A thunder storm started the day in Kilkenny. Rain threatened in Tullamore but it was the heat that developed as the day progressed. Than to Noel Maher, tent mender extraordinaire, we had shelter and a base for all to meet and support each other. Being an All-Ieland the competition was tough. All our athletes coped well. Their were ups and downs – thrills and spills – A dropped baton – a fall- followed by recovery – great teamwork – life building skills -it was all there. Thanks to the many parents who travelled to support – all shared in the losses and successes.
The under 9s – Amelia O’Brien had a great run in the 300m and with Ali McDonald the placed 6th. The relay squad took a spill but recoverd well to finish 11th.
The under 10s – Girls: Ellen Daly and Kara Canavan were 60m and 500m pairs. In the latter they were a comendable 7th but thanks to the blistering pace of Ellen in the 60m they place second to get on the podium for the silver medals. Boys: Tom Henderson and Robert Cullen were busy competing in three events. As a pair they placed 6th in the long jump. Then Robert paired with Mikey Phelan to come 5th in the 60m. Tom had his second event in the 60m where he paired with Patrick Wall. Here they finished 13th. The big event was the relay and all four ran again. They were well prepared. The baton changes went smoothly. Winning heat 1 in 60.78 seconds looked good but heat 2 was still to come. It came and went and the boys were the fastest and were a happy team mounting the podium where they were joined by sub Ryan Farrell.
The under 11s – Girls:Kate Maher and Martha Bergin were the busy pair. They did well in the 60s to place tenth. They went one better in the 600s – 9th. And then to the relay. A fall at the second change might have ended the race but not these. They showed courage to recover and compete to the finish. Boys: The boys fared better. A fine run by Paul Millea in the 600m set them up for a good result. Robert Lacey was the rest of the pair and running a tactally perfect race he crossed the line if first place. Their combined times won them a well deserved silver. Both had further silver later when joined by Matthias Quaglia and Tiernan O’Brien they finished second. Sub Eamonn Clune jopined them on the podium.
The under 12s – Molly Daly exited the 60m when she placed 5th in her heat. The 600m was a different story. At the half-way stage she was well back the field but he moved steadily forward and pushed to the lead with 120m to go. A battle royal ensued over the nest 100m with Molly having to yield at the finish. Nevertheless a great performance and All-Ireland silver to prove it. Lady luck was absent in the final of the relay as the team came 4th – losing out by one hundreth of a second. Oisin Henderson ahd a good competition. Third in his heat brought him to the final where he placed 7th.
The under 13s- Busiest here was Louis Raggett. Louis was competitive throughout finishing 4th in high jump, 6th in long jump, 4th in 60m heat and also ran on the relay team which was 5th in heat1. Patrick Lacey who also ran on the relay was 8th in the long jump.The under 13 girls ran well in their 4x100m relay and despite finishing third intheir heat failed to qualify for the final.
Finally to sum up – 15 All-Ireland (5 gold, 10 silver) medals and plenty of enjoyment.