Children’s Games and Leinster U12 & U13 Championships

Photo: Athletics Leinster FB page

The Children’s Games were held along with the Leinster U12 & U13 Championships in Tullamore on Sunday last.

Despite the less than brilliant weather there were at least 700 children present for what proved to be a great day’s sport. The newly laid track ensured that everyone had a bit of extra bounce in their step!

The focus with the Children’s Games, for younger athletes in the under 9 to under 11 age groups, is very much on encouraging younger athletes to take part in a fun day of athletics rather than on aiming to bag as many medals as possible. A central part of this process is that athletes compete in pairs, with results based on a pair’s combined time, for races, and the sum of their best efforts, for throws and jumps. Races are run as timed heats with no semi-finals or finals. The net result? Not only do children enjoy a fun day out, they also get to learn the benefits of team work!

It is wonderful to see so many clubs from throughout the province buying into this concept, as was evidenced by Sunday’s huge turnout. Wexford was no exception with most of the county clubs well represented.

Wexford athletes were also present in big numbers for the somewhat more competitive U12 and U13 championships.

All in all, it was a good day for Wexford with plenty of good performances and a handful of medals.

There was double success for Bree in high jump with Ava Wilson winning the under 12 event (1.41 metres) and Sarah O’Brien taking under 13 gold (1.40 metres). Other Wexford placings under 13: Ruth Hassey 5th, Róisín McCabe (SBR) 12th, Lily Brady (Kilmore) 15th.

Alan Power (Kilmore) won boys under 12 high jump (1.30 metres). Aaron Hancock, also Kilmore, was 9th in under 13 high jump.

Will Fortune won a silver medal in under 12 shot put (7.65 metres). His Adamstown clubmate Bobby O’Shea was 4th. TJ Murphy placed 6th.

The Wexford girls under 13 4×100 metres team came away with silver medals, their time of 56.73 being two seconds behind the winning Kilkenny team. The Wexford team: Ava Wilson, Sarah O’Brien, Saoirse Flanagan, Faye McDonnell, Jennifer Whelan, Kayleigh Butler.

(Note: as final results from the pairs competitions have not yet been provided, the results given for under 9 to under 11 events are very much unofficial! In some cases, individual placings have been given in the absence of those results.)

Enniscorthy’s Donnacha Maher and Conor Larkin, competing under 10, both jumped 3.46 metres in long jump giving them an aggregate 6.92 metres. That got them into the silver medal position, just 1cm behind the winners. It also qualifies them for the All Ireland’s. Conor paired with Matthew Bowe in the 60m, Matthew running a fast 9.53, indeed the fastest time on the day, to win his heat, followed by Conor in the next heat running 9.86 to take 2nd. Their aggregate time was good enough to secure the gold and ensure qualification to the All-Ireland’s. The club’s Laura Crotty and Leah Weafer ran brilliantly in under 9 60 metres, Laura winning her heat and Leah placing 3rd in her’s. They were unfortunate to miss out on a podium place, finishing 4th.

There was success also for United Striders. Darragh Kavanagh won heat 3 of boys U9 60m; Oisín O’Rourke was 4th in the same heat. Tom O’Brien, who was paired with Darragh, was 4th in heat 4. Tom and Darragh’s efforts won them bronze medals.

Adamstown’s Pippa Fortune and Lilly Callaghan were 3rd in under 11 turbo javelin.

Samhradh Ní Thóibín (Croghan) was 11th in U12 600m (heat 3) and 9th in shot put.

In boys U12 600m, Sean Gahan (Craanford Harriers) won heat 3 and placed 10th in final; Sean Power (DMP) was 5th in heat 2 and 15th in final. Sean also later placed 6th in his 60m heat.

Faye Barry (Kilmore) was 2nd in heat 2 of U13 600m, while clubmate Kate Fortune was 7th in heat 4. Faye went on to place 9th in the final.

Kilmore’s Aaron Hancock was 6th in his heat of the U13 boys 600m.

Oisín O’Rourke (SBR) was 4th in heat 1 of U9 300m and clubmate Joseph Kirwan was 8th in heat 2.

In heat 1 of U10 500m, SBR’s Martin O’Neill and James Turner were 6th and 12th respectively.

TJ Murphy (US) was 2nd in heat 1 of boys U12 60m; Will Fortune (Adamstown) was 5th in same heat. TJ went on to place 5th in the semi-finals.

Competing under 13, Sarah O’Brien (Bree) was 1st in heat 2 of 80m with Lily O’Brien (Kilmore) 7th in same heat; Hazel Breen was 3rd in heat 3, Jaden Ryan 7th in the same heat; Ruth Hassey (Bree) was 6th and Kate Fortune (Kilmore) 7th in heat 4; Faye Barry was 6th in heat 5; Kayleigh Butler (Taghmon) was 3rd in heat 8; Faye McDonnell (Enniscorthy) won heat 9. Sarah was 3rd in the first semi, while Faye won the 4th and semi, Kayleigh behind her in 7th. In a very competitive final, Faye placed an excellent 5th.

In the boys under 13 80m, Billy Doyle (Bree) was 3rd in heat 1 and 7th in the final.

Pippa Fortune and Lilly O’Callaghan, the bronze medallists in turbo javelin, were both 7th in their heats of under 11 60m; Ellie Kehoe (DMP) was 2nd in heat 5; Niamh McCarthy (DMP) was 5th.

Thomas Ryan (Bree) was 5th in heat 1 of boys under 11 60m; Eoghan Ennis (Bree) was 3rd in heat 7.

James Kavanagh (Craanford) was 11th in under 13 shot. A good number of Wexford girls took part in under 13 shot, none threatening for a podium place.

Wexford’s girls under 11 4x100m relay team was 4th of six teams. The team: Grace White, Niamh McCarthy, Emily Whelan, Kyra Jarvis, Ruth Stafford.

The boys under 11 relay team also placed 4th. The team: Matthew Bowe, Conor Larkin, Noah Brady, Conor Whelan, Cillian O’Sullivan.

The boys under 13 relay team of Billy Doyle, Sean Gahan, Nathanael Wei Cassidy and Ethan Jarvis placed 4th.