By far the happiest athlete at the Cork IT track today was Patrick Maher who put in a fighting display to win the senior 400m hurdles. He cleared the final flight of hurdles level with John Fagan from Clonliffe Harriers and then accelerated to the line for a convincing win. His time of 52.14 was well inside the qualifying standard of 53.34 for the World Junior Championships. The time is also a new Irish junior 400m hurdles record, replacing the 52.2 set by Ciaran McDunphy way back in 1981.
Castlebar athlete, Sally Maughan, a regular at Leevale open sports, also achieved the qualifying for the World Junior Championships when she jumped 5.86m in the senior women’s long jump with a legal wind of +1.6m/sec. Leevale open sports is annually providing qualifying times for athletes seeking international selection.
There were great home wins too for Cathal Owens and Louise McArdle in the 400m events, Thomas Maunsell and Lizzie Lee in the 3K, and Edmond O’Halloran in the 110mH.
The attendance at the sports was up again this year as the event grows in stature. The juvenile programme was extremely well supported with up to seven heats required in many of the sprint events. All the young athletes enjoyed competing in a fun orientated sports. Derval O’Rourke was a huge hit with all the crowd especially the juvenile athletes to whom she is an icon. Derval is a wonderful ambassador for Leevale and athletics and we are delighted that she was present and competed on the day.
We plan to have a video montage of the sports available on the website shortly.
We thank all the athletes who chose to travel and compete at our open sports. Your support has helped us create a unique event in the athletics calendar, that combines the opportunity for juvenile and senior athletes to mix and compete in a competitive and friendly environment.
More photos from Gearóid Ó Laoi.