ATHLETICS | Blackrock sisters play a starring role at Leinster Championships

Blackrock AC’s Shauna and Aiobhin McMahon

Sisters were certainly doing it for themselves and Blackrock AC at the recent Leinster Juvenile Track and Field Championships as the McMahons Girls, Aiobhín and Shauna and the O’Brien Girls, Ciara and Aoife, led the way in terms of championship honours for the club.

The undoubted star of the show was the peerless Aoibhín McMahon who swept all before her to collect a hat-trick of gold medals.

The first of these was achieved with a comfortable win in the U15 girls discus with her fifth round throw being good enough to put six metres between herself and the rest of the field. The second came after a championship best throw of 12.92m in the U15 girls shot put and she was back on top of the podium for a third time when another championship best throw of 40.73m saw her blitz U15 girls javelin competition crowning a magnificent performance by an exceptional athlete.

Not too far behind in terms of success was older sister Shauna who competed in the same three events at U18 level.

A fine bronze medal in the shot put was surpassed by a stunning gold medal in the javelin which capped a great weekend for the girls who will now go on to the All-Ireland Championship with hopes high for continued success.

Gold and silver for the O’Brien’s

Gold and silver medals travelled home around the necks of the O’Brien sisters as both Ciara and Aoife demonstrated their prowess in the javelin competition.

Blackrock AC’s Ciara O’Brien (centre) celebrates her gold medal win

An opening throw of 23.48m was good enough to put Ciara into the lead after round one of the U13 girls event and despite a few nervy moments as her rival competitors came close in the subsequent rounds, this distance proved good enough to be the best on the day and secure the Leinster title.

With Aoibhín McMahon in such dominant form it was never going to be easy for the rest of the girls competing in the U15 event, however, it was teammate Aoife O’Brien who proved to be next best with an excellent series of 30 metre plus throws, the best of which, 33.02m saw her secure silver.

With such fine performances under their belts both girls can look forward to the All-Ireland’s with supreme confidence.

Track events

Meanwhile, on the track there was success for U19 Oisín Hughes who won an excellent silver medal in an energy sapping 3000m run in blistering heat and Neasa Reilly who showed great character to pick up a bronze medal in the girls U15 800m after a fourth place finish in the 1500m the day before.

U12 Lauren Reilly did exceptionally well to qualify for the 60m hurdles final in her very first championship attempt at this event and was unlucky not to progress to the final stages of the turbo javelin whilst older sister Hannah was satisfied to reach the finals of the U16 100m, 200m and long jump competitions however disappointed not to have come closer to a place on the podium.

Blackrock AC’s Aoife O’Brien and Neasa Reilly

Rounding up things elsewhere, Sarah Morgan was another qualifier for the girls U16 200m final, Kelly Breen finished 5th in the girls U17 400m, Sarah Clarke was just edged out into fourth place in the girls U16 shot putt and Donnacha Hughes came home a creditable seventh in the boys U16 800m.

In summary it was a reasonable championships for the club with standout performances from individual athletes and a lot to be gained in terms of experience for others who now have a taste of what’s required to successfully compete provincial and national level.

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