The Aviva All Ireland Schools Combined Events Championships is set for Santry Stadium, Dublin this Saturday, 29th of September. The event brings together athletes from all four regions as they battle it out to take a coveted All Ireland Schools title.
The girls will tackle the pentathlon, which comprises of 5 events (hurdles, shot, long jump, high jump and the 800m). While the boys will have one extra event to complete, the 200m. The competition is broken up into junior, intermediate and senior categories. There will be an extra incentive for the junior and intermediate competitors as the event acts as a qualifier for the Aviva Schools International in December.
The intermediate boy’s event is set to be a cracker after some classy performances at regional level. Sam Healy Carrigaline C.S.) amassed a total points score of 3,547 to take the Munster title; this included a 1.85m high jump and a 14.8 effort in the 100m hurdles. Mark Rogers (St. Josephs Drogheda) is likely to pose a serious threat to Healy. Rogers cleared 1.90m in the high jump on his way to winning the Leinster title with a score of 3,493. Others to watch out for on the day include Connaught champion Caomhan Conaghan (Loughrea VS) and Ulster’s Christian Robinson (Carrickfergus GS), as both athletes impressed greatly at regional level.
A showdown between Munster champion Grace McKenzie (Scoil Mhuire Crosshaven) and Leinster’s Amy Mc Teggart (O.L. College) in the girls intermediate class is the likely highlight. McKenzie won the Munster title with a score of 2,946 points. While McTeggart scored 2,899 to impressively win the Leinster title. With both athletes set to collide on Saturday, the 3,000 point barrier is a distinct possibility.
The junior events yielded the largest number of competitors at regional level and a high standard of competition is expected once again. Samuel Samson (St Mary’s Galway) was the only athlete at regional level to break the 3,000 point mark. Samson produced consistent results across all six events to take the Connaught title with a score of 3.098 points. Matthew Dalton (Belfast High School) easily won the Ulster title with a score of 2,817 points while Leinster’s Luke Bellintani (Belvedere College) scored 2,743 points. Both athletes are likely challengers to Samson on Saturday.
In the junior girls category there was a number of standout performances at regional level. None more so than Vicki Cusack (Nagle Rice School), who demonstrated her all round athletic ability to take the Munster title. Cusack scored a total of 2,622 points, which included impressive results in the high jump, hurdles and 800m.
Ulster’s Caitlin Rose (MCB) and Jessica McMaster (Belfast High) were one and two in the Ulster championships and will pose a serious threat for the national title.