Wexford to the fore at Leinster Combined Events

The Leinster Combined Events Championships took place last Saturday at the SETU Sports Campus, Carlow. Wexford has a number of talented young athletes who, over the years, have been honing their craft across the various disciplines to the point where they are now among the best in the country. Their success has led to a big interest in combined events among other young athletes around the county. IT was wonderful to see so many of these in action last weekend.

Saidhbhe Byrne may have been one of just two athletes competing in the Junior Pentathlon but that takes nothing from what was a good runout for the Enniscorthy AC girl. She was best in all five events running 18.49 seconds for the 100 metres hurdles, jumping 5.01 metres in long jump and 1.46 metres in high jump, throwing 9.33 metres in shot and clocking 2.48.59 in 800 metres. This gave her a points total of 2542.

Maeve Hayes, St Paul’s, was the sole competitor in the Senior Pentathlon. While it cannot be easy to get the adrenaline going without having another with whom to do battle, Maeve still managed decent performances across the board. She ran 17.16 seconds for 100 metres hurdles and 2.37.70 for 800 metres; she jumped 5.03m in long jump and 1.46m in high jump; her best shot put was 8.76 metres. Total points: 2772.

In girls under 14 pentathlon, Lea Bolger, Bree AC, won the first of two heats of 75 metres hurdles (13.20). Neasa Long (Enniscorthy) was 5th in same heat. In long jump, Lea was 3rd (4.35m), Neasa 4th (4.03m). In shot put Leah had another first (8.69m), Neasa placing 4th (7.10m). Neasa was 3rd in high jump (1.33m), Lea 8th (1.15m). Lea was also 8th, with Neasa a non-starter, in the final event, 800 metres. Lea’s points total of 2052 got her into the bronze medal position.

Conor Hancock of Kilmore AC was the sole Wexford performer in boys under 14 pentathlon. His placings: 1st 75 metres hurdles (14.70), 10th long jump (4.24m), 3rd shot (8.66m), 5th high jump (1.30m), 10th 800 metres (2.42). He placed 8th overall on 1515 points.

Wexford had three athletes competing in under 15 girls pentathlon. In 80 metres hurdles, Stephanie O’Connor (Enniscorthy) won her heat of the 80 metres hurdles in 15.18 seconds, Rayna Thompson clocked 16.43 seconds in her heat and Ava Barry (Kilmore) ran 16.81. Rayna was second best in long jump (4.44m), Stephanie was just behind her (4.32m) and Ava jumped 4.26m. Stephanie’s 6.32 metres in shot was third best, Ava getting out to 5.56m and Rayna 5.21m. Rayna cleared 1.37 metres in high jump, third best, with Stephanie getting 1.31m and Ava 1.16m. There was a 1-2 for Wexford in 800 metres, Rayna taking the win (2.42.96), Stephanie 2nd (2.43.02), while Ava was a couple seconds further back in 4th (2.45.99). When the points were added up, Stephanie had 2097 points, good enough to take the silver, Rayna on 2016 points took the bronze. Ava placed 6th with 1727 points.

There was a big field in the under 13 girls tri event (long jump, shot put and 200m) with five Wexford girls among them: Sarah O’Brien and Ruth Hassey of Bree AC and the Kilmore trio of Faye Barry, Jaden Ryan and Kate Fortune. Long jump placings: 4th Ruth (3.98m), 7th Sarah (3.91), 11th Faye, 16th Kate, 23rd Jaden. Shot put: 10th Sarah (6.21m), 11th Ruth (6.19), 17th Faye, 18th Jaden, 24th Kate. 200 metres (four heats, results based on times): Sarah 29.60 seconds, Faye 30.91, Ruth 31.99, Kate 34.64, Jaden 36.05. Overall Sarah placed 6th (1082 points), Ruth 10th (938), Faye 12th (903), Kate 21st (579), Jaden 23rd (504).

John O’Connor, Enniscorthy, was overall 3rd in M50-59 Pentathlon with 2380 points.