Competing in the U20 grade in the Irish National Indoor finals for the first time, Cathriona Farrell showed fantastic early season form when winning the Irish Junior High Jump title with a first-time clearance of 1.73m.
With an indoor PB of 1.75m last year and an outdoor PB of 1.73m at the English AAA's in August, Cathriona had achieved the qualification standard for both the European Youth Olympics and the IAAF World Youth Championships.
Earlier in January however, the Irish Olympic Council ruled that only athletes who re-achieved the qualifcation standard this year would be considered for the European Youths. For high jump, that standard is 1.73m so to clear it in her first competition since last August was a big achievement for Cathriona and is ideal preparation for the rest of the indoor season as it lifts any pressure to re-achieve the standard.
Two knocked bars at 1.65m and 1.70m added some extra effort on the day, but a huge jump on her second attempt at 1.70m saw Cathriona easily clear that height and next she sailed over 1.73m with centimetres to spare on her first attempt to take the gold medal. The next height 1.75m proved much on the day … with tiredness setting in as her attempts at this height were her 8th, 9th and 10th jumps in the competition.
Also in action in Nenagh, Rachel Finnegan raced to 5th place in the 60m hurdles in a new PB of 10.41.
There were good performances also from Laura Shaughnessy from Loughrea AC who took silver in the 3000m in a time of 10.26.31, from Rachel Shaw (GCH) who took silver in the 800m in a time of 2.15.04 and from Eanna O'Cathain (GCH) who won gold in the Weight for Distance with a throw of 8.23m and silver in the Shot Putt with a throw of 13.58m.
A big achievement also for Caoimhe King from Westport AC who set a huge PB in the triple jump of 11.97m, breaking the National Junior Indoor record with 3 of her jumps and in the process achieving the qualification standard for the European Youth Olympics.
Well done to everyone!