelin, Triple Jump and 400m. She placed second in under 17 800m and 100m, and was third in the Walk. A sign of Ailbhe’s growing maturity and reliability as an athlete could be seen in the club’s decision to entrust her with the final leg in both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays. In both cases she impressed and led the teams to victory.

Dannan Long, Enniscorthy AC, capped a busy and productive season with some fine performances. Gold in both senior and under 17 100m and 200m, gold in under 17 Javelin, gold in under 17 Triple Jump with silver in the senior event, gold in under 17 shot put, gold in under 17 400m and senior silver, in the same event, behind a very impressive Chris St Claire Johnson of Adamstown. With the light starting to fade on Friday evening he showed that there are even more strings to his bow as he took the under 17 pole vault title, placing second in the senior event. He rounded off the evening, under lights, by helping his club to victory in the 4x400m relay.   

Since sitting his Leaving Cert and getting the opportunity to return to post-lockdown competitive athletics, Jack Forde (St Killian’s) has been on a roll. He has the air of an athlete who genuinely enjoys what he does and, at the same time, thrives in the competition environment. He had a great championships: gold in under 19 200m, third in the senior event, gold in under 19 and senior Javelin, Triple Jump and Pole Vault, gold in under 19 100m, gold in under 19 shot put and silver in the senior event behind the experienced Padraig Hore (DMP). Not a bad way to sign off on the season.

SBR’s Joe Byrne had a right ding-dong with Enniscorthy decathlete and pole vault specialist Michael Bowler in the senior 800m. The stronger and more experienced Bowler pulled away on the final lap to take the win. Joe won the under 19 title. He then went on to win the under 19 3000 metres. His main focus on the second evening was the 3000m Steeplechase, an event included on the programme for the first time. Joe took both the senior and under 19 titles in style, as did Ciara Dolan (Menapians). Kate O’Flaherty (Kilmore) took the under 18 title.

Claragh Keane (DMP) was an impressive winner of both under 18 and senior 3000m. Claragh, along with Adamstown’s Kate Jackman, competes at the weekend in an international mountain running event in the Mourne Mountains. Róisín O’Reilly (Menapians) made a belated track season debut when running, and winning, the senior 800m. Róisín also won the senior 3k Walk. 

The senior men’s 5000m very quickly established itself as a two-horse race between Slaney Olympic’s David Mahon and young Adam O’Connor of United Striders. For twelve laps there was nothing between them, with David taking it out and Adam on his shoulder ready to pounce. Over the final 200m, David pushed the metal to the floor and, despite Adam’s valiant efforts, he took the title. Great race.   

Under 18 athlete Alex Gregg (DMP) set off in the 1500m with serious intent. James Boland (United Striders) reeled him back in nice and slowly before taking off to take a facile victory. Alex stayed on to take the silver and the under 18 title with Cian Doyle (Kilmore) winning the under 19 race.

Under 18 athlete Elaine Aspel (United Striders) had a very impressive final lap in the senior 1500m to pull away from Ciara Dolan of Menapians and claim the title. Elaine also won the under 18 title. 

With Friday’s sun well and truly gone down behind Mount Leinster and the light all but gone, the pole vault was just reaching its final stages. This meant that not too many got to see 13-year old Kara Morrissey give an exhibition of vaulting par excellence. The young Edermine girl, a member of Carlow club St Laurence O’Toole AC, has been making a name for herself with her rapid progress in this most demanding of events, even catching the eye of American Olympian, Sandi Morris.

Mr Oil Wexford Track & Field Championships 2021: Full Results

Sprint Hurdles

U17 Girls 1 Orlaith Deegan, SBR       

U18 Girls 1 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy  2 Eimear Halpin, Menapians 3 Anouskika Nolan, Menapians        

Senior Women 1 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy  2 Orlaith Deegan, SBR  3 Eimear Halpin, Menapians

U17 Boys  1 Dannan Long, Enniscorthy        

800 Metres                                         

U17 Girls 1 Orlaith Deegan, SBR  2 Ailbhe White, Menapians  3 Aine Byrne, Croghan

U18 Girls 1 Ciara Martin, Kilmore  2 Eimear Halpin, Menapians 3 Anouskha Nolan, Menapians

U19 Girls 1 Ciara Dolan, Menapians

Senior Women 1 Róisín O’Reilly, Menapians 2 Orlaith Deegan, SBR  3 Ciara Martin, Kilmore         

Masters Women O35 1 Mag Cahill, Slaney Olympic

Masters Women O50 1 Catherine O’Connor , Menapians

U19 Boys 1 Joe Byrne, SBR  2 Sean Kinch, Croghan         

Senior Men 1 Michael Bowler, Enniscorthy  2 Joe Byrne, SBR  3 Sean Kinch, Croghan   Guest Tony Fitzpatrick, Dooneen AC

Masters Men O35 1 Brian Maher, Croghan  2 David Nolan, Menapians

Master Men O50 1 Mick Quigley, Slaney Olympic  2 Martin Kelly, Menapians     

200 Metres                                         

O35 Women 1 Michelle Metcalfe, Tallaght AC – Guest 1 Maggie O Connor, Enniscorthy  2 Paula Freeman, United Striders 3 Sonia Byrne, US

O50 Women 1 Letke Roche, United Striders   2 Deirdre Bowers Kavanagh, Enniscorthy     

U17 Girls 1 Ailbhe White, Menapians  2 Grace White, Menapians  3 Anna Davis, Slaney Olympic

U18 Girls 1 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy  2 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  3 Anoushka Nolan, Menapians

U19 Girls 1 Ciara Dolan, Menapians

Senior Women 1 Ailbhe White, Menapians  2 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy  3 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  

O35 Men 1 David Nolan Menapians   2 Eddie Murphy, United Striders

O50 Men 1 Ronan Gately, DSD – Guest 1 Mick Quigley, Slaney Olympic 2 Des Killeen, SO

U17 Boys        1 Dannan Long, Enniscorthy              

U19 Boys        1 Jack Forde, St. Killians

Senior Men 1 Dannan Long, Enniscorthy  2 Chris St Claire Johnson, Adamstown  3 Jack Forde, St. Killians       

Javelin                                                

U17 Girls 1 Ailbhe White, Menapians  2 Orlaith Deegan, SBR  3 Anna Davis, Slaney Olympic

U18 Girls 1 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy  2 Eimear Halpin, Menapians 3 Ciara Martin, Kilmore         

U19 Girls         1 Ciara Dolan, Menapians      

Senior Women 1 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy  2 Katie Murphy, United Striders 3 Maggie O’Connor, Enniscorthy                  

5000 Metres   

Senior Men 1 David Mahon, Slaney Olympic 2 Adam O’Connor, United Striders 3 James Boland, US

3000 Metres 

Senior Women 1 Claragh Keane, DMP  2 Clodagh Kelly, Croghan  3 Clare Barret, DMP

U17 Girls 1 Aoife Lyng, United Striders 2 Anna Davis, Slaney Olympic

U18 Girls 1 Claragh Keane, DMP  2 Elaine Aspel, United Striders  3 Eimear Halpin, Menapians

O35 Women 1 Nicola Murphy, United Striders  2 Margaret Cahill, Slaney Olympic

O50 Women   1 Catherine O Connor, Menapians                                        

U18 Boys        1 Alex Gregg, DMP    

U19 Boys 1 Joe Byrne, SBR  2 Sean Kinch, Croghan

O35 Men 1 Niall Sheil, St. Killians  2 Brendan Lyng, United Striders  3 Brian Maher, Croghan

Javelin                                                

U17 Boys        1 Dannan Long, Enniscorthy  

U19 Boys        1 Jack Forde, St. Killians

Senior Men 1 Jack Forde, St. Killians  2 John O Connor, Enniscorthy  3 Enda Waters, Slaney Olympic       

400m Hurdles

U18 Girls 1 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  2 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy  3 Anouska Nolan, Menapians

U19 Girls 1 Ciara Dolan, Menapians

Senior Women 1 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  2 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy  3 Ciara Dolan, Menapians

Walks                                     

U17 Girls 1 Anna Davis, Slaney Olympic  2 Grace White, Menapians  3 Ailbhe White, Menapians    

U18 Girls 1 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  2 Anoushka Nolan, Menapians          

U19 Girls 1 Ciara Dolan, Menapians  

Senior Women 1 Roisin O Reilly, Menapians 2 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  3 Anoushka Nolan, Menapians          (Guest: Margaret O’Connor, St. Josephs)

O35 Women 1 Esther O Leary, Slaney Olympic, 2 Mag Cahill, Slaney Olympic            

O50 W 1 Deirdre Bowers Kavanagh, Enniscorthy

Senior Men 1 Ed Cahill, Slaney Olympic, 2 Adam Leahy, Menapians

O35 1 Enda Waters, Slaney Olympic

100m                                                               

O35 Women 1 Michelle Metcalfe, Tallaght AC – Guest 1 Maggie O Connor, Enniscorthy  2 Paula Freeman, United Striders  3 Coasia Szymura, Slaney Olympic

O50 Women 1 Angela Butler, Taghmon  2 Collette Roche, United Striders  3 Deirdre Bowers Kavanagh, Enniscorthy

U17 Girls 1 Orlaith Byrne, SBR  2 Ailbhe White, Menapians  3 Orlaith Deegan, SBR           

U18 Girls 1 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy  2 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  3 Rachel Gregg, DMP

Senior Women 1 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy  2 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  3 Rachel Gregg, DMP

O35 Men 1 David Nolan, Menapians  2 Enda Waters, Slaney Olympic

O50 Men 1 John O Connor, Enniscorthy  2 Jimmy O’Neill, Menapians  3 Mick Quigley, Slaney Olympic

O50 M 1 Ronan Gately, DSD – Guest

U17 Boys 1 Dannan Long, Enniscorthy

U19 Boys 1 Jack Forde, St. Killians  

Senior Men 1 Dannan Long, Enniscorthy  2 Chris St Claire Johnson, Adamstown  3 Michael Bowler, Enniscorthy

