Roundup from National U20 and U23 Championships
Last Sunday was the National U20 and U23 National Finals and the club were well represented with 10 athletes competing at the U23 grade and 21 athletes competing at U20 in individual events, along with 2 women’s 4x100m teams, 2 men’s 4x100m teams, one women’s 4x400m and 2 men’s 4x400m teams.
In the U23s all 10 athletes made finals with 6 gold (James Ezeonu – 110mH, Colin Doyle – 200m, Anika Thompson – 5000m, Katie Moynihan – Javelin, Reece Ademola – Long Jump and Ryan Duggan – Shot), 2 bronze (Jane Buckley -1500m and Jack McGrath – 200m), and Lia O’Brien finishing 5th in the Discus and Conor Morey 7th in the 100m.
After the championships the Ireland team for the European U23 Championships in Finland were announced and 6 of our athletes made the selection (the largest representation of any club in the 32 strong team).
- Colin Doyle – 200m & 4x100m
- James Ezeonu – 110mH
- Jane Buckley – 5000m
- Anika Thompson – 10000m
- Reece Ademola – Long Jump
- Conor Morey – 4x100m
The U20s had the task of chasing the title of top junior club (based on a selected 18 events).
Over the course of the day they picked up 10 individual medals – 5 gold (Lucy-May Sleeman – 100m & 200m, Killian Fahy – 400m, Una Brice – Pole Vault and Joshua Fitzgerald – Pole Vault); 4 silver (Fatima Amusa – 100m & 200m, Sean Carmody – 110mH and Katie Kingston – Javelin); and bronze for Okwu Backari in the 100mH.
Added to this were medals in the relays with both men’s and women’s 4x100m teams picking up silver and both men’s and women’s 4x400m teams picking up bronze.
Along with the medallists there were 16 finalists over the course of the day. Mathew Wilkins was 4th in the 400mH, 5th in the high jump and 6th in the triple jump (and then ran 2 relays); Ella Scott was 4th in the 400mH; Maeve Fleming was 4th in the high jump; Josh Fitzgerald swapped his pole for a javelin and finished 4th; Conor Callinan came back to the 110mH and took 5th (then ran on both relays); Kate Naughton finished 5th in the discus; Okwu showed her versatility with 6th in the 100m & 7th in the long jump (then started the 4x100m); Gabby Bowen finished 6th in the long jump and then ran a relay; Elena O’Sullivan was 7th in the 100m (she has another 3 years at this age) and ran on the 4x100m; Colin Murphy and Yasin Said finished 7th and 8th in the 100m before both running on 4x100m and 4x400m teams; Luke Butler finished 7th in the 200m before running on both 4x100m and 4x400m teams.
We had 3 other athletes supporting the team but things didn’t go their way on the day – Kate Naughton was 10th in the javelin, Sam Curtis was 11th in the 800m and Daniel Buckley was 12th in the 1500m.
The club competition was a fairly thrilling roller coaster ride over the course of the day. We knew that the competition would be between ourselves and Ratoath (who had pipped us in this competition last year).
The day got off to a good start with Mathew Wilkins and Alex Neff putting themselves forward for the 400mH – both picked up points finishing 4th and 8th respectively. Ratoath picked up 10 points so we trailed 6-10 after the first event.
Next up was the men’s shot putt – unfortunately we had no representative and Ratoath picked up another 3 points – trailing 6-13
Next was the men’s high jump – Mathew was our sole representative and he jumped 1.70m to finish 5th for 4 points. Ratoath picked up 12 – trailing 10-25
The women’s 100m showed the depth in Leevale sprinting with 4 in the final (Lucy, Fatima, Elena O’Sullivan and Okwu). Lucy and Fatima finished 1-2 for the max 16 points, Ratoath picked up 5 – trailing 26-30
The women’s long jump was next on the schedule and Gabby Bowen and Okwu finished 6th and 7th for 5 points against Ratoath’s 4 – trailing 31-34
Attention turned to the infield for the women’s javelin with Katie Kingston and Kate Naughton throwing. Katie got a great silver for 7 points but unfortunately Kate did not make the top 8, Ratoath picked up 3 points – leading 38-37 after 6 events.
Back to the track for the short hurdles. Okwu finished 3rd for the women and 6 points – but the Ratoath women matched the score – leading 44-43
Sean and Conor Callinan were next up in the 110mH. Sean picked up a silver and 7 points and Conor managed a 5th place finish for 4 points against Ratoath’s 8 points – now leading 55-51
Next events on the track were the 400m for women and men – we did not have a representative in the women’s 400m – but Ratoath did not have anyone in the final – leading 55-51.
Attention turned to Leevale’s newest recruit, Killian in the men’s race, a great win and another 9 points against Ratoath’s 4 – leading 64-55 after 10 events.
Next on the track were the 800ms – no Leevale representative in the women’s where Ratoath picked up 1 – leading 64-56.
Sam Curtis was our sole representative in the men’s 800m, but unfortunately didn’t make the top 8 and Ratoath picked up another 6 points – leading 64-62 after 12 of the 18 events.
Next up the 200m events – again the girls were to the fore with a 1-2 and max 16 points from Lucy and Fatima, Ratoath picked up bronze for 6 – leading 80-68
Luke Butler and Yasin Said were up next for the men. Luke made the final where he finished 7th for 2 points but Ratoath picked up 9 to narrow the gap – lead 82-77 after all individual events.
So we came to the relays knowing we had a tough battle on our hands – would 5 points be enough?
Ratoath had the numbers and were able to field 3 teams in each of the women’s relays, while they had 3 men’s 4x400m teams to add to their 2 4x100m teams.
Our athletes put up a great fight with the likes of Ella Jenks, Ciara O’Mahony, Sophie Mulcahy and Zoe Conway travelling to ensure we could field teams at least.
First up were the 4x100ms – Ratoath got the better of us finishing 1st and 3rd in the women’s against our 2nd and 5th, a four point swing 11 against 15 – leading 93-92.
Next on the track the men’s – Ratoath finished 1st and 3rd again, while we finished 2nd and 4th – 15 for Ratoath against our 12 – trailing 105 – 107.
Knowing the strength of Ratoath in the 4x400m it looked like our race was run …..
And so it turned out with Ratoath finishing 1-2 in both the men’s and women’s – we did manage 3rd place in both and added a 5th place in the men’s – Ratoath picked up 32 points to our 17 and a final score of 122-139
A great showing from all the athletes and great to see the support and comradeship on the day. A big shout out to all that took part in the relays – especially those that travelled just for them and those that ran both 4×100 and 4×400 (Zoe Conway, Ella Jenks, Ciara O’Mahony, Sophie Mulcahy, Sean Carmody, Conor Callinan, Yasin Said, Mathew Wilkins, Luke Butler)