It was the Late Late Show in Abbotstown last night with Day 1 of the Dublin Juvenile Indoor Championships running until late into the night indeed it was some 10.30 p.m. before the clubs 800 runners could takeoff the spikes and head for home with three of the girls, Orla O’Sullivan, Katie Halpin and Naoise Cullen, taking home championship medals.
The early races for the younger juvenile athletes had huge fields meaning that on occasions there were eight separate heats in each division to sort out who would be heading to the finals in 10 days time. The first Clonliffe athletes in action where the U/14 girls where Kate Campbell successfully booked her place in the 800 final, very good runs also from the rest of the group, Ali Connolly, Sarah McDonnell and Rebecca Walsh. William Walsh was an extremely impressive winner of his heat in the U/14 boys as he took the race by the scruff of the neck from the gun to win by 50+ metres and again will take his place in the final the weekend after next. There were solid runs also in this age group by Jack McDonnell, Jake Kane, Jaydon Carroll and Cathal Hickey. The competition in the girls U/15 division was to say the least tough and although the girls did not get through to the final all ran very well and will benefit from the experience: Sorcha O’Connor, Hazel Kenny and Kate Faherty.
In the girls older age groups all races were finals. The first was the U/16 girls where Orla O’Sullivan ran a fine race always in the top three that pulled away from the field, kicking off the final bend order was a fraction away from silver as she finished in bronze medal position. Naoise Cullen went one better in the U/17 800 with an excellent run and ‘enjoyed’ a last lap battle for gold as she hit the front with 200 to go only to have her rival hit back over the final straight, still it was a fine silver for Naoise, a good run also by Amy Sheehy in 6th place. In the U/18 race Katie Halpin also went with the pace and with a lap to go was safely in bronze a position which she held to the line. Finally the U/19 girls saw three black and amber clad athletes on the line. Sarah Bateson had a fine race being aggressive from the gun and battling for medals all the way to the line only narrowly missing out on bronze, great to report on a return to racing by Amy Hodson who finished in fifth place with Abbie Sheehy a place behind.
Next up in these championships are the relays on Wednesday of next week.