Shot Putt                                            

U17 Boys 1 Dannan Long, Enniscorthy

U19 Boys 1 Jack Forde, St. Killians  2 Cian Doyle, Kilmore

Senior Men 1 Padraig Hore, DMP 2 Jack Forde, St. Killians  3 Garret O Flaherty, Kilmore

O35 Men 1 Jessie O Connor, Slaney Olympic 2 David Nolan, Menapians  3 Enda Waters, SO     

O50 Men 1 Ronan Gately, DSD – Guest  1 John O Connor, Enniscorthy

U17 Girls 1 Orlaith Deegan, SBR  2 Ella Barry, St. Killians  3 Anna Davis, Slaney Olympic           

U18 Girls 1 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  2 Sadhbh Byrne, Enniscorthy 3 Aisling O’Brien, DMP           

U19 Girls 1 Ciara Dolan, Menapians

Senior Women 1 Aine Cullen, United Striders  2 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  3 Maggie O’Connor, Enniscorthy       

O35 Women 1 Aine Cullen, United Striders  2 Maggie O’Connor, Enniscorthy 3 Esther O’Leary, Slaney Olympic

O50 Women 1 Collette Roche, United Striders  2 Deirdre Bowers Kavanagh, Enniscorthy     

1500 Metres                           

U17 Girls 1 Orlaith Deegan, SBR  2 Aoife Lyng, United Striders 3 Kate O’Flaherty, Kilmore     

U18 Girls 1 Elaine Aspell, United Striders  2 Ciara Martin, Kilmore  3 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  

U19 Girls 1 Ciara Dolan, Menapians

Senior Women 1 Elaine Aspell , United Striders  2 Ciara Dolan, Menapians  3 Ciara Martin, Kilmore

O35 Women 1 Mag Cahill, Slaney Olympic  2 Sinead Fortune, Kilmore

O50 Women  1 Catherine O’Connor, Menapians  2 Angela Butler, Taghmon

U18 Boys 1 Alex Gregg, DMP           

U19 Boys 1 Cian Doyle, Kilmore

Senior Men 1 James Boland, United Striders  2 Alex Gregg, DMP  3 Rory Cassidy, Kilmore

O35 Men 1 Tony Harpur , Menapians  2 Donal Grant, Menapians     

O50 Men 1 Mick Quigley, Slaney Olympic    

400 Metres                                         

U17 Girls 1 Ailbhe White, Menapians  2 Orlaith Deegan, SBR  3 Orlaith Byrne, SBR

U18 Girls 1 Eimear Halpin, Menapians 2 Rachel Gregg, DMP 3 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy         

Senior Women 1 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  2 Rachel Gregg, DMP  3 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy         

O35 Women 1 Sonya Byrne, United Striders  2 Coasia Szymura, Slaney Olympic 3 Mag Cahill, SO

O50 Women 1 Michelle Metcalfe, Tallaght AC – Guest 1 Catherine O’Connor, Menapians  2 Angela Butler, Taghmon 3 Lettie Roche, United Striders

U17 Boys 1 Dannan Long, Enniscorthy

Senior Men  1 Chris St Claire Johnson, Adamstown  2 Dannon Long, Enniscorthy 3 Tony Harpur, Menapians    

O35 Men 1 Tony Harpur, Menapians  2 Donal Grant , Menapians  3 Micheal Kinsella, Menapians         

O50 Men 1 Mick Quigley, Slaney Olympic

Pole Vault                                          

U17 Girls 1 Kara Morrissey, St Laurence O’Toole AC – Guest

U17 Boys 1 Dannan Long, Enniscorthy

U19 Boys 1 Jack Forde, St Killians         

Senior Men 1 Kevin Byrne, DSD – Guest 1 Jack Forde  St Killians  2 Dannan Long, Enniscorthy

Triple Jump                                       

U15 Boys 1 Michael Kent, DMP

U17 Boys 1 Dannan Long, Enniscorthy

U17 Boys 1 Keelin Roche, St. Senan’s AC – Guest

U19 Boys 1 Jack Forde, St. Killians       

Senior Men 1 Jack Forde, St. Killians 2 Dannan Long, Enniscorthy 3 John O’Connor, Enniscorthy

U17 Girls 1 Ailbhe White, Menapians

U18 Girls 1 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy 2 Rachel Gregg, DMP 3 Eimear Halpin, Menapians

U19 Girls 1 Ciara Dolan, Menapians

Senior Women 1 Saidhbhe Byrne, Enniscorthy 2 Rachel Gregg, DMP 3 Eimear Halpin, Menapians  

3000 Metres Steeplechase                                      

U18 Girls 1 Kate O’Flaherty, Kilmore

U19 Girls 1 Ciara Dolan, Menapians

U19 Boys / Senior Men 1 Joe Byrne, SBR    

Senior Women 1 Ciara Dolan, Menapians 2 Kate O’Flaherty, Kilmore

Relay 4×400 Metres                                      

Women 1 Menapians   2 United Striders   3 Kilmore

Men 1 Enniscorthy  2 Menapians  3 Slaney Olympic

Relay 4×100 Metres                                      

Women 1 Menapians   2 United Striders  3 Enniscorthy

Mens 1 Enniscorthy  2 Slaney Olympic

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