IT WAS A busy weekend for Kilkenny’s track and field athletes with competitive action at both Leinster and national level to keep them going.
A number of local runners also went the distance - literally - when tackling the Waterford Viking Marathon and half marathon.
The All-Ireland national pairs championship for under-9 to under-11 athletes was held in Donegal on Saturday.
Juvenile athletes who had qualified from the Leinster championships made the long journey North a worthwhile one as they did not come away empty-handed.
The Thomastown duo of Jordan Knight and Zach Bay Hammond will certainly be pleased with their day’s work, winning gold in the 60m sprint and silver in the long jump in the boys’ under-11 event.
The Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) girls’ team of Emma Manogue, Fiona Dillon, Rachel Leahy, Emma Shortall also finished on the podium, winning silver in the girls’ under-10 relay event.
The Leinster combined events championships were also held on Saturday. Kilkenny provided two podium finishers at these finals in Navan with Shane Power (St Joseph’s) winning silver in the boys’ under-16 pentathlon while Catriona Twomey (KCH) also won silver in the girls’ under-19 Pentathlon.
The boys’ under-16 pentathlon comprised of 100m hurdles, long jump, shot-put, high jump and 800m events. The girls’ under-19 pentathlon events were the 200m, long jump, shot-put, high jump and 800m.
In what was a busy day the schools interprovincial competition, the Tailteann Games, was held in Tullamore.
This event is confined to athletes in the under-17 schools age group. A number of local club athletes were in action, representing their schools on the Leinster team.
Shannen Dawkins won the high jump and finished fourth in her sprint hurdle race. Donagh Mahon was second in the high jump.
Also competing were Callan Byrne, who was fifth in the 100m sprint and Peter Lynch, who ran in the 1,500m steeplechase.
It was back to Tullamore on Sunday for the national junior and under-23 track and field championships, with the blustery and difficult conditions making life tough for the athletes.
In the junior under-20 championships Shannen Dawkins (St Joseph’s) won the high jump, clearing a height of 1.68m for the second day in succession. She also won silver in the 100m hurdles.
Sophie Parkinson (Gowran) won silver in the discus and finished fourth place in the shot-put. Cliodhna Manning (KCH) was a bronze medallist in the 200m.
In the under-23 championships Aoife Hickey (KCH) made up for the disappointment she had in the European team Championships a week earlier by recording a comprehensive win in the women’s hammer.
There was another medal for Kilkenny in the throwing events as Emma Fenlon (St Joseph’s) was a silver medal winner in the shot-put. Louise Holmes (KCH) finished fourth in the 100m and Orla McPhillips (KCH) was sixth in the 800m.
The focus will be back on Tullamore this weekend as rounds one and two of the national juvenile track and field championships are held on Saturday and Sunday.
The Leinster championships saw a huge return of medals to the county but the standards will move up a notch or two at the weekend, with many of the athletes looking forward to the tougher challenges ahead.
Results, All-Ireland pairs championships
Boys’ under-11 60m: 1 Thomastown AC (Jordan Knight and Zach Bay Hammond). Boys’ under-11 long jump: 2 Thomastown (Jordan Knight and Zach Bay Hammond). Girls’ under-10 500m: 7 KCH (Emma Manogue and Fiona Dillon). Girls’ under-10 60m: 14 KCH (Rachel Leahy and Emma Shortall). Girls’ under-10 relay: 2 KCH (Emma Manogue, Fiona Dillon, Rachel Leahy, Emma Shortall). Boys’ under-10 60m: 6 KCH (Michael Raggett and Cian Farrell). Boys’ under-10 relay: 6 KCH (Kian Dunne, Robbie Cord, Michael Raggett and Cian Farrell).
Results, Leinster juvenile combined events
Boys’ under-16 pentathlon: 2 Shane Power, St Joseph’s (100m hurdles, long jump, shot-put, high jump, 800m), 1,867pts. Girls’ under-19 pentathlon: 2 Catriona Twomey, KCH (200m, long jump, shot-put, high jump, 800m), 2,442pts.
Results, national junior and under-23 championships
Junior women (under-20) 100m: 4 Sophie Becker (SJ). Junior women’s 200m: 3 Cliodhna Manning (KCH), 5 Sophie Becker (SJ). Junior women’s high jump: 1 Shannen Dawkins (SJ). Junior women’s 100m hurdles: 2 Shannen Dawkins (SJ). Junior women’s discus: 2 Sophie Parkinson (G). Junior women’s shot-put: 4 Sophie Parkinson (G).
Junior men (under-20) high jump: 5 Donagh Mahon (G), 1.90m. Junior men’s discus: 6 Evan Foley (G).
Women’s under-23 hammer: 1 Aoife Hickey (KCH). Women’s shot-put: 2 Emma Fenlon (SJ). Women’s 100m: 4 Louise Holmes (KCH). Women’s 800m: 6 Orla McPhillips (KCH).
Results, Tailteann Games (schools under-17 inter-provincial)
Boys’ 100m: 5 Callan Byrne (Scoil Aireagail). Boys’ 1,500m Steeplechase: 12 Peter Lynch (St Kieran’s). Boys’ high jump: 2 Donagh Mahon (St Kieran’s). Girls’ high jump: 1 Shannen Dawkins (St Mary’s New Ross). Girls’ 80m hurdles: 4 Shannen Dawkins.
A group of 25 athletes from St Joseph’s participated in the Viking Marathon and Half-Marathon in Waterford on Saturday. Maria Griffin finished in third place in the women’s half marathon while Sally Forristal was the sixth place woman finisher in the full marathon.