Wexford always has a strong representation at the Leinster Juvenile Indoor Championships. This year, with the easing of restrictions, the numbers travelling were bigger than ever. The event, which took place in Athlone on Saturday and Sunday, is one which taxes the energy and patience of officials, coaches, parents and athletes, such is the sprawling nature of the programme with zillions of heats followed by semi-finals and finals.
Wexford athletes put in some big performances over the weekend.
Enniscorthy’s Dannan Long pb’ed when winning the final of the under 18 200 metres in 22.54 seconds. He also placed 2nd in the final of the 60 metres (7.15s). In the under 18 girls 60 metres, Orlaith Byrne of SBR looked impressive in taking silver (7.97s).
DMP’s talented combined eventer Michael Kent won the under 16 high jump with an excellent 1.80 metres. He also won the pole vault (2.90 metres), his first time competing in the event.
Wexford pole vaulting sensation, Kara Morrissey, a member of Carlow club SLOT, not only won the under 16 pole vault, she delivered a championship best performance (2.70 metres).
Kiera Wilson (Bree) was just outside the medals in 4th place in under 15 high jump (1.35m). Stephanie O’Connor (Enniscorthy) was 5 cms behind in 6th place.
Ciara Mooney of Adamstown AC won the under 18 1500 metre walk (7.43.97 mins).
The most successful all-round performance by a Wexford athlete came courtesy of talented under 12 Bree AC star, Ava Wilson. Ava won high jump (1.39m), 60m hurdles (10.83s / 10.78s in heat) and was 2nd in shot (3.33m). Bree’s Sarah O’Brien won the under 13 high jump (1.44 metres).
Another young athlete to impress was DMP’s Judy Sinnott. Judy won the under 13 long jump with an excellent 4.20 metres. She went on to place 7th in the 60 metres final, just one place and 1/100 of a second behind Enniscorthy’s Faye McDonnell (8.84s).
Cara Kelly (DMP) used a good combination of tactics and toughness in taking bronze in the under 17 400 metres final. She was unlucky not to pick up another medal, being a mere 4cms off 3rd in under 17 long jump.
DMP’s strength in depth in field events was further in evidence when Rachel Gregg was 3rd in under 19 long jump (4.88m).
Jack Browne of Enniscorthy AC placed 3rd in under 15 boys long jump (4.47m). He was 5th in 60m final (8.20s). Jaden Kenny (Bree) won a bronze medal in under 14 long jump (4.49m). He was 4th in 60 metres, while clubmate PJ Breen was 8th.
Bree AC played a stormer in the sprint hurdles. Jayden Kenny won the under 14 60 metres hurdles (9.79s), his team mate PJ Breen placing 5th. Shane Laffan was 3rd in under 13 hurdles (10.67s). Lea Bolger was 3rd in under 14 hurdles (10.17s). Kiera Wilson was 3rd under 15, one place ahead of Ciara Laffan. Enniscorthy’s Stephanie O’Connor was a few places further back in 7th.
Ailbhe White of Menapians qualified in style for the final of the under 18 400. Despite drawing the less favoured inside lane she ran a very strong race to win a bronze medal (61.89s), just ahead of SBR’s Orlaith Deegan in 4th. Ailbhe’s clubmate Eimear Halpin was 4th in the under 19 400 metres. In the under 19 boys 400 metres, Liam Berry of Menapians, competing in his first indoor race, was delighted to add another bronze medal to the club’s haul for the day (57.39s).
Bobby O’Shea (Adamstown) was second in under 12 shot (7.34m). Artem Kelly (Bree) won a bronze medal in under 14 shot (7.99m). Clubmate Lea Bolger was 4th in girls under 14 shot (7.99m). Muireann Kavanagh (Craanford) was 4th in under 15 shot (8.10m).
Two Wexford athletes, Jack O’Shea (Adamstown) and Katie Doyle (Bree), narrowly missed out on podium places in hurdles, both competing under 16, both placing 4th. Bobby O’Shea was 5th in under 12 hurdles while Sarah O’Brien (Bree) was 6th in under 13 hurdles.
Sean Power (DMP) placed 7th in a tight finishing under 12 600 metres (2.01.86 mins). Clubmate Saoirse Flanagan was 4th in the final of the girls under 13 600m (1.48.03 mins).
Other Wexford placings:
Girls under 13 long jump: Ruth Hassey (Bree) 11th, Saoirse Flanagan (DMP) 17th, Kayleigh Butler (Taghmon) 21st, Faye Barry (Kilmore) 22nd.
Boys under 13 long jump: Billy Doyle (Bree) 12th.
Girls under 15 long jump: Kiera Wilson (Bree) 10th, Ava Barry (Kilmore) 11th, Rayna Thompson (Kilmore) 12th.
Girls under 16 long jump: Katie Doyle (Bree) 8th, Chloe Reck (St Killian’s).
Girls under 13 60 metres: the following made it through to semi-finals: Kayleigh Butler (Taghmon), Sarah O’Brien (Bree), Saoirse Flanagan (DMP), Lea Bolger (Bree), Ruth Hassey (Bree), Hazel Breen (Bree).
Boys under 13 60 metres: Billy Doyle (Bree) 7th in semi.
Boys under 13 high jump: Aaron Hancock 6th.
Boys under 14 high jump: PJ Breen (Bree) 6th.
Girls under 12 600 metres: Jennifer Whelan (Kilmore) 3rd in heat.
Boys under 12 600 metres: Darra Brennan (Enniscorthy) 6th in heat, Sean Power (DMP) 7th in heat.
Boys under 14 600 metres: Artem Kelly (St Paul’s) 6th in final.
Girls under 15 600 metres: Ava Barry (Kilmore) 3rd in heat, Stephanie O’Connor (Enniscorthy) 5th in heat.
Boys under 16 600 metres Olan Dempsey (United Striders) 10th (2.17.87).
Girls under 19 Ciara Martin (Kilmore) 5th (2.35.84).
Girls under 13 hurdles: Ruth Hassey (Bree) 2nd in heat, Izzy Aspel (Taghmon) 6th in heat, Kate Fortune (Kilmore) 5th in heat.