The National Juvenile Indoor Championships are the pinnacle of the juvenile indoor athletics season, and took place over three days on 25th March, and the 1st and 2nd of April at the TUS International Arena in Athlone. The country’s best juvenile athletes descended upon the venue with hopes of competing for national honours.
Leevale AC was exceptionally well represented with over 50 athletes competing in 63 events, including 5 relay teams. It is noteworthy that club juveniles were competitive across the full range of athletic events including sprints, hurdles, middle distance, jumps, throws and relays. The medal haul, which was across all events, comprised 14 gold, 14 silver, and 7 bronze. Further, there was one performance inside the qualification standard for the European U18 EYOFs, 2 Championship Best performances and one further attempt at a Championship Best Performance (CBP). There were a total of 25 new personal best (PB) performances achieved. The quantity and quality of performances across the full range of events is indicative of an enormously healthy juvenile section within the club, which is vitally important to the clubs future. Indeed the club was awarded the Drifter Cup for the 3rd year in a row. The Drifter Cup is the national award for the best juvenile club in the country. There is enormous gratitude and credit due to the efforts and team work of the coaches, the club administrators, and the parents, without whom such success would not be possible.
A summary of the performances is detailed below.
In the 60m sprints, the Leevale athletes competing for honours included Alison Scully, Rahman Adekunle, Caoimhe Daly, Tyreek Bannon, Elena O’Sullivan, Sophie Mulcahy, Fatima Amusa, John Cashman, Kyle Kamden, Colin O’Dwyer, Luke Butler and Sean Carmody.
There was a gold medal for Caoimhe Daly in the GU16 event, clocking a very fast 7.81 sec (PB). The silver medal haul came to four with Alison Scully (GU14) clocking 8.01 sec (PB), Rahman Adekunle (BU14) clocking 7.73 sec (PB), Elena O’Sullivan (GU17) clocking 7.74 sec (PB) and Fatima Amusa (GU18) clocking 7.67 sec (PB). In the BU19 race, Luke Butler ran a very fast 7.11 sec (PB) to win bronze.
In the 200m sprints, Leevale athletes included Sophie Mulcahy, Elena O’Sullivan, Fatima Amusa, Kyle Kamden, Colin O’Dwyer and Luke Butler. One of the outstanding performances of the weekend came from Sophie Mulcahy in the GU17 race in which Sophie won gold in a stunning time of 24.99 sec (PB), a mere 0.09 sec outside the qualification standard for the GU18 EYOF. The very fast time was matched equally by the determination shown in Sophie’s finish, digging deep to overtake her rival in the final straight in a breath taking finish that caught the eye of many a spectator. There was also gold for Colin O’Dwyer in the BU19 race in a time of 22.43 sec (PB). Silver medals were won by Fatima Amusa in a time of 25.09 sec (Indoor PB) in the GU18 race. Luke Butler won his second medal of the meet by finishing in bronze position in a time of 23.04 sec in the BU19 race.
In the 400m distance, Marykate Corbett competed in the GU17 event. Marykate fell during her warm up injuring her wrist but as always Marykate showed a determination hard to match and completed her first National Indoor 400m.
Competing in the highly technical 60m hurdles, Leevale juveniles included Anna Vaughan Reddan, Rahman Adekunle, Louise Mullins, Ellie Vaughan Reddan, Okwu Backari and Sean Carmody. There were gold medal finishes for Okwu Backari (GU18) ina time of 8.47 sec (PB) and Sean Carmody (BU19) with a time of 8.45s (PB). New PBs were achieved also by Anna (9.75), Ellie (9.60). Unfortunately Louise hit the second hurdle taking a hard fall; regardless Louise showed fantastic courage as she picked herself up and finished the race.
Leevale competitors in the 800m included Kate O’Donovan, Ronan Keenan, Jack O’Rourke and Zoe Conway. There were notably fast times all round with Kate O’Donovan finishing 3rd in the GU15 in a time of 2:17 (PB) and Ronan Keenan also 3rd in the BU15 in a time of 2:08 (PB). There were 4th place finishes for Jack O’Rourke (BU17) in a time of 1:58 and Zoe Conway (GU18) in a time of 2:15.
In the 1500m event, Leevale competitors included Lauren Dinan, Ella Dinan, Ben O’Brien and Nicole Dinan. Nicole Dinan provided one of the outstanding performances of the weekend in winning her highly competitive race in an exceptionally fast time of 4:31 (PB), a full 4 seconds inside the qualification standard for the GU18 EYOF and a new CBP. Nicole’s finish was equally impressive, pulling well away from the field in the last 100m of the race. Nicole’s performance over the 1500m was very much on par with her 800m ability, in which she had a 4th place finish in the European U17 final in 2022 in Slovakia. A silver medal was won by Lauren Dinan in the Gu16 race in a time of 4:49.
In indoor athletics, the throws event is limited to the shot putt for obvious reasons. Leevale competitors included Fionn Naughton, Helena Golka, Gary O’Donovan, and Briana Onoh. A gold medal finish was won by Briana Onoh (GU18) with a putt of 14.06m (PB). There was a bronze medal for Fionn Naughton (BU14) with a putt of 10.14m (PB).
