Aisling Keady-Cummins made it a memorable day in Magherafelt today when taking double medals at the National Juvenile Indoor Championships in U13 long jump and high jump. The day started with the long jump and while Aisling had performed very well in the Connacht indoors to take the silver medal with a leap of 3.82m (just shy of her 3.87m in the Galway indoors), no one was to expect her phenomenal performance today when leaping 6 jumps close to or exceeding 4 metres, including her sixth jump of 4.32m to take the bronze medal – a massive PB by 45cm!!
Onto the high jump in jubilant mood, Aisling had to cope with an awkward landing on her first clearance at 1.20m which left her in considerable pain. Knocking 1.25m on her first attempt, she regained her composure to clear 1.25m, 1.30m and 1.35m to seal a silver medal – with the winner Alanna Gannon from Westport taking the title on count-back with a 1.35m clearance. This was a remarkable performance for Aisling and great encouragement for her and all in the club.
Earlier in the day, our U12 boys also had a historic day when taking 2nd place and 3rd place in the high jump – with Cillian Doyle claiming the silver with a 1.23m leap and Jerry Keary taking bronze with a 1.20m clearance … fantastic performances by both boys and well worth the trip up north!
For all three high jumpers, it was a nice reward for all the extra hard work they put in the last few weeks at high jump practise – training 5 or 6 times in the last 10 days! And for the other high jumpers from the club in action today who had trained just as hard – take heart from Aisling’s progress as she finished 5th and 6th in last year’s indoors and outdoors with a 1.20 jump on each occasion. Your time will come later this year or next year hopefully.
It was particularly hard luck for Tara McNally who took 4th place in the U14 high jump with a leap of 1.40m, losing out on count-back for the silver and bronze medals which were also won in 1.40m. Jim Crowley matched his PB when jumping 1.25m in the U13 boys, just 5cm behind 3rd place, while Sam McArdle jumped 1.15m in the same event. Laura Cunningham jumped 1.15m in the U12 girls, almost clearing 1.20m only to see the bar wobble and fall on her 3rd attempt.
Conor Gillen powered his way to his first National track medal when taking the silver medal in the U16 boys 1500m in a PB time of 4.25.75 with Matthew Moran taking a PB in the same race also. This 1500m performance continues a fine season for both boys following on from the schools cross country last weekend.
There was hard luck for the club in the sprints on this occasion with Aidan Conneely and Sineád Treacy just missing out on making the sprint finals in the U15 60m and for Tara McNally who made the final with the 3rd fastest time from the heats but unfortunately was disqualified in the final for a false start. It was a heartbreaking decision for Tara whose Connacht time of 8.48 would have taken the silver medal in the final. But we live to fight another day and our sprinters will be gunning for glory again when the outdoor season comes around.
Final performances for the club today were in the shot putt, with Nathan Lynsky and Sam McArdle in action in the U13 boys, Mark O’Brien in the U12 boys and Eva Prendergast in the U13 girls. Eva finished in 13th place with a throw of 6.34m, Mark took 10th place with a throw of 5.99m while Nathan and Sam took 9th and 11th places with throws of 7.91m and 7.32m. Nathan earlier took 11th place in the long jump with a leap of 3.85m.
Summary results of Saturday can be found at:-
Meanwhile on Sunday, Cathal O'Brien had a fine performance in the U14 boy shot putt with 3 massive throws of 10.32, 10.38 and 10.79 to take the silver medal – fantastic progress for Cathal and great to see the club taking medals across a wide range of events. Claire Ryder placed joint 5th in the U16 girls long jump with a leap of 4.74m. It was a little below Claire's best, with the tiled and elevated runway not suiting Claire – but she will be back to her best for the schools and club outdoor track and field which is only a few weeks away now.
Ellen Fitzpatrick jumped exceptionally well in the U15 girls high jump to record a new personal best of 1.35m, while Oisin McNally leaped 1.45m in the U16 boys high jump – but despite 3 excellent attempts, Oisin was way over 1.50m but knocked it on the descent each time. Oisin leaped 4.44m to finish in 9th in the U16 long jump, just 1 place behind Diarmuid Prendergast with a jump of 4.62m. Diarmuid also took part in the shot putt where he finished in 8th place with a throw of 9.30m. In the hurdles, Tara McNally had a good race with a time of 10.55 but finished outside the qualifying places for the final.
Overall the club took 6 medals at the weekend and lots of good performances which finished just outside the medals. Well done to all our athletes and congratulations on performing so well at this level. And if you were a little dissappointed, refocus now for the outdoors and on getting new personal bests – the medals will come your way if you continue to work hard.