Juvenile Championships signals the summer
The three-day festival of athletics in Tullamore starts on Sunday (July 7) with day 1 of the Irish Life Health Juvenile Track and Field Championships.
The juvenile championships, not run in three days concurrently, truly signifies the summer holidays for young athletes around the country with a sense of freedom, and nervous tension, in the air as they compete for podium places in a myriad of events.
Day 1 sees plenty of hurdles finals along with 600m and 800m races on the track. While the field eventers mix it in the javelin, hammer, triple jump and high jump.
The standard of the sprint hurdles has increased the last number of years – Derval O’Rourke’s successes no doubt playing a role in the trickling down to an increased amount of sprint hurdles in the juveniles – some even unbeknownst to her medal-winning performances.
Ava Rochford (Ennis Track) will be one to watch in multiple events including the U15 girls’ 80m hurdles while Laura Gallagher (DSD) should have a strong showing in the U17 100m hurdles. Adam Nolan (SLOT) is set to compete in multiple events in the U16 section including the 100m hurdles and high jump.
Adrienne Gallen (Lifford Strabane) will be one of the strong throwers to look out for on day 1 in the U16 girls’ hammer. Conor Cusack (Lake District) in the U18 boys’ javelin and Ciara Sheehy (Emerald) in the U18 girls’ hammer are among plenty of fine throwers in the country to keep an eye on.
Dillon Ryan (Moycarkey Coolcroo) in the U17 boys’ triple jump is among a host of talented jumpers competing on day 1.
The 800m races always deliver some exciting races. Some of the athletes to watch out for over the two laps of the track are: Sadhbh Mohan (MSB) U16, Ava O’Connor (Tullamore Harriers) U17, Lucy Holmes (West Waterford) U18, Ellis Conway (Carrick-on-Shannon) U19, Myles Hewlett (United Striders) U15, Jack McGlone (Greystones & District) U16, Aaron Shorten (SLOT) U17, Tommy Connolly (Leevale) U18 and James Dunne (Tullamore Harriers) U19.
The steeplechase also provides drama and excitement. Some of the runners include Roisin O’Reilly (Menapians) and Roisin Treacy (Ashford) in the U18 girls’ 2,000m steeplechase and Fionn Harrington (Bandon) in the U18 boys’ 3,000m steeple.
The timetable is HERE
Follow all the action from the European 10k and Combined Events
Irish teams will compete in the European Cup 10,000m, as part of the Night of 10,000ms, and in the European Combined Events.
Ribeira Brava, on the Portuguese island of Madeira, will host both the European Combined Events Team Championships First and Second League competitions on 5-7 July. You can see the Irish team selections HERE and all you need to follow the event HERE
The decathlon Ireland Facebook page has also written a good preview HERE