Day three and four of the Woodie’s DIY JuvenileTrack and Field Championships takes place in Tullamore Harriers Stadium on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th of July. The event will see many of the top Juvenile athletes throughout the country battle it out for a coveted national title. The athletes have come through tough qualifying competitions at regional level in order to earn a place in the national finals.
Day three will see some of Irelands best underage distance runners take to the start line for the boys and girls 1500m events. World Junior Track and Field semi-finalist Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (Dundrum South Dublin AC) will be the outstanding favourite in the under 18 girls 1500m. Buttner has concentrated on the 800m this year, running a startling 2.04.82 for the distance. On Saturday Buttner will turn her intentions to the 1500m and could possible lead a D.S.D clean sweep with team mates Clare McCarthy and Sorcha Humphries also in the field.
The boys under 18 1500m is likely to be one of the highlights of the weekend. Aaron O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers AC) was an impressive winner of the 3000m event two weeks ago in a time of 8.40.59. O’Hanlon can expect strong competition on the day from Connaught’s David Harper (Westport AC). Harper is a rising middle distance star and will be aiming to utilise his 800m speed in the sprint to the line. Both these talented young athletes will surely provide a thrilling conclusion to day three of the championship.
Cliodhna Manning (Kilkenny City Harriers AC) will be the strong favourite to take the girls under 18 200m title. Manning performed brilliantly over the first weekend of competition to win both the 100m and 400m titles. Rosin Harrison (Emerald AC) and Dean Power (Tullamore Harriers AC) are just back from representing Ireland at the Aviva Schools International in London. Both athletes will be aiming to capture the 200m titles on Saturday. An interesting entrant in the girls under 19 200m is World Junior Semi-Finalist Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC). Lavin will test her speed over the flat 200m and will need to be near her best to hold off accomplished sprinter Phil Healy (Bandon AC).
In the walks events Sinead Burke (St Coca’s AC) is competing in the U 17 girls 3000m walk. Burke has been in marvellous form all season, winning the All Ireland Schools title in May. Burke will aim for a quick time on Saturday and to finish her year on a high by claiming the national title. Established Irish International Race Walker Evan Lynch (Clonmel AC) has been in terrific form all year and will be one to watch in the boy’s event.
In the field events watch out for the likes of Eoin Sheridan (North Westmeath AC) in the under 16 boy’s discus. Sheridan is an accomplished all round thrower and will focus his attentions on the discus on Saturday. Michal Hanlon (Dunboyne AC) will mount a strong challenge for the under 18 boy’s title after an impressive win at the Leinster championships. Shannon Dawkins (St Josephs AC) and Amy McTeggart (Boyne AC) have competed against each other all season providing thrilling contests. More of the same is expected as both athletes vie for the under 17 girls high jump title.
The relays are the only events scheduled for day four of the championships and they should provide a thrilling conclusion to the four day championship.