Wexford quartet shine at SIABs!

James Hanlon (Taghmon AC), Gergely Pap (St. Paul’s AC), Aisling Kelly (Taghmon AC) and Darra Casey (Bree AC) wearing the green of Ireland at the Schools International Track and Field in Swansea on Saturday

The annual SIABs Track and Field competition took place on Saturday in Swansea University, Wales. The top school athletes from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales competed against each other across all events, with one nation being crowned champions. 4 athletes from Wexford were on the team for the prestigious event. They were, Aisling Kelly (Taghmon AC), James Hanlon (Taghmon AC), Darra Casey (Bree AC) and Gergely Pap (St. Paul’s AC).

Gergely Pap competed in both the Shot Put and the Discus. Pap, who represented Ireland in this competition last year was looking for more success in the green singlet. A multiple time national champion, there is no disputing just how good a thrower Gergely is and he showed this again on Saturday. In the Shot Put, Gergely finished in 3rd, which was a fantastic result. He managed a best throw of 14.56m, which was well clear of the athlete who finished in 4th place. Gergely also had a good performance in the discus, where he finished 6th, throwing a best of 39.81m. 

James Hanlon was competing in the 3000m walk, James has had a really good season and that showed on Saturday when he produced yet another excellent performance. James finished 2nd, winning a silver medal behind teammate Matthew Glennon. James clocked a time of 13.26 mins, which is very strong walking.

Aisling Kelly of Taghmon AC competed in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay making it an action packed day for her. In the 100m, Aisling finished just outside the medals in 4th, clocking a time of 12.66s into a really strong headwind of -2.2 m/s. The 200m, was also ran into a really strong headwind of -3.2 m/s making it very difficult for all the athletes. Aisling finished in 5th, in a time of 25.71s. In the 4x100m, Aisling’s luck was finally in. The strong Irish team finished in 2nd place winning silver medals. They clocked a time of 48.27s, finishing only 2 hundredths of a second ahead of the Scottish team. This brings to an end what was a hugely successful season for Aisling where she won multiple Leinster and National titles and put on the green singlet again. We look forward to seeing her back on the track next spring.

Darra Casey of Bree AC was also competing. Darra’s year has been nothing short of remarkable where he won so many national titles Indoors and Outdoors. He is the undisputed U17 King of the hurdles in Ireland. Unfortunately for Darra on Saturday, his luck was just not in. He picked up a hamstring injury during his warm up but decided to continue given the magnitude of the opportunity. This was a brave decision by Darra and he deserves so much credit for persevering. It is hard to imagine the pain he would’ve felt hurdling with an injury. He finished 7th in a time of 14.20s into a strong headwind but that performance doesn’t do his talent justice. We wish Darra a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back on track in spring 2020.

It is a fantastic achievement for Athletics Wexford to have 3 International medals returning back to the county. We congratulate the four athletes who represented their clubs, county and country so well and did us proud. No doubt we will see all these athletes on the International scene again shortly!