Adventure in Wales leds to Silver Medal for Thomas
Last weekend the annual Schools International Track and Field Competition featuring young athletes from Ireland, England Scotland and Wales was held in Newport south Wales. Travel arrangements were made months in advance and the plan was to fly all seventy-five athletes to Birmingham and then make a two-hour coach trip to Cardiff University where the athletes were to stay for the weekend. On Friday morning shortly after 5am three young athletes Lisa Houlihan, Thomas Houlihan and Zoe Scanlon set off from Dungarvan to Dublin to meet their teammates. All the team gathered at the airport and had an uneventful flight to Birmingham. At about three o’clock they boarded their coaches and despite the heavy rain falling were in good spirits. Shortly after beginning their journey they began to encounter very heavy traffic and small floods, which at first did not pose any difficulty for the coaches. However as they made their way south through the English countryside the floods began to get worse and several times the buses had to reverse or take alternative routes to avoid flooded towns. The officials in Newport were in constant mobile phone contact with the buses giving updates on the weather the safety of the athletes being their primary concern. At this stage the two buses took different routes to try to get to Cardiff. The boy’s bus headed west through Glouster and eventually at about nine p.m. made it to a motorway service station where the athletes were fed. This however was as far as they got s the police had closed the road in both directions due to heavy flooding and the boys spent the night on the coach getting as much sleep as they could and eventually setting off at 6.30 a.m. the following morning and arriving in Cardiff after 8.00 a.m. The girls bus headed on a detour eastward to try to avoid the floods going as far as Oxford where they stopped to eat and after very slow stop start progress made it on to the M4 which runs from London to Cardiff and arrived in at 3.00am.
The teams from the other countries were faring no better. Having driven all the way from Scotland that morning the Scottish team was stuck in the same motorway station as the Irish boys and while half the English team made it before the worst of the weather the second coach did not leave London until Saturday morning. The only full team to make it to Cardiff on Friday were the Welsh team. Indeed some of the officials for the meet had also great difficulty getting to Newport and those due to travel by train never made it as all trains in the region were cancelled.
Saturday morning itself was bright and clear and the organizing committee made the sensible decision to postpone the start of the meet to 2p.m. to give the athletes a chance to rest. The team arrived into the stadium in their Irish gear to be welcomed by the many parents who had travelled over for the event. There was a great camaraderie among the team after their nighttime adventure. Things got off to a great start when Fiona Dennehy from Mercy Waterford won the first event the girls walk and the Irish team went on to record one of their best performances winning six events including the boys 4x100m relay— the first time in 21 years that England did not win this relay. The Dungarvan athletes were all in good form Thomas Houlihan was second in the Boys Pole Vault equalling his personal best jump of 4.00m. Next up was Lisa Houlihan who had a new personal best jump of 2m75 when finishing fifth in the girl’s pole vault. By the time the Discus started at 5p.m the weather had turned very cold and the first spattering of rain began to fall undaunted Zoe Scanlan recorded a new personal best throw of 32m12 with the heavier 1kg Discus to finish in fifth place. This was a great result for all three athletes who are now looking forward to making the team again next year for the same event, which will be held in Bedford in England. On a parting note the Welsh organizers did remind the athletes that all the floods and bad weather they did encounter was actually in England and not in Wales where the sun shone at least in part for the weekend. And as if to show what a difference a few miles make Mary Ashe, Bro. Lennon and Eadaoin Ashe left Dungarvan on Friday morning with the vaulting poles for the pole vault they had a quiet sea crossing and despite heavy traffic and delays caused by road works and a traffic accident were in Newport track at 5p.m. that evening having encountered little in the way of rain.
Club Championships a big Success
The club championships were held over four Fridays in June and early July. Despite running in to the school holidays there was a very good turn out for this event and much excitement from the younger athletes at the presentation of prizes.
Girls under 9: 1. Caoimhe Dwyer, 2, Aisling Mullanney, 3. Sarah Morrissey and Rachael Wyley
Girls under 11: 1. Margaret Frost, 2. Sarah Wyley, 3. Cliona Ryan. Best under 10 Emily Quinn
Girls under 13: 1. Chloe Lake, 2. Gemma Wyley, 3. Dannielle Sheehan
Girls under 15: 1. Lisa Houlihan. 2. Clodagh Gallagher, 3. Kate Veale
Girls under 17: 1. Claire Collins, 2. Rebecca Maher, 3. Kate Kennedy
Boys under 9: Donnacha Roche 2. Fergal Roche, 3. Aidan Mc Kenna
Boys under 11: 1. Tholm Reddy, Oisin O’Mahony 3. Ryan Daly
Boys under 13: 1. Cian Ryan, Michael Coleman, 3. Aidan Bergin
Boys under 15: 1. Michael Tutty, 2. Lughaidh O’Mahony 3. Darragh O’ Riordan
All Ireland next weekend
The third day of the National track and field championships take place in Tullamore next Saturday. First in action will be Joe Conway in the boys walk at 10.30 (check in before 9.30) Mark Shalloe goes in the 1500m starting at 11.15 (check in before 10.45). Zoe Scanlan will compete in the shot at 11.am and the javelin at 12noon. Patrick Palmer has qualified for the boys Javelin at 11a.m. while our final competitor on the day will be Ciara Scanlan in the under 14 Discus. We wish all those competing the very best of luck.
Munster Championships under 9 to 12
This event will be held in Waterford on Saturday August 4th. The following athletes have been entered
Under 9 Aisling Mullanney, Caoimhe Dwyer, Rachael Wyley, Sarah Morrissey,
Aidan Mc Kenna, Eoin Ryan Fertgal Roche
Under 10 Caragh Mc Carthy, Clodagh Dwyer, Emily Quinn Erica Crotty,
Donnacha Roche, Josh Rockett, Kevin Crossan, Oisin O’ Mahony Tony Collins
Under 11 Cliona Ryan, Margaret Frost, Sara Wyley, Eoin Dwyer, Richard Casey, Ryan Daly,
Shane O’ Riordan Tholm Reddy
Under 12 Danielle Sheehan, Dominique O’Mahony Gemma Wyley
A bus will travel on the day check time at training
All Ireland Multi Event and B Championships
Lisa Houlihan will compete in the Multi events under 15 on Sunday August 5th while Patrick will compete in the boys under 17 which will be held over two days on Sunday and Monday
The B championships will be held on Monday August 6th and the following athletes have been entered
Under 13 Kate Hickey, Chloe Lake Aidan Bergin Cian Ryan Dermot Ryan
Under 14 Siobhan Nugent, David Early,
Under 16 Lorraine O’Neill Clodagh Gallagher Claire Collins Darragh O’ Riordan Lughaidh O’Mahony, Michael Tutty Brian Hallissey
No training on Wed 25th as we will be at Araglin Sports. Bus 5.30pm from Centra Abbeyside. Training continues on Friday at 6.00pm and there will be a break in August for all the younger athletes. Those competing in Paris in November will continue to train right through the month of August.