The AAI Juvenile Indoor Championships are taking place over the weekend in the new AIT Arena in Athlone. A strong contingent of Leevale athletes competed over the two days.
This was the first outing for Leevale juvenile athletes in the new indoor arena at Athlone IT. AIT is a fantastic world-class facility which will help take athletics to another level in Ireland. Unfortunately, ultra-sensitive electronic blocks took the gloss of what was otherwise an excellent occasion for athletes and spectators. There were numerous false starts in almost every sprint race, even though there were very few obvious breaks. It was highly frustrating for athletes and spectators alike.
Leevale athletes had a good day. In the 60m sprints, Colin Doyle finished second in a photo-finish in the BU13 60m. Robert Cregan, even though ill, managed third place in the BU14 60m. Luke Ring looked impressive in a tight BU16 60m race, taking silver in the process. Both Laura Murphy and Kate Waterman reached the final of their respective GU16 & GU19 sprints, finishing just outside the medals.
Unfortunately Marie O’Halloran and Emma O’Brien were among the large number of victims of the electronic starting system, disqualified without a chance.
Padraig O’Callaghan, competing in his first All-Ireland Championships, threw a PB of 9.18m in the BU14 shot putt for a top six finish.
Thomas White ran a very brave race in the BU13 600m final to finish just outside the medals in fourth place. This is definitely an event for that he should focus on.
Abdi Mohamed competed in the BU16 1500m. In a fast tactical race Abdi had a mature, keeping in touch with the leaders for the entire race, finishing just outside the medals in fourth place.
The day was rounded off with a superb win for Jack Murphy in the BU16 high jump; clearing 1.75m in his first attempt secured the gold for him.
Day two, the first final on the track was the GU17 800m. Louise Shanahan controlled the race from the front leading the race for the first three laps before accelerating away from the field at the bell to win in a time of 2:20:74.
The hurdle finals were next on the track. Jack Murphy picked up his second medal, when took silver in the boys under 16 sprint hurdle.
Then it was back to the 800m finals. Conor O’Driscoll was first up in the BU15 final. Conor took no chances, he went straight to the front to say out of trouble and succeeded in keeping the entire field behind him for the duration of the race to take the third gold for Leevale.
Matthew Murnane ran a brave 800m by taking putting it up to the rest of the filed only to lose vital places on the run to the finish, ending up in fourth place over the line. He has the consolidation of a PB of 2:05:90.
Conor Walter rounded off the middle distance haul with a second place finish in the BU19 800m, in an excellent time and new PB of 1:57:32.
Jack Murphy picked up his third podium of the championships when we won the BU16 long jump with a PB jump of 6.01m.
The day was rounded off with the 200m sprint finals. In the GU15 final Laura Murphy finished just outside the medals in fourth place. Luke Ring was awards joint second in a BU16 photo-finish. Kate Waterman rounded off the Leevale medal haul with a second place in the GU19.
All in all there were some great performances over the weekend for all the Leevale athletes with PB’s being set in most events. We now look forward to the conclusion of the indoor season with the relays in two weeks’ time.
Day 2 track results