Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sligo AC National Indoors: Juvenile Update

A number of Sligo AC juvenile athletes made the trip to Belfast as guests in the Northern Ireland Championships. With the impressive Odyssey arena the venue, this was a real special introduction to big competition to Sligo's up and coming stars. On the Saturday morning of competition Graham Kerr set the ball rolling by winning his 60m heat in impressive style, followed immediately by his big sister Stacey, she too was victorious in winning her 60m heat in fine style and a new personal best of 8.35 seconds. While Graham and Stacey prepared for their finals Caelainn McGonigle strode to victory in her 800m time trial but as she was racing against the clock her time was good enough for 4th place overall.
After Caelainn came Dylan Carty in the boys U-16 walk where he was a very impressive winner lapping all but one to win in fine style. Onto the finals of the 60m for girls where Stacey drawn in lane 5 got off to a slow start but quickly made up ground to finish in a very tight 4th place behind National record holder for 60m u13 and Celtic Games champion Grace Lawlor. Stacey can look forward to the Connaught indoors which take place in Nenagh on the 5th of March. After a long delay they eventually got the boys u13 under way which saw Graham Kerr power out of the blocks in his usual fashion to claim a very close 4th place finish.
Onto Sundays competition where we had a sole representitive in Zak Irwin and he didn't disappoint. First he set onto the track in the 200m, where for the first time ever he tasted defeat, this event was a huge learning curve for him as he later showed in the 60m. In heat 1 he strolled to an easy win in a very fast time of 7.48 seconds, later on that day he bettered that time to the final by some way in a time of 7.42 seconds. This really is classy running and he too can look forward to both a fine indoor and outdoor season ahead.
On the topic of juvenile athletes we had 5 competing in Senior competition. Tommy Casey and Ania Bednorz both really do need a special mention as first Tommy on Saturday night obliterated his personal best for 3,000m to qualify for the final. His time of 8min 27seconds is truly top class running and puts him right up there with the best juniors in the Country, he went on the next day to back this performance up with a time of 8min 32 seconds in the final, this shows the stregnth and character that it takes to be a world class runner which Tommy will be some day. And with Ania only 15 years of age competing for her first time in senior competition and still only in her first year of competition, she finsihed a very credible 5th place in the final of the senior womans triple jump on Sunday afternoon. Ciaran White (long jump), Rianne McHugh(800m) and Kevin McGlynn (60m) can all be proud of their performances and look forward to building on them through the indoor season and onto outdoor season. The future looks bright in Sligo athletics with so many young athletes competing at this level of competition. Well done to all Sligo athletes who took part in this excellent competition over the weekend and best of luck in their competitions ahead.

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