Longford Athletics Club Impressive Wins in Boys’ Middle Distance Races
18 June 2016 at Sligo IT
Longford AC won 15 medals: 8 Gold, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze, from High Jump, Sprint and Middle Distance events
Longford Athletics Club was very successful at Day 2 of the Connacht Outdoor Track & Field Championships held last Saturday at Sligo IT. 540 juvenile athletes in the U13-19 age group from across the Western Region took part in the extensive programme that included 20 events on the track and in the field. At day end a total of 15 Longford athletes secured their places at next month’s Athletics Ireland All-Ireland Finals, joining the 8 younger athletes that qualified from Day 1.
Nelvin Appiah won all 3 of his U16 events, returning home with Gold in high jump, long jump and the 200m. This follows on from Nelvin’s recent success in the All-Ireland Secondary School Finals in the same events. Brendan Finnan added a Gold, Silver and Bronze to his 2016 collection of medals in High Jump, Relay and Hurdles. Cian McPhillips put himself to the test again this year running both the 1500m, winning Silver, and only an hour later the 800m, Gold, where he shaved off 6 seconds from his February indoor time.
Both the U13 Girls and U14 Boys Relays Teams had the winning formula with good baton hand overs and speed. Sarah McPhillips, Avril Cosgrove, Funmi Talabi and Laura Farrell won the set of Bronze medals in the time of 58.20. The U14 Boys race was the most competitive relay of the day with only 0.02 of a second ensuring Longford’s set of Silver medals for Christopher Conaty, Joe Reilly, Brendan Finnan and Cathal Farrell.
Jack Gallagher led off the Longford domination in the boys middle distance events as he won his first Connacht Gold medal in the U13 600m with a time of 1:47.48. Joe Reilly took Gold in the U14 800m, 2:28.20 and Christopher Conaty never let his teammate ease up when he finished only 0.20 seconds behind for 2nd place, 2:28.40, an impressive improvement on his indoor performance. Both had very little recovery after the demanding 200m race which made their victories all the better. Cian McPhillip’s Gold in the U16 800m as well as Aidan O’Boyle’s 4th place qualifying time in the U14 Boys 1500m rounded off the fantastic middle distance results.
Aaron Kelly’s Bronze 12.15 seconds in the U17 Boys 100m sprint earned his place on the All-Ireland roster. Club newcomers Gospel Idahor and Killian Rawle made their mark in both the 100m sprints and 200m races with solid times that mean they will also be making the trip to Tulllamore as they move from Provincial to National competition. Killian 1st in U15 Boys 100m, 12.66 seconds, and 4th in the 200m, 27.11 seconds. Gospel 2nd in U16 Girls 100m, 13.23 seconds, and 4th in 200m, 28.99 seconds.
The GloHealth Athletics Ireland National Juvenile Outdoor Championships are run over four days in July at Tullamore Harriers Stadium. First up will be the three Relay teams, U12 & 13 Girls and U14 Boys, all hoping that they can further improve on their performances when they take to the National platform.