ATHLETICS | Blackrock AC juveniles blitz the Louth Championships

Club bags plenty of medals across three days of competition

The Blackrock AC girls U11s pictured at The Bush Track

Weeks of hard training and preparation by athletes and coaches alike resulted in a bumper weekend of success for Blackrock AC at the Louth Juvenile Athletics Championship.

Day One | Lourdes Stadium

Friday evening provided an opportunity for the hurdlers, jumpers and throwers to demonstrate their talent and things were kicked off in fine style when U12 Rebecca Baldwin collected her first medal of the championships, a gold in the sprint hurdles with Lauren Reilly and Grace Rodgers chasing hard for the minor places.

Sean Reilly won silver in his U12 80m hurdles final and there was more hurdles success with U14 Fay Tinsley and U16 Laura Jane Hearty pocketing silver and U17 Oliver Gormley winning gold in the boys U17 event.

The high jump was an equally successful event for the club with Sean Reilly winning the U12 boys competition and Ethan Doherty earning a well-deserved bronze.

Lauren Reilly and Grace Rodgers stood on the podium after finishing second and third respectively in the U12 girls event with Alex Bewley collecting silver in the girls U13 competition after being pushed all the way by Ciara O’Brien and Ellie O’Shaughnessy.

L-R: Rebecca Baldwin in action at the long jump and Shauna McMahon in the shot putt

U14 Faye Tinsley kept the momentum going with silver and Hannah Reilly made it a hat-trick of high jump medals for the Reilly family when she finished second in the girls U16 event, adding to her bronze in the long jump. Oliver Gormley wrapped things up nicely with silver in the boys U17 event.

There were no problems for the McMahon sisters in their javelin and shot putt competitions as both Shauna and Aoibhín topped the podium to add four more gold medals to their collection. Aoibhín continued to enhance her reputation as one of the best underage throwers in the country by throwing a championship best in both events.

Two more talented sisters, Ciara and Aoife O’Brien also demonstrated their prowess in the javelin with Ciara winning gold in the U13 competition and Aoife finishing second to Aoibhín in the U15 event. Ciara also doubled her gold medal tally when she won the girls U13 shot putt which was held in the Bush Track the following day.

Elsewhere, Sarah Clarke maintained her consistent form to collect a bronze in the girls U16 shot putt and Oliver Gormley completed an excellent night for himself and the club when he medalled again in the U17 long jump.

Day Two | The Bush

Saturday proved to be another wonderful day for the club with a succession of terrific performances.

Bonny Walsh and Jenny Hawe got the ball rolling in the girls U9 60m with Jenny finishing third just ahead of Bonnie for a fine bronze medal.

A great group of boys U9s, made up of Daniel De Lasa, Ross McCabe, Sam Jeytoo, Daniel Hanna, Hugo Nolan and James Scanlon made their debut in a county competition and all performed brilliantly.

Notable individual performances included Daniel making the sprint semi-final and James the long jump final. However, the icing on the cake was a terrific bronze for the team in the U9 relay.

Megan McEvoy, Grace Reilly, Ailish Fee and Caoimhe Doherty formed the girls U10 team and what a team they were with Megan winning bronze in the 500m, Grace a silver in the 80m, Ailish a silver in the long jump and Caoimhe a silver in the relay. Great performances all round from this talented group.

The Blackrock AC boys U9 team

The U10 boys, Jack Greene, Ronan Traynor, Eoghan Traynor, Dillon Rowland, Oscar Conway, Conor Ward and Sean McKenna all performed well on the day and a bit more luck would have seen more of them on the podium, however, Jack Green took individual honours with an excellent bronze medal in the 500m and just like the girls, the boys proved their strength in number with third place in the relay.

Ruby Nolan, Jessica Scanlon, Sophie Hawe, Emmy Jeytoo, Isabelle Smyth, Erin Finnegan and Keelin Bewley made up the girls U11 athletes and a combination of great individual performances, including Keelin’s bronze in the turbo javelin, and an excellent team performance in the U11 relay saw all of this team head home with a medal.

A strong boys U11 team saw great performances from Ralph Tinsley and Cormac Broe who finished second and third respectively in the 80m with Alex O’Kane not far behind and from Eoghan O’Brien who maintained the family tradition in the throwing events with an excellent silver medal in the turbo javelin.

