The Irish Life Health National Combined Events Championships and AAI Games took place over two action-packed days at Morton Stadium, Santry recently.
Several athletes from Wexford made the trip, with each of them having high hopes of success.
One of the favourites for the Senior Mens title was Michael Bowler (Enniscorthy AC). However, as Michael was preparing to compete in an International decathlon that would take place a couple of weeks later, he elected not to complete the full competition. After 8 events of the 10 however, Michael was still in the lead.
Also competing in the Senior Men’s competition were Peter O’Connor (Enniscorthy AC) and Conor Gaffney (Menapians AC). Peter was consistent throughout, putting in strong performances, particularly in the High Jump, where he cleared 1.81m and the 110m Hurdles, where he finished 2nd in a time of 16.43s.
Conor also had a good competition, performing very strongly in the 400m, where he finished 2nd and the 1500m where he finished 1st.
These performances ensured that Peter won a silver medal and Conor won the bronze with a total of 4975 and 4303 points respectively.
Jack Forde of St. Killian’s AC was taking on his first decathlon in the Championships. He performed strongly throughout the weekend and finished a very respectable 4th in the youth (U18) category. This is very good going as Jack is still an U17 athlete. Some of Jack’s standout performances came in the High Jump, where he finished 2nd on countback, clearing 1.78m and the Shot Put, where he threw 11.58m. Jack also competed in the Taillteann Games on the Saturday, so had a very busy weekend overall.
Maeve Hayes of St. Paul’s AC was taking on her first heptathlon in Santry. Maeve’s strongest events are the High Jump and the Long Jump and she produced strong performances in both of these events, winning them both. In the High Jump, Maeve had a best clearance of 1.60m and in the Long Jump Maeve produced a best of 5.23m. She also finished 2nd in the 100m Hurdles, 200m and 800m. Overall Maeve scored a total of 4135 points which was good enough to win a fantastic silver medal. Only 37 points separated Maeve from the gold medal winner, a very narrow margin in the heptathlon.
Orlaith Deegan of SBR AC was in action on Day 2 in the U15 Girls Pentathlon. Orlaith won a bronze medal, scoring 2764 points. Orlaith’s standout performances came in the High Jump, where she cleared 1.53m and the 800m, where she clocked a time of 2.26 mins, both of these were 2nd place finishes.
Saidbhe Byrne was in action in the Girls U16 pentathlon. The Enniscorthy AC athlete has won numerous national medals in the combined events in the last few years and continued that trend with a 2nd place finish this year. Saidbhe scored a total of 2738 points. Saidbhe excelled in the Long Jump, with a best jump of 4.66m and in the 800m where she ran a time of 2.44 mins.
Emily Waldron of Enniscorthy was in action in the O35 Heptathlon. Waldron finished 2nd, with a total of 2075 points. Waldron had her best performance in the 800m, an event in which she won, clocking a time of 2.35mins.
John O’Connor competed in the O50 Men’s Quadrathlon competition. John was just outside the medals placing 4th, with a total of 2200 points. This was a very strong performance by John.
There was also strong performances from Wexford athletes in the AAI Games.
Michael Deady and Adrian Jackman represented Menapians in the 100m. Deady ran a time of 11.72s, while Jackman clocked 12.07s for the race. This was a strong time into a -0.6 m/s headwind.
David McDonald of Menapians was in action in the 200m. McDonald had a very strong race into a strong headwind, running 21.88s. He finished 3rd behind Marcus Lawler. Adam Fitzhenry of Adamstown finished 4th in his heat, clocking 23.61s.
Chris St Claire-Johnson of Adamstown AC was in action in the 400m. Chris had a good race placing 6th in a time of 51.76s.
In the Women’s 100m, Eva Murphy of D.M.P AC placed 6th in a time of 13.32s in her first race. In her 2nd race she improved and finished 3rd in a time of 13.22s.
Emma Owens of St. Paul’s was in action in the Hammer Throw and Discus. Owens won the Hammer competition, with a best throw of 42.07m. Emma also placed 2nd in the discus, with a best effort of 34.53m.
A lot of the senior athletes will now have their eyes firmly fixed on the Irish Life Health National Senior Championships on Saturday and Sunday the 27th and 28th of July, which also takes place in Morton Stadium, Santry. Here’s hoping for some Wexford silverware!