In sweltering Mediterranean weather conditions, over 70 athletes from Craughwell AC took part in the Connacht U9-12s Track & Field Championships in Athlone on Saturday where they featured 31 times on the medal podium, easily the most successful Connacht club on the day.
The day got underway with the relays where the U9 boys and U11 boys both claimed splendid gold medals and the Connacht title with fine performances in their 4×100 races in times of 1.08.66 and 1.00.31. The U9 team was Evan Hallinan, Daniel Galvin, Fiachra Bond, Luke Flynn and sub Evan Quinn while the U11 team was Lewis Ryan, Shaun Gilligan, Padraig Martyn, Conall Doyle and sub Gavin Kelly. The U11 girls’ team almost took the gold medal on the line but having to settle for silver in 1.02.77 with their team of Kate Reilly, Ava Finn, Aíne Kelly, Aoife Kelly and sub Emma Jane Moran.
The U10 girls were unlucky to just miss out on a podium finish with 4th place in 106.77 with Rebecca Lynch, Alex Slamas, Rebekah Flynn, Emily Miskella and sub Caoimhe Connolly. The club took the bronze medals in the remaining 4 relays amidst tough competition from the other Connacht clubs. The teams and times were U12 Girls (1.01.30) Niamh Niland, Ailbhe Miskella, Caoimhe Gilligan, Mia Waters and sub Eva Kelly; U12 Boys (59.81) Sean Cannon, Finbar McFadden, Cian Garman, Alex Evans and sub Ryan Gallagher; U10 Boys (1.05.16) Conor Hoade, Lukas Schukat, Kieran O’Connor, Liam Mulveen and sub Robert Urquhart; U9 Girls (1.12.81) Sarah Byrne, Josephine Fallon, Hannah Jennings, Erin Kelly and sub Jade Whelton.
There were strong performances also from the U10 Boys B team to take 7th place with a time of 1.07.44 (Niall Cummins, Liam McDonagh, Darragh McCartin, Nigel Kelly), U12 Girls B team with 7th place in 1.05.36 (Lenagh Gilligan, Sarah McCartin, Sarah Woods, Zoe Gilligan), the U12 Girls C team 9th in 107.25 (Amber Whelton, Maeve Dawson, Ruth Dillon, Eva Kelly), U12 Boys B team 11th in 1.03.93 (Kyle Moorhead, Eanna McDaid, Conor Roberts and Garvin Surlis), the U9 Girls B team 5th in 1.13.12; U9 Boys B team 9th in 1.17.07 (Killian Walshe, Kenneth O’Connor, Liam McDaid, Shane Concannon, sub Sean Diviney), U9 Boys C team 11th in 1.19.37 (Michael Woods, Colm O’Brien, Calvin Ryan, Odhran Gilligan, sub Aaron Flynn) and U11 Girls B team 8th in 1.07.48.
The U12 girls were particularly dominant in their age group with 6 medals from the 5 events. Niamh Niland took bronze in the 60m sprint in 8.92 with Leanagh Gilligan making the final and Niamh also came 4th in the 600m. Leanagh Gilligan won the long jump with a leap of 4.02m with Caoimhe Gilligan making a huge improvement to take 3rd place in the same event. Leanagh added a bronze medal in the high jump with a 1.20m leap with Amber Whelton clearing the same height to take 4th place. Eva Kelly and Sarah McCartin took silver and bronze in the shot putt while Jane Trehy took 4th place in the turbo javelin.
Alex Evans took bronze in the U12 long jump having earlier finishing 5th in the sprint final in 8.93; while Sean Cannon and Ryan Gallagher took silver and bronze in the high jump with 1.20m. Sean Cannon won his 600m race in 1.50.1 but was unlucky that the other heat was faster and kept him out of the medals. Finbarr McFadden had a fantastic race in the other heat where he placed 3rd in a time of 1.48.1 to take the overall bronze.
In the paired events for the U9-11 ages, the club were particularly impressive in the long jump where the club took 3 sets of gold medals, 2 sets of silver and a set of bronze out of the 6 events. Ava Finn and Aíne Kelly took gold in the U11 girls, Pádraig Martyn and Conall Doyle gold in the U11 boys, Liam Mulveen and Kieran O’Connor gold in the U10 boys, Lukas Schukat and Robert Urquhart silver in the U10 boys, Emily Miskella and Rebekah Flynn silver in the U10 girls, and Evan Hallinan and Fiachra Bond bronze in the U9 boys. In the sprint pairs, Aoife Kelly and Emma Malone took bronze in the U11 girls while Padraig Martyn and Conall Doyle did likewise in the U11 boys. In the turbo javelin pairs, Conor Trehy and Liam Diviney took bronze in the U11 boys, Michael Trehy and Oisin Keane took silver in the U10 boys, Liam McDonagh and Robert Urquhart took bronze in the same event, and Sarah Byrne and Aoibhe Farragher took bronze in the U9 girls. In the middle distance pairs, Emily Miskella and Rebekah Flynn took silver in the U10 girls 500m while Evan Hallinan and Daniel Galvin took bronze in the U9 boys 300m.
Overall it was a fantastic day for the club and attention now turns to the Connacht finals for the U13-19 year olds which is on next Sunday in Athlone. Full results of last Saturday are here: track field.