The Woodie’s DIY Under 20 and Under 23 Track and Field Championships of Ireland took place in Tullamore Harriers Stadium on Sunday .The swirling breeze around the stadium posed a challenge to all the athletes taking part throughout the day.
Irish Youth Record Holder Marcus Lawler (St Lawrence O’Toole AC) was undeterred by the wind and stormed to victory in the junior men’s 200m in a time of 21.47. The race was run into a -0.2 headwind and was only just outside his own Irish Youth Record of 21.42 he set back in May at the Woodie’s DIY AAI Games. The time was also the B standard for the IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships to be held in Barcelona later in the summer.
Kate Veale (West Waterford AC), who is pre-selected for the World Junior’s, easily won the first race of the day, the junior girls 3km walk. Veale looked effortless and crossed the line in 14.44.23, ahead of Alicia Boylan (Oriel AC) 14.58.61 and Cliona Mulroy (Swinford AC) 15.16.58.
Thomas Barr and Ben Kiely both of Ferrybank AC were impressive winners of the junior and under 23 400m hurdles titles. Barr comfortable won the under 23 title with a time of 51.67, next up for Barr is the European Senior Track and Field Championships in Helsinki, which start on Wednesday 27th of June. Kiely was a clear winner of the junior men’s race in a time of 53.76.
There was a fine battle in the U23 women’s 100m and 200m between Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank AC) and Steffi Creaner (Dublin City Harriers). Whelan won the 100m in a time of 11.92, just ahead of Creaner 12.03. Creaner turned the tables in the 200m later in the programme with victory in a time of 24.22, ahead of Whelan’s 24.27.
Another of the athlete’s who is pre-selected for the World Junior’s is Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC). Lavin easily won the junior women’s 100m hurdles in a time of 13.89. Lavin looks to be coming into good form and will surely go quicker over the coming weeks. Irish youth Record Holder over the 800m Karl Griffin (Tir Chonaill AC) stepped down to the 400m and won in a time of 49.52. Katie Kirk was equally impressive in the junior women’s 400m stopping the clock with a quick 56.15.
In the distance events, national junior cross country champion Sarah Collins (Finn Valley AC) claimed an impressive sprint double over 1500m (4.42.88) and 5000m (17.18.55). In the junior men’s 1500m the Monaghan twins; Patrick and Andrew both of Lagan Valley AC finished first and second respectively in what turned out to be a great day for the Monaghan household.
The highlight from the field events was the junior men’s hammer. James McCabe (Dunboyne AC) recorded a surprise victory over Dempsey McGuigan (Finn Valley), both athlete through over 68 metres is what was a high quality competition. Marco Pons (D.M.P AC) was a clear winner of the discus with a throw of 51.57m. At Under 23 level national indoor champion Barry Pender (St Abbans AC) showed a return to form with a winning leap of 2.13m.
On the women’s side Claire Fitzgerald (Tralee Harriers AC) dominated the throws event, claiming two national titles. Fitzgerald won the shot putt with a distance of 13.89m and the discus with a throw of 42.55m.