Leevale athletes were in super form at the Lucozade Sport All Ireland championships at Tullamore at the weekend. Well done to everyone involved in making the championships such a resounding success.
Carl McNamara got his efforts off to a flying start with an excellent second place finish in the 100m hurdles, doing coming from behind in the closing stages to take second. Later in the day he easily qualified from the heats of the 100m, and followed up with a clear-cut win in the final. On Sunday he was again impressive in qualifying from the heats of the 200m, going on to win the final, a race he had sewn up by the time he reached the straight.
One of the first medals of the meet was gained by David Quilligan in the under 14 long jump. In second place going into the final round he jumped a PB of 5.08m to tie him with an Ulster athlete, but won the competition as he had the better second best.
Amy Clarke also produced her best jump in the last round of the under 17 long jump, but had to settle for second, just 2cm behind the winner.
In the sprints Lorna Buckley was in top form to take second in the under 16 100m; Orla Coughlan was second under 17, with Amy Clarke 6th; Aileen Pomphrett was third under 18; and Greg O’Leary was in a class of his own in winning the under 18 100m.
Greg, incidentally, almost never made it to Tullamore. A back problem resulted in a lot of physio in the week prior to the championships, and there was a lot of soreness after the race.
Claire McSweeney, a niece of the late great Fanahan McSweeney, ran a great race to finish second in the under 17 300m, while Brendan Perrott was unlucky not to get a medal in the under 17 400m, finishing fourth, a fraction of a second behind third.
Mark Hanrahan ran an indifferent type of race in the under 19 3,000m, falling back from the leader at midway, and then producing a fast last lap to close on Jamie McCarthy, just failing to catch him.
In the 200m’s Lorna Buckley picked up bronze; Orla Coughlan did likewise in the under 17’s with Amy Clarke third and Claire McSweeney sixth, the same placing for Aileen Pomphrett in the under 18’s. And Greg O’Leary again ran a super race in lane eight to finish second in the under 18 race.
Donna Hosford waited till the fourth round to take the lead in the under 18 long jump, and then consolidated her lead with a winning 5.53m in the final round.
John Shine had a PB in the under 18 800m; Alan Sexton was fourth in the under 19 triple jump; Brian Manning was 10th in the under 14 800m; Maura Fitzgerald was fifth in the under 15 shot putt; and Claire Looney was fifth in the under 15 100m.
Kathleen Fitzgerald was a good second in the Schools International in Cardiff with a best throw of 11.53m, while Ciaran O’Lionaird had a PB of 4:07.96 to finish fourth in the 1,500m. (Photos)