After the worst possible year for competitive athletics at all levels it was a great feeling to be back in Dangan able to put on a County Competition for our athletes. This weekend saw the return of the Childrens Games, with our U9 – U11 athletes given a chance to shine. Just over 350 athletes from across the County descended on the Regional Sports Centre in Galway for the day. A lot of the U9 and U10 athletes will never have had chance to compete on a track before, but to be honest it didn’t show. This is a credit to the great coaches we have in the county who prepared the athletes for competition.
Athenry had a modest crew competing and every single one of them gave their all and produced very gutsy performances. Results from the day are below:
U9 BOYS 60m:
Tom Ryan 11.10s
Noah Brady: 11.13s
Jason Doggett: 11.95s
Evan Phillips: 14.88s (see below for comment about this time)
As this is a paired competition, with scores being combined, the pairing of Tom and Noah finished 6th and Jason and Evan 19th.
U9 BOYS LONG JUMP:
Noah Brady 2.78m (5th overall)
Jason Doggett 2.52m
Tom Ryan 2.50m
Evan Phillips 2.38m
Noah and Jason pairing finished 5th, with Evan and Tom pairing finishing 8th
In the relay the boys finished 9th, which is commendable given they had never raced a relay together before this race.
It must be mentioned that Evans 60m time is no reflection of the time he should have got. Unfortunately, another athlete seems to have cut in front of him which obviously unsettled him and he fell. It is a true mark of the character of an athlete when a 7-year old in their first ever competition falls, gets up, and carries on running across the line to finish the race. For this we dutifully award Evan our ‘Star of the Show’ award.
At Under 10 level we were represented by the dynamic duo of Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick and Kayla Poniard. Both were new to competitive track running and put in great performances. In the 60m Kaitlyn ran 11.09s and Kayla 11.21s for a combined time of 22.30s and 9th place. For the distance races they really stepped it up, with Kaitlyn completing the 500m in 2:00.81 and Kayla in 2:04.47 for a combined time of 4:05.28 and 4th place overall. On any normal year they would have progressed to the Connacht Championships but for this year only the top 3 pairing will advance. There is a lot more running in this pair yet.
Our four athletes in this group were Éalga Monaghan, Leo Crawford, Liam Cake and Jennifer Greaney. Although Jennifer, Liam and Éálga have been with the club for some time, it was great to see newcomer Leo wanting to step straight on the track
Under 11 Girls
From my vantage point in the timing van it was good to see both girls run good strong 60m heats, with Éalga winning her heat and Jennifer coming 4th in hers, just a few hundredths of a second behind 3rd. Their combined times were enough to place them 8th team out of 24 teams, and they were only one second behind the medal places. In the 600m, Jennifer was on her own and came home in 2:32.18. Given that Jennifer is one of the youngest in her age group with a late November birthday, she should be very proud of her performance. Éalga opted for the sand rather than the track for her second event, and jumped 2.25m with almost no time doing any jumping prior to this.
Under 11 Boys
For the 60m, both Leo and Liam finished 4th in their heats running 10.43s and 10.60s respectively. With Leo only joining the club in the last few weeks, that was a great performance for him and plenty to build on for the future. Both boys finished in the top half of the results and their combined time was just one second outside the medals. Liam finished off his day with a 2:14.96s 600m in what was the fastest of the boys heats with the first 3 across the line being the fastest of the day. Leos second event was the long jump and a jump of 2.20 with pretty much no previous experience was fantastic, with a bit more time in the pit, and with his sprint speed he has great potential to be a good jumper.