Lauren Reilly, Rebecca Baldwin and Grace Rodgers competed at U12 level with Rebecca taking the plaudits after two top class silver medals in the 80m and the 600m, adding to the gold won the previous evening. Lauren performed well on her debut in the shot putt and Grace ran well in her 80m.

L-R: Faye Tinsley and Grace Rodgers

It was always going to be tough for the U12 boys in the 80m sprint competition with Boyne AC the dominant force in this event. However, there were battling performances from Ethan Doherty and Padraig Fennessy to reach the semi-finals.

Sean Reilly fought hard to win bronze in the 600m and Oisín O’Rourke Curran produced a personal best to claim third in the shot putt. Good performances all round in a very tough age group.

The excellent girls U13 team, consisting of Alex Bewley, Ellie O’Shaughnessy and Ciara O’Brien added to the club’s medal haul with a gold and silver performance from Ciara and Alex respectively in the shot putt with Alex adding an excellent bronze in the 80m. This team were very unfortunate to be just run out of another podium finish in the 4x100m relay.

Alex Gormley was the club’s lone warrior in the U13 boys age group and as usual gave his all in both the 80m, where he was very unlucky to finish fourth, and a lung bursting 600m where once again he was just outside the top three.

Kendal Kamptchou flew the flag for the girls U14 and performed well to make the 80m final and pick up a gold medal with the victorious U15 girls relay team.

Left: Blackrock AC’s Kellie Breen (centre) pictured with one of her gold medals. Right: Kendall Kamptchou in action.

Kirsten Doherty demonstrated her sprinting talent to claim her first championship gold medal in the U15 girls 100m, just edging out Aoibhín McMahon in a thrilling finish. The two girls then combined brilliantly with Kendall Kamptchou and Eimear Fee to win the U15 relay in impressive style.

Sarah Morgan, Hannah Reilly and Sarah Clarke lined up against formidable opposition in the form of Maria Smith and Tara Meir, two of Louth’s very best, in the girls U16 100m and performed admirably to record some excellent times. Hannah proved to be the quickest Blackrock AC athlete on the day and picked up a bronze medal for her efforts.

The U16 boys, Eoghan Smyth and Donnacha Hughes, didn’t let the side down with Eoghan just coming up short in his 100m and Donnacha demonstrating that training and persistence eventually pays off with a dominant performance to become the Louth champion over 800m.

The final mention on day two was for the brilliant Kellie Breen who replicated her Pre-Louth Championship performance with another triple gold winning display claiming the U17 girls 100m, 400m and 800m in fine style.

Day Three | The Bush

Day Three saw another batch of medal winning performances with Kendall Kamptchou improving three places from last year to win a gold medal in the U14 shot putt.

Elsewhere, Lauren Reilly collected her second silver medal of the weekend in the girls U12 turbo javelin and Faye Tinsley jumped to an excellent bronze in the U14 long jump.

Meanwhile on the track, Neasa Reilly demonstrated her sprinting prowess to win silver in the U15 200m and soon followed that up with a comfortable win in the U15 1500m. Aoife O’Brien fought hard for a well-deserved bronze in the same race.

Left: Blackrock AC’s Ciara O’Brien (1st) and Alex Bewley (2nd) with their medals. Right: Donnacha Hughes (centre) with his gold medal

The 200m finals saw U16 Sarah Morgan collect a bronze medal while at U17, Oliver Gormley achieved the same result and Kelly Breen was back on top of the podium for the fourth time over the weekend, ending her participation undefeated.

Donnacha Hughes completed the middle distance double with another emphatic performance in the boys U16 1500m final with brother Oisín coming home third in the U19 event.

The weekend was wrapped up in traditional style with the 4x100m relays which saw the U12 boys team win silver, the girls U12s a bronze, the U14 girls a bronze and the U16 girls a silver.

So after starting on a bitterly cold Friday night and running through to a scorching Sunday morning it was a brilliantly organised weekend of superb athletics with many exceptional performances from Louth’s very best juvenile athletes. One that Blackrock AC was proud to be part of.

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