From the crow’s nest at Nenagh Olympic Stadium
NENAGH OLYMPIC STADIUM hosted the U-13 to U-19 Munster Indoor Championships over the weekend of February 28 and March 1, 2015 and Limerick Athletic Club had 29 athletes lining out among Munster’s top juvenile athletes to compete across 24 events.
Limerick Athletic Club returned home with two silver medals and three bronze following the weekend at Nenagh.
Rapid Rachel on the Silver Podium
GIRLS U-15 800m
In the girls U-15 800m Rachel Hosey achieved a personal best of 2:29.60 over the four indoor laps. Rachel was first to cross the line in her heat and not only did her natural ability shine at this event, but her strategic maturity at controlling the race was being discussed by many observers following the heats.
Two LAC athletes lined out for the final of this event, Rachel was joined by Laura Hession – who had qualified well. The race was run over a very quick pace with much jostling at the start and some of the wilier athletes had effectively cut Laura out of medal contention yet she battled on and finished in a time of 2:36.40 which cements her position as seventh best 800m indoor runner for her age in Munster.
Rachel took the silver medal following an immense battle between gold medallist Fiona Doyle of Star of the Laune AC whose time of 2:28.81 was a mere four fifths of a second ahead of Rachel’s PB. Emma Casey of Clonmel’s time of 2:30.34 secured her the bronze.
Junior and Stanley at the 60m Blocks
BOYS U-17 60m HURDLES
LAC’s Junior Echeruwe qualified for the U-17 Boys 60m Hurdle final by blasting over the three foot high hurdles to finish fourth in his heat. Going on his recent performances his coaches were convinced that nothing short of a record breaking time could beat him. They would have been correct if it wasn’t for Moycarkey AC’s Daniel Ryan who demolished the thirteen-year-old record of 8.54secs held by Greg O’Leary of Leevale AC. Junior, however, endowed the LAC supporters with a laureate-like grace as he glided over the barriers to collect his silver medal following his time of 9.69secs.
Junior, Glody, Stanley and Sean
BOYS U-17 60m SPRINT
Stanley Ikeh adopted the crouch start position beside his club colleague Junior for the final of the U-17 60m sprint. Both LAC athletes had posted increasingly wondrous times throughout the indoor season and this was not going to be different for the Limerick duo.
Junior dashed to the bronze medal position just a mere three hundredths of a second quicker than Stanley’s 7.46sec in a race where Moycarkey’s Daniel Ryan took gold with 7.29secs and Jamie Mitchell of Emerald AC was awarded silver for his run of 7.38secs over the 60m distance.
Early morning LAC Supporters in situe
BOYS U-17 200m SPRINT
LAC’s Stanley Ikeh qualified for the U-17 200m final, with a time of 24.20secs, in second place behind Emerald’s Jamie Mitchell who shattered a seven year standing record of 23.74secs held by Dooneen AC’s Nathan Jege with a run of 23.65secs. Stanley was motivated to improve on his time for the final run.
The final was a highly anticipated event and when it came round Nenagh Olympic Stadium hushed into silence as Thomond Park would when the fly-half places the ball for a penalty kick. Four superb athletes, the four fastest fifteen-year-olds over 200m indoors in Munster were poised ready to emerge from the blocks as the victor.
Stanley had an incredible start and both he and Dooneen’s Cathal Locke were inseparable throughout. As they raced round the final bend, Stanley in Lane 3, Locke in Lane 2, both were indistinguishable blurs. Yet from lane 1, Mitchell was emerging as the race leader and crossed the line in 23.09secs breaking his own short-lived record while Locke pipped Stanley by two hundredths of one second, claiming silver in 24.06secs while Stanley accepted the bronze for his effort of 24.08secs.
Medal winner Sean
BOYS U-17 LONG JUMP
LAC’s Sean Harris bounded to the bronze section of the podium with a leap of 5.43m in the U-17 long jump. Sean was gratified with his medal position and following the event he immediately started discussing improving on his technique for the upcoming outdoor season with his coaches. The young Limerick man was impressed at how the gold medallist’s jump of 6.09m from Joseph Miniter of St Mary’s Clare AC was carried out and is confident that he will get to a similar distance in the future while knowing that he can match the silver jump of 5.73m from Cathal O’Brien of Ennis Track.
