Last weekend was a busy one on the Leinster Indoor athletics front with two days of thrilling action at the National Indoor Arena, Abbotstown. Saturday was given over to the provincial Junior, Senior and Masters Championships.
Result of the day from a Wexford point of view was undoubtedly the World Best 1500m run by Masters athlete Ann Gilshinan of Slaney Olympic. Ann, who was recently voted WMA World Best Masters Middle Distance Athlete, has clearly approached this event with a world record attempt for 1500m in mind. Indeed, such was her attention to detail that she did what all athletes intending to break a record do … check in advance that the clock is working! Midway through the race she must have been encouraged by a shout from husband Keith to “go for it…you are on target”. Ann duly obliged, running 4.46 mins to win the M55 category and set a new world best. Incredible running from a world-class athlete.
Jackie Carthy (Kilmore) was also a winner in the ‘metric mile’ taking the M45 title in 4.58 mins. George Delaney (United Striders) won Mens M45 gold running 4.40 mins. Martin Kelly (Menapian’s) took gold in M65. Niall Sheil (St Killian’s) took silver in M40 running 4.25 mins and Alan O’Connor (United Striders) was 4th in M40. Catherine O’Connor (Menapians) took silver in M55.
Ryan Carthy Walsh of Adamstown put together a very good series in Senior Men’s High Jump with a best of 2.05m, narrowly missing out on clearing 2.10m. He came second on countback. Good to see a return to form for this talented athlete.
Jack Forde of St Killian’s safely navigated the seven disciplines of the Youth Heptathlon to qualify for the Nationals with 4176 points. Along the way he picked up pbs in Pole Vault and 60m Hurdles.
Saidhbhe Byrne of Enniscorthy took gold in Junior Pentathlon with a total of 2960 points. Eimear Halpin (Menapians) was second on 2505 points. Saidhbhe had impressive wins in High Jump (1.46m), Shot Put (10.93m pb), 60m Hurdles (9.81s), Long Jump (4.70m). Eimear achieved personal bests in Hurdles (10.29s), Long Jump (4.26m) and Shot (7.99m). She got the better of Saidhbhe in the 800m, the last event of the day, running 2.32 mins. All in all it was a productive and rewarding day for both girls.
Margaret O’Connor of Enniscorthy won gold in M45 Long Jump, silver in 200m and bronze in both 60m and 60m Hurdles. John O’Connor ensured there was more silverware returning to the household, taking bronze in High Jump and placing 5th in both Shot Put and 60m.
There were some good results for Wexford in Shot Put. Gergely Pap (St Pauls) took the Junior title with a best of 13.06m. Aine Cullen (United Striders) took silver in M40 while Laura Halpin (Menapians) was third with a pb of 6.54m. Daughter Eimear won the bronze in the Junior event. Vance O’Reilly (United Striders) was second in M65. Deirdre Bowers Kavanagh Enniscorthy was third in M50.
Deirdre went on to win her category in the walk and was third in the weight for distance. Aine Cullen broke the Leinster record in winning the weight for distance with a throw of 4.46m.
Aisling Kelly of Taghmon is in great shape this season and looking full of confidence. Competing in the Junior Women category, she won gold in both 60m and 200m, running an impressive 7.76s for 60m and 25.35s for 200m. Elizabeth Gahan of Enniscorthy, a relative newcomer to athletics, also ran the Junior sprints. Having impressed in schools cross country this year and last she showed in Abbotstown that she has speed as well as stamina. She was second to Aisling in the 200m with 25.54s and 5th in 60m. No surprise to hear that she picked up pbs in both as this was her first time running the events. April Keeling of Menapians also competed in both sprint races but was a little off her best.
At Masters level, Emily Waldron of Enniscorthy showed that she is over a recent injury when taking bronze in M40 200. Clodagh Dunbar (Menapian’s) ran a strong race to finish 4th in Senior 200m.
Striders athletes were, as always, to the fore in the 800m. Gavin Kelly was second in M50, George Delaney 3rd in M45. Darragh Flannelly had a good run in the Junior event, clocking 2.05.29 mins, while Adam O’Connor ran 2.09.19 mins in the same race.
Gorey girl Corrine Kenny, running for Carlow club St Laurence O’Toole, was third in the Junior 800m, running 2.24 mins.
Martin Kelly (Menapians) won gold in M65 400m, to go with his earlier win in the 1500m, and took a bronze in 800m. United Striders athlete John McGrath won the M45 3000m in 9.41 mins.
Michael Deady (Menapians) clocked 7.39s in the final of the 60m. He ran a pb of 24.27s in the 200m.
In the 400m Blathnaid Fogarty (Enniscorthy) finished 4th in 59.74s. The results were based on times in each heat and she was totally unchallenged in her heat, winning by a street.
Enniscorthy’s Emily Waldron was second in the M40 400m and Gavin Kelly of Striders was third in M50 400m.
Tara Doyle of Adamstown placed 4th in Junior Triple Jump with a best of 10.29m.
Enniscorthy fielded a strong women’s team in the 4 x 200 relay. Saidhbhe Byrne led out, handing over to Blathnaid Fogarty who put the team firmly in contention; Ciara O’Connor held her position and Elizabeth Gahan gave it everything on the last leg to set up a nail-biting finish. Celbridge won with 1.48.09, Enniscorthy 2nd with 1.48.28 and Naas were 3rdwith 1.48.31.