Juveniles Set to Shine in Athlone

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

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The Woodie’s DIY National Juvenile Indoor Championships take place this weekend (23rd/24th) for the first time in the state of the art Athlone International Arena.

There is a packed programme of events, which will see the best of Ireland’s young athletics talent in action in a wide range of running, jumping and throwing events. There are eight different age categories for both the girls and boys (U12, U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, U18, and U19), with over 1,000 athletes expected to compete at the 2013 Championships.

All athletes competing over the weekend will have qualified through their five regional finals over the past few weeks.

Junior 60m & 200m record holder Marcus Lawler (St. Laurence O’Toole AC) will be looking to better the outstanding times he set down at the Junior and U23 Championships earlier this year in the boys U19 60m & 200m. Fellow sprinter Zack Irwin (Sligo AC) will be competing in the same events in the U18 age group. Irwin will be aiming to better the personal best’s that he achieved at the Athletics Ireland Open Indoor Games which moved him into the top 10 fastest men’s 200m times this year.

KCH’s Cliodhna manning and Emerald AC’s Marie Heelan will be battling it out for podium positions in the U19 girls 60m and 200m with Heelan also competing in the long jump. Both will have to compete with multi eventer Sarah McCarthy (Mid Sutton AC) who is currently ranked second in the 2013 top list for the women’s long jump and is also competing in the two sprint events.

Molly Scott (St. Laurence O’Toole AC) recently ran a PB of 7.71 seconds in the Leinster indoor championships and also won the U15 English National Indoors 60m and 60m hurdles earlier this year Scott will be the one to watch in the U15 girls 60m aiming to round off a fantastic indoor season. Finn Valley AC’s John Kelly won gold at the Junior and U23 Championships this year and will also be hoping to maintain his excellent form right to the end of this indoor season in the U18 boy’s shot putt.

National Junior 400m Champion Alanna Lally (Galway City Harriers) has shown great form this indoor season and will be tackling both the 400m and 800m events this weekend. Shane Fitzsimons (Mullingar Harriers AC) will start as the outstanding favourite in the boys U19 1500m after recently placing a brilliant third in a hotly contested 800m at the National Seniors. Daniel Lawler (St. Lawrence O’Toole AC) will be competing in the 800m and will also be one to watch in the boys U19 1500m after winning the National Junior title this year.

In the high jump National Junior Champ David Cussen (Old Abbey AC) will be a top contender in the U18 age group as will Jamie Murtagh (St Andrews AC) in the U19 high jump after recently placing second at the National Seniors. Ferrybank’s Neasa Murphy will be the one to watch in the girls U17 high jump event as she attempts to improve on her season’s best of 1.68m.

A thrilling weekend of track and field competition is on the cards with the action beginning at 10:00am on Saturday 23rd and 10:30am on Sunday 24th.

Timetable and information can be found here.

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