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Schools’ stars set to sizzle in Tullamore


Schools' stars set to sizzle in Tullamore

The next generation of Irish athletes will compete in the prestigious Irish Life Health All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore on Saturday (June 2nd).

It is the 102nd running of the 122 event programme (timetable HERE) and will be streamed live on the Athletics Ireland Facebook HERE (commentary from noon) and includes rising stars such as Ciara Neville (Castletroy College), Sarah Healy (Holy Child Killiney), Rhasidat Adeleke (Presentation Terenure) and Cian McPhillips (Moyne CS Longford).

Also amongst contingent are Davicia Patterson (Hunterhouse), Aaron Sexton (Bangor) and Darragh McElhinney (Col Pobail Bantry).

Irish Schools’ Director Anthony White said:

“This Saturday will see over 360 Post Primary Schools represented with pride by their student athletes from all four Provinces the length and breadth of the island. The quality of student athletes continues to increase from their Zone or District to Province to earn a position on the starting line at the Irish life Health All Ireland Schools Track & Field Championships. Only the top 4% of athletes who started this journey in early April nationwide came through the qualifying system to be a part of one of the 122 finals across all disciplines. We wish every single athlete all the best and hopefully we unearth the next Irish star this Saturday.”

Race walking will start the track programme and Orla O'Connor (Waterpark) will be favourite in senior girls’ 3,000m walk.

From the walks it goes to the long hurdles with Ciaran Carthy (St Micheal’s) looking to make an impression in the intermediate boys’ 400m hurdles as Leinster champion. He also goes in the 400m flat as Leinster champion.

The distance gets longer and the hurdles become barriers with open steeplechase races in the offing. And then it’s on the 100 metres and the fastest schoolboys and girls in Ireland.

Rhasidat Adeleke (Pres Terenure) will be the aiming for double gold in the intermediate girls’ 100m and 200m.

Ciara Neville (Castletroy College) is the favourite in the senior girls’ 100m and will look to repeat last year’s treble with the 200m and 4x100m – she has already repeated the feat in the Munsters.   

David McDonald (CBS Wexford) won the 100m and 200m double at the Leinsters and will take on last year’s intermediate champion Aaron Sexton (Bangor). 

The 800m races will provide excitement with Emma Moore (Presentation Athenry) and Aimee Hayde (St Mary’s Newport) favoured in respective junior and intermediate girls’ races. Jo Keane (St Flannan’s Ennis) and Alex O’Neill (Rice College Ennis) should have a good duel in the senior girls’.

Valentinos Goularas (Marino College) and Alex Clarkin (Castleknock CC) will renew their rivalry in the senior boys’ 110m hurdles which also includes Shane Monagle (Ard Scoil na Mara Tramore).            

There is plenty of distance talent on show with the likes of Sarah Healy (Holy Child Killiney) and Darragh McElhinney (Colaiste Pobal Bantrai) in the senior 1500m races. McElhinney ran an excellent 14:11.80 over 5,000m last week but has it all to do to overturn Charlie O’Donovan (Colaiste Chriost Ri).

Cian Mc Phillips (Moyne CS Longford) will be highly fancied in the intermediate boys’ 1500m having run 3:49.85 this season.

Davicia Patterson (Hunterhouse) heads the rankings in the senior girls’ 400m where Ciara Deely (Loreto Kilkenny) will challenge her – both athletes have world U20 A standards. Jack Mitchell

Niamh Fogarty (St Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) will be the one to watch in the senior girls’ discus with a World U20 B qualifier to her name.  

Equally in the senior girls’ high jump, Sommer Lecky (Strabane Academy) will be the outstanding favourite with Sophie Meredith (SMI Newcastle West) high in the rankings in the senior girls’ long jump.

Aoibhinn McMahon (St Vincent's Dundalk) will be competitive in the intermediate girls’ shot put and discus with Ciara Sheehy (St Mary’s Charleville) among her rivals in the shot. Sheehy also competes in the hammer where she finished second in the intermediate behind Tirna Ni-Chathail (Pobalscoil in the Munsters.

Brendan O'Donnell (St Eunan's Letterkenny) will be one of the favourites in the senior boys’ hammer as will James Kelly (Royal & Prior Raphoe) in the senior shot put – Kelly has two B qualifiers for the World U20s.

Tadgh O'Murcheartaigh (Maynooth PP) has been in excellent form setting an Irish Youth record and will be gunning for gold in the intermediate boys’ javelin.

Joseph McEvoy (St Anne's CC Killaloe) will aim for an interesting double in the senior boys’ javelin and high jump. Ryan Carthy Walsh (Good Counsel New Ross) will be one of his chief competitors in the high jump.        

The inter boys’ triple jump was an excellent competition at the Munster’s and Wymin Sivakumar (Col an Spioraid Naomh) will look to add the All Ireland title to his name along with the 100m hurdles.

Ciara Kennelly (St Brigid's Killarney) was in top form to win the Munster intermediate girls’ high jump with 1.75m which was a European U18 standard. She’s also down for the inter girls’ 300m where she will see Ailbhe Doherty (St Flannan's Ennis) amongst her main rivals.

Check out the excellent statpack and roll of honour of the Irish Schools Championships HERE

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