Published in Club News on 16th July 2018
Athenry AC took a small team to Day 1 and 2 of the National Juvenile Championships and came away with a couple of medals. On the track, Calum Healy (U15), Liam Shaw (U14) and Aoibhe Deely (U17) went over the short hurdles with both Calum and Aoibhe progressing to the final. Aoibhe put in a superb qualifying performance winning her heat and obviously putting some doubts into her opponents. Calum qualified as a fastest loser in what was a very high calibre heat. Both of these young hurdlers finished a very respectable 5th in their finals and shows definite progression in their hurdling careers. Cian McNelis was our sole track representative on Day 1 that wasn't jumping over any sort of barrier and in a straight final for the U13 600m he came home 5th in a very tight race. As Cians race was progressing, our sole field representative, Liam Shaw was out plying his trade in the shot put circle. Unfortunately Liam was not able to reproduce his indoor placing from earlier this year, and threw a 40cm PB of 14.15m to come away with the silver. This throw puts Liam into a very elite group of only 8 athletes who have thrown over 14 metres at this age group
Performance of the day for the club however came late on when Sarah Gilhooley, who has only recently made the move to Steeplechase put in a stellar performance to take the gold medal in the girls U18 event, beating her nearest rival by nearly 7 seconds. Sarah certainly has been putting in the hard miles and has had to make regular trips to Athlone IT to use the steeplechase facilities there, and it certainly shows in the progression she has made. Sarah now has an agonising wait to see if the National selection committee will select her for the Celtic Games to represent Ireland in the event.
Rounding off this weekends exploits was Aine O'Farrell who took on the U19 3000m event. In what was a scrappy looking race, with the entire field spread out after just a few laps, Aine finished in 4th place behind some quality athletes such as Bandons Laura Nicholson who has represented Ireland both on track and in Cross Country. Preparation for Aine coming into the race was not ideal being on holiday in France the day before and having to have a very long drive, a ferry crossing and then another drive across the country just to get to the track !! Aine now moves onto the national senior 5000m championships in 2 weeks time.