Rebecca, Eda and Eva
Limerick Athletic Club was represented by many athletes that have impressed themselves and their coaches over the weekend and who excelled past their own expectations for the event. For example Eda Kiely entered her first competitive 4kg throw in the U-19 Girls Shot Put and her throw of 8.39m was just twenty centimetres off a medal winning throw. Eda finished in fourth spot and her coaches are confident that LAC supporters will see her decorated with medals in the near future.
In her debut Shot Put competition U-13 girls Ciara Grimes threw the 2kg weight 5.59m while also qualifying for the 60m finals in a time of 9.20secs.
Her club colleague Dharma Griffin ran in heat four of the U-13 girls 60m and reached the final with her time of 9.10secs.
Rory Prendeville became the sixth fastest twelve-year-old in Munster over 800m indoors with a time of 2:26.37 and Harry Doyle can claim that he is in the top fifteen in Munster following his run of 2:45.64 over the same distance.
In the U-18 boys long jump Joseph Spratt and Glody Swana jumped 4.96m and 4.60m bringing them to be Munster’s fourth and fifth longest jumpers indoors respectively this season.
Glody lining up to sprint
Glody Swana lies just outside the top ten 60m sprinters of his age with his time of 7.68. He can also lay claim to the fact that he is the tenth fastest U-18 over 200m indoors provincially with his time of 25.91secs while Luke O’Donoghue is in the top fifteen 200m sprinters indoors in Munster for the U-16 category for his time of 27.38secs. Luke also catapulted himself in the top ten 800m indoor runners for his age group. His time of 2:31.88 makes him the sixth fastest in the province.
Luke reached the finals of the U-16 60m Hurdles in a time of 11.14secs and his brother Gary O’Donoghue qualified from heat two in 10.89secs making him one of the quickest U-13 hurdlers across Munster while also enjoying being in the top ten 60m indoor sprinters of his age following his time of 9.57secs from heat two of that category.
The LAC U-15 girls long jump trio of Asia O’Brien, Aoife Mangan and Caoimhe Ryan jumped 3.91m, 3.65m and 3.62m respectively and have leaped into the top twenty for their age group. The trio are preparing for the outdoor season and are looking forward to improving their positions. While in the same age bracket’s 60m sprint Hannah Hartnett ran a spirited race despite the dash not suiting her at all.
LAC athlete Sadhbh de Barra performed well on the day and her 800m run has placed her in Munster’s top ten U-17 performers this year.
In the boys U-14 60m Dara Costelloe narrowly missed out on a final qualification while in the 800m both himself and Adam Stapleton were terribly unlucky not to reach the finals.
In the girls 60m Ellen Mulrooney just missed finals qualification by the blink of an eye and in the 800m she was fourth in her heat. Also in the 800m Roisín O’Connor came third in her heat followed by Makayla Ryan Wade and Rebecca Kiely.
In the U-14 girls Shot Put Alex Kiely was on form yet a few centimetres kept her out of the medal positions.
Officious looking gentlemen
In a statement the LAC coaches said: “All LAC athletes have shown incredible dedication and commitment to their training and there have been some amazing improvements across the board. It has been a long season since we resumed training after the summer break, with the cross country events before Christmas and the indoors since the new year, we would like to thank all our athletes from the Little Active Cheetahs right up to the Masters for a glorious indoor season for Limerick Athletic Club.
Some of the gang at pre-competition training at Nenagh
We have a national indoor champion in Alana Frataroli and everyone is improving. We would like to wish our athletes competing in the school’s events this Tuesday – March 3 – all the best and we have another huge weekend next week when the U-9 to U-12 athletes meet for their Munster Indoor Championships.
It has been a great year so far for everyone at the club. We’re looking forward to the future. Thank you all.”
For results of the event please follow this link: http://www.munsterathletics.com/results/results.htm