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Plethora of records fall at sensational Schools Championships

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Irish Life Health Championships live up to billing

The Irish Life Health All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships lived up to its billing as a plethora of records were broken in Tullamore.

Mayo thrower Michaela Walsh (SM&P Swinford) was the standout performer. The Swinford student smashed her own Irish junior record when throwing 62.79m in the senior girls’ hammer, moving her to second on the European rankings this year. She came back to win the shot put with another Irish junior record of 15.48m.

Ciara Neville (Castletroy College) also won on the double, winning the senior girls’ 100m in a record of 11.52 and anchoring her school to victory in the 4x100m relay in a record of 48.02. Her performances also helped Castletroy to the senior girls’ team title.

Newport’s Sharlene Mawdsley also had eye catching performances winning the senior girls’ 200m in 24.02 and then returning to smash the record in the 400m, clocking 53.99. Aaron Sexton of Bangor Grammar powered his way to a sprint double in the intermediate boys’ category, setting records over both 100m in 10.72 and 200m in 21.43.

The sprinters were in sparkling form and Mark Smyth (St Fintan’s HS) won the senior 100m and 200m double with Rhasidat Adeleke completing the same double in the junior girls. 

Early doors Sommer Lecky (Strabane Academy) broke the long-standing senior girls’ high jump record with 1.81m eclipsing the 1985 mark by Ursula Fay. Niamh Malone (Castleblaney) took a strong win in the senior girls’ 400m hurdles in 61.79 from Arlene Crossan (Loreto Letterkenny). Joseph McEvoy (St Anne’s CC) was another high jumper to catch the eye clearing 2 metres to win gold in the intermediate boys’ and just missed out on the 2.01m record.  

The Ryan family made history on the day with five siblings competing on the same day winning a total of 8 medals. Anna Ryan (Ursuline Thurles) won the junior girls’ pole vault with a record of 2.92 beating Orla Coffey (St Angela’s Cork) on countback. Eldest Daniel (CBS Thurles) won the senior 110m hurdles and finished second in the shot put. David won double silver in the intermediate boys’ long jump and in the 4x100 relay for CBS Thurles helping the school to the intermediate boys’ team title. His brother Jack also played a key role winning the intermediate shot put. Youngest Dillon was fourth in the junior boys’ pole vault. 

In the minor girls' 800m Sadhbh Mohan (Mt Sackville) had to run a new record of 2:17.14 to beat Victoria Lightbody (Wallace HS Lisburn) 2:18.11 who was also under the old record. In the junior girls' 1200m walk the first three girls were all under the previous record. Emily McHugh (St Mary's Naas) was first across the line in 5:19.35 followed by Siofra O'Dea (SJ Spanish Point) in 5:23.52 and Jennifer Fidgeon (Loreto Mullingar) in 5:24.60.

Jordan Hoang won the senior boys' triple jump in a record of 14.84m. The Under 16 Boys Mile was arguably the race of the day with Aaron Cullen (Portmarnock CS) edging Tommy Connolly (CBS Cork) in 4:31.49 to 4:31.53.

Team wise St Mary’s Galway became the first school from Connacht since the early 1970s to win the overall senior boys’ College of Science Trophy with 49 points – clearly ahead of Belvedere College on 30. 

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