West Waterford Athletic Club Juvenile Notes
Lucy Holmes creates History in Santry
Last Saturday on the eve of International Women’s Day we had the 50th anniversary of the running of the first Irish schools cross country for girls. In 1970 the first Irish schools cross country senior girls race was won by Vera Sherry of Monaghan V.S. who went on to represent Ireland on many occasions. Last Saturday on the 50th anniversary of that win it was the turn of Lucy Holmes Ard Scoil na nDéise to step to the top of the podium having crossed the line to win her first Irish schools cross country title and become the first student from the Ard Scoil to win an Irish schools cross country title. Lucy was only the second Waterford athlete to win this title the first being Tina Moloney CTI back in 1985. In all only three Waterford girls had won All Ireland schools titles with Maria Hennessy Ursuline winning the junior girls back in 1977. Tina Moloney also won the inter title in 1981 and Ciara Cronin Abbey won the junior in 2005 and the inter in 2006.
It was not a straight run to the title for Lucy with many twist and turns on the road. In 2015 she qualified in the minor race and finished 9th . She came back the next year and finished 5th in the junior race but in the inter races of 2017 and 2018 she could only manage 26th and 29th. It was in the summer of 2018 that Lucy made her big breakthrough winning the All Ireland Schools and Tailteann Games 800m titles and her star has been rising since finishing 2nd in last year’s cross country and going one better this year with a well judged run to take the gold.
The race got off to a quick start with Una O’Brien Waterpark leading them out on the first lap. At the end of the first lap a group of about eight had opened up a small gap with Lucy in 8th place. She sat in the group on the second lap and was still in 8th as they headed out on the long last 1500m lap. When they came back into view for the last time Lucy had moved up to 3rd place and shortly after moved into 2nd place and as they reached long run to the finish Lucy pulled level with the long time leader Celine Gavin of St Dominic’s Cabra and then turned on her 800m speed to open up a gap and cross the line with 8secs to spare much to the delight of her parents Lola and Tom, her coach Tony Shalloe the present schools coach Sara Flavin and former school coach Mary Ashe who as vice president of Irish Schools had the honour of presenting the medals.
There were several other athletes from the Ard Scoil in action on Saturday with West Waterfords Sarah Nyhan putting in a good performance in a very fast race to finish 39th and Caoimhe Prendergast improving on her run in the Munsters to finish 57th.
Bronze for Doireann Hickey in National Walk
While the school events were taking place in Santry not far away in St Anne’s Park a national festival of road walking was taking place. Kate Veale took gold in the senior walk but she was not the only West Waterford athlete in action as Doireann Hickey competed in the under 14 girls walk over 2km and she came away with a bronze medal. Doireann will compete over 1k in the national indoor championships in the coming weeks.
Munster Schools Indoor Games
On Tuesday March 5th the Munster Schools Indoor Games were held in Nenagh. Over 1000 athletes from all over Munster competed in running jumping and throwing events. Sean Mullarkey Dungarvan CBS who last year won the Inter boys title had a good win in the senior boys shot with a throw of 10m78. Paul Mullarkey also representing Dungarvan CBS finished 8th hitting 10m for the first time. Sarah Slevin Ard Scoil na nDeise had a huge new personal best throwing 10m21 to finish 3rd in the inter girls shot and David Horgan St Augustine’s finished 5th in the junior boys with a throw of 9m 03.
Training Starts back on Wednesday March 11th
Training for our younger athletes starts back on Wed next March 11th at 6pm and will continue on Wed and Friday at 6pm in the Friary College. We welcome back all our young athletes who have been on a break since Christmas and we welcome all newcomers.