Some excellent performances at the weekend’s AVIVA Irish Schools athletics championships at Tullamore Harriers Stadium. In near perfect weather conditions, the walkers, in particular ,again excelled, in both Senior and Junior events .
Kate Veale (St. Augustine’s, Dungarvan and West Waterford A.C) easily won the senior 3,000m walk in a time of 12:40.09, a time that demolished Anne Loughnane’s 2003 record of 13:51.In so doing she was also rewarded with the Lar Byrne Memorial “Athlete of the Meet” award and deservedly so.
Anyone who thinks that Veale’s records will last a long time could well be in for a re-think because Sinead Burke (Maynooth PPS ) won the junior 1,200m walk in a time of 5:27.33, just outside Veale’s 5:27.27 record.
This was all the more remarkable when you consider that 14 years old, Sinead, who is a member of the St Coca’s A.C in Bawnogue,Kilcock) has only recently returned to the track ,some five weeks after cardiac surgery. The Maynooth Post Primary School has also qualified for the 2011 AVIVA Tailteann Games at the Morton Stadium in Santry on 25 June.
Marco Pons (Wexford CBS) broke Frank O’Brien’s 1983 record of 53.60m in the senior discus. He had a throw of 54.17m in the third round and followed up with 54.08m in the fifth round.
Another throws record was broken by Cara Kennedy (Waterford CFF) whose 55.31m effort in the first round of the senior hammer broke Rachel Akers 2004 record of 52.91m.
Doubles were the order of the day in the sprints. Grainne Moynihan (St.Mary’s Macroom) and Ciara Giles Doran (Mercy Waterford) shared the spoils at intermediate level, with Moyhihan winning the 100m in 12.42 and the 300m in 39.42, while Giles Doran won the 200m in 25.04 and the 300m hurdles in 42.38.
Both senior sprints went to Mark Kavanagh (Oatlands College), winning the 100m in 11.08 and the 200m in 22.20.
The Kiely twins were in top form with Ben (Tramore CBS) winning the senior 400m hurdles in 55.97 and Megan (Ursuline Waterford) winning the senior girls 400m hurdles in 62.82.
Amy O’Donoghue (Villiers Limerick) won the senior 800m in a time of 2:13.61, with Iseult O’Donnell (Santa Sabina) second in 2:14.96. O’Donoghue,( niece of former World 3000 metres indoor champion,Frank O’Mara) completed a double with victory in the 1,500m in 4:43.61.
The intermediate girls 3,000m was a thriller with Zara Moore (Sacred Heart Omagh) wining in a time of 10:18.79, just a fraction ahead of Clar Ni Cartaigh (Colaiste Iosagain) in 10:18.94, with Brona Croke (Crescent College Comp SJ) third in 10:20.71.
A strong front running performance by Ruairi Finnegan (St. Eunan’s) saw him win the intermediate boys 1,500m with the best part of 100m to spare. His time of 3:55.22 bettered Adam Ingram’s record of 3:57.44 set last year.
Síofra Cléirigh Buttner , the 15 years old from Coláiste Íosagáin , was another convincing winner with victory in the intermediate 1,500m in a time of 4:29.83. The only doubt was how much she would win by and the answer was 27 seconds.
A hugely confident run by Tommy Casey (Sligo Grammar) saw him win the senior 1,500m for the second year in a time of 3:52.47, while Jake Byrne (Rochfort Bridge) was an impressive winner of the senior 5,000m in 15:07.85.
The relays saw Abbey Vocational Donegal win the junior girls race in a new record time of 50.34.