Leevale Juveniles Deliver At National Indoor Championships

What a weekend. Leevale once again arrived into Athlone with training done, big dreams and individual goals and boy did every single athlete deliver.

First, a big thank you to all the coaches who showed their ongoing commitment to all our athletes over two days of intense competition.

Over the weekend we had 41 athletes competing from which we had 46 finalists, 5 finishing in an agonising 4th place, 7 bronze, 11 silver and 12 National champions. We were awarded the Drifter Cup as the best Track and Field Club for 2021 by Athletics Ireland and individual awards were presented on Saturday to Lucy-May Sleeman, John Sheehan on behalf of James Ezenou, and Una Brice and Conor Callinan.

Field Events

Long Jump; Rahman Amusa kicked off the u13 boys long jump with a 5th place finish at 4.23m missing out on bronze by 10cm – less than the length of a ruler!! Okwu Backari was next up in the u17 girls and claimed gold with an impressive jump of 5.38m while Gabriella Bowen finished 5th in the u18 girls with a jump of 4.82m.

Triple Jump: Down on the Mardyke track Orla O’Sullivan has put in hours of hard work perfecting her triple jump with her Mum showing how a committed parent is just as important as a committed athlete; all Orla’s work gave her the title she deserved with the gold medal and a jump of 10.76m.

High Jump: Six Leevale athletes entered the High Jump competitions. In a competition which produced a CBP, Sydney Forde faced her first experience of Nationals jumping 1.15m, a great start for Sydney and many more nationals to come. In the u13 girls Lucy Fitzgerald produced a fantastic jump of 1.30 to exceed her qualifying performance from the Munsters and Ethan Bambury finished 9th with 1.25m for the boys. Then came the u14 girls. Kate O’Donovan and Grace Wixted finished amongst four girls jumping 1.48m; while Kate took gold and claimed her first National title, Grace finished in 4th on countback. The u15 boys delivered another national medal for Ryan Onoh; Ryan jumped 1.66m to take the silver while Ben O’Brien jumped 1.40m and an 8th place finish. With all that it was Maeve Fleming who got one of the loudest cheers of the weekend as she became the u17 girls National Champion with an EYOF qualifying standard jump of 1.73m.

Pole Vault: Leevale is leading the way in the Pole Vault as of late with the huge work of the Coaches and Athletes, and massive support of parents, in the HPC and it showed. In the u15 boys Oscar Naughton vaulted 2.80m to take silver with his training partner Alex Neff taking silver as well with 3.20m in the 16 boys. Joshua Fitzgerald led the u18 boys taking gold with 3.90m and the u19 boys saw Conor Callinan take another National title with another CBP of 4.35m. Not to let the boys have it all their own way Meabh Bannon kick started the challenge from the girls with a silver and a new PB of 2.30m, Lucie Healy followed that up in the u17 girls with 2.65m and a bronze medal while Una Brice said “Conor who?” with a CBP of 3.50m and became the u19 girls national champion.

Track Events

60m: Just as he did in the Long Jump Rahman kicked off the u13 boys challenge over the short sprint taking a National title of his own in 8.19 secs. In the u14 boys Luke Mullins came so close to reaching his first National final, missing out on a place by 0.01secs (next time for sure!). Anthony Goggin lined up in the u15 boys final taking off like a bullet from the blocks to finish 2nd in 7.61 secs and then Faye Scriven laid down a marker with a silver medal in the girls u15 in 8.06 secs. For the u16 girls we had two in the final; Elena O’Sullivan finished with a silver in a very close finish in 7.91secs followed closely by Sophie Mulcahy in 6th with 8.10 secs, both backing up their Munster performances. The u17 girls followed with two more making the final; while the torture of a break saw Fatima Amusa taken out of the reckoning Okwu Backari finished 4th with 7.84 secs in a very close final. For the u19 boys yellow and black dominated the horizon with three in the final. Colin Murphy took bronze in 7.06 secs, Conor Callinan finished 6th in 7.18 secs and Yasin Salim Said finished beside Conor in 7th in 7.19 secs. Then came Lucy-May Sleeman and Ella Scott in the u19 girls…the two girls left the rest of the field in their wake as Lucy-May delivered a CBP of 7.43 secs and Ella drove her all the way to the line coming in 2nd in 7.83 secs.

60m Hurdles: And then came the hurdles….it has to be said this was extremely competitive across the board, the commitment from all athletes across all the Clubs was something to behold – even those that fell showed the kind of character athletes are made of, picked themselves up and finished regardless. For Leevale the u15 boys began our challenge with three in the final; Oscar Naughton and Michael Scott finished 6th and 5th respectively and Anthony Goggin, not content with his medal from the 60m, took bronze this time in 9.64 secs. Natalia Golka was next in the u16 girls taking an agonising 4th in 9.12 secs and then Okwu Backari in the u17 girls showed phenomenal proficiency, taking the national title and the Munster Youth Record from none other than Sarah Lavin in 8.67 secs. In the u18 boys Sean Carmody took gold in a blistering new Munster Youth Record of 8.12 secs followed by Conor Callinan in the u19s claiming his own slice of the hurdles action with a silver in 8.37 secs. In the u19 girls Lucy-May Sleeman and Ella Scott qualified for the final but Lucy -May had to bow out with an injury; Ella stepped up though to take bronze in 9.17 secs.

200m: The 200s saw its own share of drama. Sophie Mulcahy in the u16 girls announced herself to Nationals qualifying for her first final with a PB of 26.05 secs but the final saw the pain of a 4th place finish. In the u17 girls Fatima Amusa belied her lane draw and took silver in 25.61 secs from lane 1; Fatima was joined in the final by Abbie Dorney, one of our newest converts to Leevale, finishing in 6th in 26.43 secs. Sean Carmody took his own bronze in the u18 boys in 22.72 secs with Colin Murphy just missing out on the final of the u19 boys by 0.09 secs. In the u19 girls and just before her hurdles Lucy-May Sleeman added another National title for her trip home in a CBP of 24.24 secs.

400m: Doing her new Club proud in the 400m was Zoe Conway for the u17 girls taking her first national medal and bronze in 59.35 secs. Zoe wasn’t finished there and lined up for the 800m 24 hours later.

600m: Entering his first Nationals Tom Crowley in the u12 boys rewarded himself and his coaches finishing 5th overall but more importantly bringing his PB down by a massive 5 seconds to 1:47:84.

800m: In the u14 boys Luke Merrigan fought all the way to line to secure a silver medal in 2:16:04 followed by Kate O’Donovan in the u14 girls, finishing 4th having smashed her PB in the heats. In the u18 girls Katie O’Keeffe finished sixth in 1:25:37 and then returned Zoe Conway, following on from her 400 with another bronze medal coming so close to a silver by 0.01 secs.

I think that’s it. If we have missed anyone let us know but a great weekend for the Club.

Full Results here: