U17 AAA High Jump Champion 2007 !!!

U17 AAA High Jump Champion 2007 !!!

Its been a remarkable 4 weeks for Cathriona Farrell as she travelled to Wales, then Antrim and then Sheffield for international high jump competitions. An earlier article details the success in Antrim and the compeition in Wales.

All of these were eclipsed by the greatest achievement of Cathriona's athletics career to date when winning the English AAA U17 High Jump at the weekend in Sheffield.

The AAA Championships is the highest standard of athletics competition on these islands and this was borne out in the high jump where competition was intense with no less than 9 jumpers clearing 1.60m.

Conditions were ideal for high jumping, with warm sunny weather and only the occasional cloudy patch to hide the sunshine. Umbrellas surprisingly were the order of the day for some of the high jumpers as they sheltered from the sunshine during an event which lasted the best part of 2 hours.

Cathriona entered the competition at the opening height of 1.45m just to settle in and get a feel for the jump, following this up with first-time clearances over 1.55m, 1.60m and 1.65m. 14 athletes cleared 1.55m, with 9 of them clearing 1.60m and 5 clearing 1.65m. Five athletes were left at this stage of the competition and Cathriona was the only one with a faultless performance so far as each of the others had knocked bars at lower heights.

One athlete failed to clear 1.69m, with the others clearing at their 2nd or 3rd attempts. Still advantage Cathriona at this point. The competition rules were that the bar went up by 5cm up to 1.65m and by 4cm thereafter, so the next height was 1.73m. On her 2nd attempt, Cathriona came agonisingly close to clearing the 1.73m which would have been a new PB, grazing it with her lower calf after clearing it. The other athletes were further away from clearing it and the eventual outcome was 3 knocked bars for each athlete. High jump rules in this situation are to look at the previous height to see who had most knocked bars at that height. Of the 4 athletes, Cathriona and Scottish Champion Jill Brooks had 1 failure at the 1.69m height while the other 2 athletes – English Champion Hannah Dickson and compatriot Katherine Connolly had 2 failures. So tied at 1.69m with Jill Brooks, the earlier jumps are then taken into consideration. Here was where Cathriona's focus and concentration in earlier rounds really paid off as she had not knocked any bars whereas the Scottish jumper had knocked 1 bar at 1.65m.

So gold medal for Cathriona and the title of AAA U17 Champion 2007. Well done! Next to Ann Loughnane's World Youth silver medal, this is the next greatest achievement of any Craughwell AC athlete. And the achivement is all the more remarkable as Cathriona still has another year left in this age group if she chooses to compete in it again in 2008.

Comments are closed.