The Irish Life Health National Junior and U23 Championships took place on Saturday last in Tullamore. These Championships are always top class, with Ireland’s very best young talents in action looking for National glory. Amongst them were some of Wexford’s top talents. Several of these athletes would’ve had their eyes on the podium.
Ryan Carthy-Walsh made a welcome return to action on Saturday in the U23 Men’s High Jump. Ryan, is a superb talent in the High Jump and he has already represented Ireland at senior level in the past. His PB of 2.11m, is something that very few Irish athletes have achieved down the year. With his first year of college now done it is hoped that Ryan will now kick on to new heights. The Adamstown man, is clearly on the way back after winning gold on Saturday. He was the only athlete to clear 2m and did so comfortably. Onwards and upwards now for Ryan! Enniscorthy AC’s Peter O’Connor placed third with a best jump of 1.70m.
Another athlete who was looking to win yet another national medal was Joe Mooney of Adamstown AC. The walker is having an impressive season to date and is definitely showing good form. Mooney was in action in the U23 5000m walk, early on Saturday morning and won a silver medal, clocking a time of 24.28 mins.
Aisling Kelly (Taghmon AC) was another athlete who was looking to impress. In her first year as a junior it was always going to be difficult for Aisling but she performed remarkably well. First up was the 100m, which was full of big names such as Patience Jumbo Gula (Dundalk St Gerald’s AC) and Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC). Both of these athletes were part of the silver medal winning Irish relay team at the World Junior Championships last year. Aisling managed to progress through her heat, finishing 3rd in a time of 12.47s. With the calibre of athlete in the final, it was always going to be a challenge but Aisling produced a fantastic performance to place 6th in a time of 12.58s.
Later on in the day, Aisling returned for the 200m where this time the big hitter in the field was Davicia Patterson (Beechmount Harriers) who has qualified for the European U20 Championships in the 400m and earlier this year set a new Irish Junior record in the event. Aisling cruised into the final after finishing behind Patterson in the heat, in a time of 26.39s. In the final, Aisling was considerably quicker. Once again Patterson was ahead of her but nobody else could see her off. She finished 2nd, winning a superb national junior silver, after running a time of 25.56s.
Another man gunning for glory was Menapians AC’s Aaron Tierney Smith. The talented hurdler was looking to win the National Junior title and was heavily fancied by many to do so. Despite hitting a couple of barriers along the way, Aaron still managed to claim victory in the Junior Mens 110m Hurdles, in a time of 14.98s.
In the u23 110m Hurdles, Enniscorthy’s Peter O’Connor won a silver medal clocking a time of 17.18s.
There was plenty of success in the field events as well. D.M.P AC’s Padraig Hore competed in both the discus and the shot putt. In the junior discus Padraig, produced a great throw of 46.08m to win the gold by over 2 metres. He also had success in the Shot Put where he won a bronze medal, throwing 13.50m. The competition was won by Finn Valley AC’s James Kelly who has qualified for the European Junior Championships.
Lystus Ebosele was another athlete who was hoping to win medals in both the Junior Women’s Discus and the Shot Put. Ebosele has won numerous medals down the years and is a force to be reckoned with in the throwing events. In the Discus, Lystus finished 2nd, throwing a best of 38.32m. Lystus and Ciara Sheehy, Emerald AC, who won gold were a class above the rest. Lystus was over 6 metres ahead of the bronze medal winner. In the Shot, Lystus finished 3rd, throwing a best of 12.05m. This was a great day of throwing for Lystus to come away with two national junior medals.
Peter O’Shea was another won of the DMP contingent aiming for the podium in the U23 Men’s javelin. Peter continues to progress in the javelin and continues to add to his PB. On Saturday, Peter threw a massive 57.41m to secure a national gold medal and a new PB. The D.M.P man had over 5 metres to spare on his nearest challenger. Peter will now be in strong contention at the National Senior Championships in a few weeks’ time.
Amy Forde of St Killian’s AC finished 4th in both the Junior Women’s discus and hammer throw. In the discus, Amy threw 29.03m, while in the hammer, Amy threw 32.12m.
Next up for some of these athletes is their National Juvenile Championships next weekend in Tullamore. For others, focus now shifts to the Irish Life Health National Senior Championships that’ll take place in a few weeks’ time.