Best of luck to the many athletes from the club who are representing their schools in the Connacht Secondary Schools Track & Field this Thursday in Athlone IT. Each year, more and more members of the club are making it through to the Connacht and National finals in the schools competition.
The secondary schools track & field is regarded as the highest level of juvenile athletics in Ireland since it attracts athletes from all sports and not just those who are members of an athletic club. In recent years, several members of the club have distinguished themselves in the Connacht Championships with several holding Connacht records in their event, including:-
– Cathriona Farrell and Maria McNamara who share the high jump record in the Junior Girls grade with 1.55m, with Cathriona also holding the records in the intermediate and senior grades with 1.70m and 1.73m
– Ann Loughnane who hold the records for the intermediate 2k race walk and senior 3k race walk with times of 9.34.1 and 13.46.0.
– Claire Ryder, Jessica Heneghan and Maria McNamara who along with Alanna Lally helped the Pres Athenry to break the Connacht record in the 4x100m in the Junior Girls grade in a time of 52.3.
Its interesting that if you examine the records for the Connacht Schools T&F, they show that in recent years, the standard of the girls events has risen considerably with 30 records broken or equalled in the last decade.
The strongest performances in the boys events came back in 1972 and 1974 when 5 and 6 records were set or equalled, while in the girls events the strongest performances have come in 2004, 2008 and 2010 when 5 records were set or equalled each year. 2011 might be a watershed for the boys as there is some remarkable talent in Connacht in both boys and girls at present.
The provisional order of events on Thursday is as follows:
CONNACHT SCHOOLS ATHLETICS
TRACK & FIELD FINALS ATHLONE IT 2011
Track Events Field Events
61. 4 x 100m Relay Minor Girls 62. 4 x 100m Relay Minor Boys