The highly technical and visually intriguing pole vault event continues to grow from strength to strength within the club. Leevale competitors comprised Noelle Mulcahy, Helena Golka, Olive Burger, Méabh Bannon, Alex Neff, Diarmuid Bannon, Lucie Healy, Dylan Murray, Joshua Fitzgerald. There were gold medal finishes for Noelle Mulcahy (GU15) with a clearance of 2.50m and for Joshua Fitzgerald (BU19) with a new Championship Best clearance of 4.36m. Noelle went on to attempt the Championship Best Performance (CBP) of 2.61m, but it wasn’t to be on this occasion. Silver medal finishes were won by Helena Golka (GU15) with a clearance of 2.30m (PB), Olive Burger (GU16) with a clearance of 2.70m (PB), Alex Neff (BU17) with a clearance of 3.60m and Lucie Healy (GU18) with a clearance of 2.80m (PB). In the BU18 event, Dylan Murray won a bronze medal with a clearance of 2.40m.
Leevale competitors in the long jump included Aideen Hegarty, Anna Vaughan Reddan, Rahman Adekunle, Caoimhe Daly, Ryan Onoh, Okwu Backari, and Gabriella Bowen. The long jump delivered no less than three first place finishes with Rahman Adekunle (Bu14) producing a jump of 5.26m (PB), Caoimhe Daly (GU16) jumping 5.28m, and Ryan Onoh (BU16) jumping 5.92m. There was a silver medal for Okwu Backari (GU18) with a jump of 5.29m.
In the high jump, Leevale competitors included Joelle O’Leary, Noah Dorgan, Noelle Mulcahy, Olive Burger, Ryan Onoh, Ben O’Brien, Tiggy Hanafin, Diarmuid Bannon and Maeve Fleming. A gold medal finish was won by Maeve Fleming (GU18) with a clearance of 1.66m. Ryan Onoh won a silver medal in a highly competitive Bu16 event with a clearance of 1.85m. Noelle Mulcahy won bronze in the GU15 event with a clearance of 1.50m (PB).
In the triple jump, Matthew Wilkins (BU18) jumped 12.46m to win silver, David Flynn jumped 10.69m and Patrick Corkery jumped 9.76m.
In the 4 x 200m relays, the club was represented by:
GU14: Alison Scully, Nina Fox, Anna Vaughan Reddan, Lucy Fitzgerald, Katie Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Sexton
GU16: Louise Mullins, Faye Scriven, Ava Hanley, Caoimhe Daly
BU14: Rahman Adekunle, Ethan Bambury, Cole McDonnell, Alan Kelly
BU16: Tyreek Bannon, Daniel Golden, Josh O’Mahony, Darragh Long
BU18: Gary O’Donovan, Patrick Corkery, Mathew Wilkins and Adam Ahern. A gold medal finish was produced by the Gu16 team while a silver medal was produced by the Bu16 team.
Finally, for many it was their first time competing at the national indoor championships. Competing for the first time at such a large event can be a daunting experience, and so, a “well done” “shout out” is appropriate. In the words of one of Leevale’s former chairmen, “half the battle in athletics is putting yourself on the start line”.
|Nicole Dinan||GU18||1500m||04:31.02||1st||EYOF Standard||New PB||CBP|
|Sophie Mulcahy||GU17||200m||24.99||1st||New PB|
|Elena O’Sullivan||GU17||200m||26.17||2nd in Heat||New PB|
|Fatima Amusa||GU18||200m||25.09||2nd||New Indoor PB|
|Kyle Kamden||BU18||200m||24.06||2nd in Heat|
|Colin O’Dwyer||BU19||200m||22.43||1st||New PB|
|Marykate Corbett Keating||GU17||400m||01:06.94||5th in Heat||Fell during warm-up|
|Anna Vaughan Reddan||GU14||60mH||9.75||6th||New PB|
|Louise Mullins||GU16||60mH||14.25||Fell – 8th in Heat|
|Ellie Vaughan Reddan||GU17||60mH||9.60||5th in Heat||New PB|
|Okwu Backari||GU18||60mH||8.47||1st||New PB|
|Alison Scully||GU14||60m||8.01||2nd||New PB|
|Rahman Adekunle||BU14||60m||7.73||2nd||New PB|
|Caoimhe Daly||GU16||60m||7.81||1st||New PB|
|Tyreek Bannon||BU16||60m||7.54||4th in Heat|
|Elena O’Sullivan||GU17||60m||7.74||2nd||New PB|
|Sophie Mulcahy||GU17||60m||7.90||5th||New PB|
|Fatima Amusa||GU18||60m||7.67||2nd||New PB|
|John Cashman||BU18||60m||7.45||5th in Heat||Sick|
|Kyle Kamden||BU18||60m||7.39||5th in Heat|
|Luke BUtler||BU19||60m||7.11||3rd||New PB|
|Sean Carmody||BU19||60m||7.22||4th in Heat|
|Kate O’Donovan||GU15||800m||02:17.06||3rd||New PB|
|Ronan Keenan||BU15||800m||02:08.90||3rd||New PB|
|Anna Vaughan Reddan||GU14||LJ||4.38m||5th|
|Rahman Adekunle||BU14||LJ||5.26m||1st||New PB|
|Noelle Mulcahy||GU15||PV||2.50m||1st||Attempted CBP of 2.61m|
|Helena Golka||GU15||PV||2.30m||2nd||New PB|
|Olive BUrger||GU16||PV||2.70m||2nd||New PB|
|Diarmuid Bannon||BU17||PV||2.60m||4th||New PB|
|Lucie Healy||GU18||PV||2.80m||2nd||New PB|
|Joshua Fitzgerald||BU19||PV||4.36m||1st||New CBP|
|Fionn Naughton||BU14||Shot||10.14m||3rd||New PB|
|Briana Onoh||GU18||Shot||14.06m||1st||New PB|
|Anna Vaughan Reddan||GU14|
|Rahman Adekunle||BU14||4x200m||01:56.70||5th in Heat|
|Gary O’Donovan||BU18||4x200m||01:41.30||6th in Heat|