What a great Sunday it turned out to be for the club at the final day of the All Ireland Juvenile Track & Field Championships. One individual gold and one set of silver relay medals were the order of the day from our two club entries – what a 100% return.
First up on the day was young Sarah McGinley who competed in the Girls U/12 Shot Put. Her first throw of 5.91mts saw her lead the competition. A second throw of 6.12mts saw her consolidating that position. With further throws of 5.99mts and 5.84mts over the four rounds she dominated her opponents with none getting with half a meter of her best throw and she was thus crowned National “B” U/12 Shot Put champion for 2019. Well done Sarah on your achievement and indeed to Adrian who has been there all the way with her.
The weather took a turn for the worst in the second half of the day, but the rain and wind did not seem to faze our U/18 Girls Relay team who had faced the same conditions in the Munster Championships in Castleisland earlier in the season. In these National Championships seven teams from Galway, Tipperary (2), Dublin (2), Mayo and Kilkenny faced the starter with our girls out in lane 7. What a start Jessie Newman got, flying out of the blocks from the gun. Running on the bend she kept pace with the other six competitors to hand over to Katie Bergin. Running down the back straight, into the rain and wind, Katie kept the momentum going with a fantastic display of sprinting to hand off to Rachel Butler. With the rain and wind side-on for Rachel she kept her form to power around the bend before handing over to Aisling O’Dwyer. At this stage the stagger had begun to unwind, and Aisling took the baton in third place. Once into her running she sprinted for home and her determination over the final 50mts saw her claw back her opponent from DSD and with Tipperary’s other entrant, Carrick-on-Suir, hot on her heels, she never relented and crossed the line in second place with a time of 52.69. Not alone national silver medals but a new club record to boot.
If there was ever a definition for teamwork, then what we witnessed on Sunday would have all the hallmarks of it. Slick and precise hand-off of the baton between all four athletes contributed enormously to this excellent result and when you add in all the hours of hard work, commitment and dedication to training put in by these girls you can easily see how much it meant to them. While being serious about their athletics there is also a lot of fun and enjoyment at sessions and the comraderie shown between them all has contributed much to this success. Combine this with the coaching abilities of Martin Flynn and you get an unstoppable combination.
The parents and families of all these young athletes must also be commended. Without your support to both your children and the club none of this could have happened. You have kept the show on the road for the past six months or so and anything asked of you has been accepted without question. It is now time for you to sit back and enjoy a well-earned break.
Once again congratulations to all four girls and indeed also to the unfortunate Emma Gleeson who was part of the squad but because of injury was unable to participate in the various competitions this year. Recovery has been slow but there is light at the end of the tunnel for her.