Juvenile Athletes Excel at National Senior Championships

Juvenile Athletes Excel at National Senior Championships

 The club’s progress in track and field was again underlined in Nenagh last weekend when 9 of the club’s juvenile athletes joined with Sarah Finnegan, William Finnegan and Diarmuid Quill to compete in the National Senior Indoor Relays and National Junior/Senior Combined Events. William’s and Diarmuid’s success in the high jump has already been covered by Tony so I will just outline the performances from our juveniles in some more detail here.

Highlight of the weekend was Rachel Finnegan’s victory in the Junior Women Pentathlon, scoring a new indoor PB of 2377 points to claim victory by the tiny margin of 17 points. Rachel recorded 10.26 in the hurdles, 4.50m in the long jump, 6.18m in the shot putt (PB), 1.33 in the high jump and 2.40.84 in the 800m.

Sophie Ralston took 4th place with a PB score of 1940 points (11.45 hurdles, 4.42m long jump, 5.30m shot putt, 1.30m high jump and 2.53.19 800m).  Read on for more ….


If medals were been awarded for bravery, then Sarah Finnegan won the All-Ireland title on Saturday when competing in the long jump and triple jump 2-person teams despite suffering a bad injury to her shoulder the previous weekend in the hurdles. Sarah competed in both jumping events when in obvious pain, leaping a combined 17.83m with sister Rachel to claim the silver medal in the triple jump and 4.15m to combine with Rachel’s 4.50m and claim bronze in the long jump.  

Ashley McDonnell and Sophie Ralston went 1 better in the long jump with Ashley leaping 4.72m to combine with Sophie’s 4.42m to record a combined score of 9.14m and take the silver medal – a great performance and the first taste of senior success for each of them.

In the men’s long jump, David Farrell combined with Tomas Keehan to take 6th place overall with a combined score of 10.55m (David 5.17m, Tomas 5.38m), while William Finnegan and Niall Rooney finished 1 place ahead in 5th place with a combination of 10.72m (William 5.68m, Niall 5.04m). 

Tomas and Niall also competed in the men’s high jump but were a little disappointed on the day with both jumping well below their PBs to take 4th place with a combined jump of 3.16m. Rumour has it that they were just being nice to the old man who coaches them and who partnered with the youthful William Finnegan to take 3rd place with a combined jump of 3.25m. Well done Diarmuid!! If I can jump as well as that when I’m your age, I will be very pleased Cool.

Also in action, David Concannon, Alan Byrne and Peadar Harvey ran in the 3x3000m with all three running powerful races on their first attempt at this distance. Unfortunately I did not start my stopwatch in time for this race and doubly unfortunately there appears to have been a bit of a mess-up on the published results with only Peadar’s time recorded when finishing in 7th place. Peadar’s time was 9.10.8 which is a truly exceptional time, breaking the club senior record of 9.25.31 held by Martin Corcoran. David and Alan were less than a lap behind but for some reason they are not listed in the results – something I am following up on. This would have placed them under 10 minutes for the distance which again are remarkable times for these young athletes and probably enough to have given us 4th place overall if the results can be rectified. 

Last but not least, a comment on the first event of the day where we fielded a junior men’s 4x200m relay team in the senior event. We have many talented athletes now from U17 upwards and could have fielded 2 good teams but didn’t bring anyone down who wasn’t competing in another event on the day. So Tomas Keehan, Niall Rooney, Peadar Harvey and David Farrell carried the baton on this occasion – performing with distinction even though a little overwhelmed by the senior opposition. The lads knocked a full 2 seconds off the club’s junior and senior records when finishing in 4th place in their heat in a time of 1.43.0.

So another good day of action and a great introduction to senior competition for these athletes. One final word on the day – best wishes to Debi Kenny who was ill for the last few days and unable to travel to Nenagh for the long jump. Get well soon Debi!


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