All Ireland senior titles for Kate Veale and Thomas Houlihan
The brand new National Indoor arena in Abbotstown in Dublin was the venue on Saturday and Sunday last for the Irish Life Health All Ireland Senior Indoor Championships with the countries best athletes competing and among them were quite a few from Waterford clubs who made their presence felt. In any sport one of the main aims is to be senior champion of your country in that sport and in Waterford athletics there has been a great tradition for decades in that respect year in year out with this year no exception. Last week end was a memorable one for two athletes from West Waterford AC with both winning titles.In the very first final of the Championships on Saturday- the 3000 metres walk- the former World Youth Race Walking Champion from West Waterford Kate Veale who left the sport for some years made a welcome return recently and showing lots of her old grit and great talent won the event convincingly in 14 minutes 3.90 seconds beating her nearest challenger by three seconds and making history by being the first gold medal winner in the Abbotstown arena. Within the hour came a second winner from West Waterford the ever consistent Thomas Houlihan and he did it in the pole vault with a vault of 4.75 metres,the previous week he won the All Ireland University Championship.
Silver and bronze also
On Sunday two more medals came to Waterford a silver and bronze won by one of our younger athletes and one of our more experienced.In the high jump the youthful Dion Ryan Waterford AC had a great result as he finished second in the high jump with a jump of 2 metres ,the same height as the winner who got the nod on fewer fails. Then Niall Tuohy from Ferrybank made a brave effort in the 800 metres final eventually finishing a very close third in 1 minute 56.53 seconds. it was won in 1.56 even.On top of this two other athletes had fourth placings in finals.Grace Furlong Waterford AC another young athlete missed out by inches in the triple jump for a bronze medal and another Waterford girl Emily O'Mahony was sixth,while Niamh Whelan Ferrybank also missed out narrowly in the 60metres final just behind the second and third placed athletes who were both timed at 7.45,Niamh's time was 7.55.Another athlete to catch the eye was Barry Keane Waterford who was eighth of nineteen in the 3000 metres final. Overall a very successful championships fron a Waterford perspective.
Munster Schools Cross Country
In Cork on Thursday last at the Munster Secondary Schools X Country Championships there were a number of very good performances by athletes from Waterford Schools with two in the junior grade finishing second,Una O'Brien Waterpark and Matteo Mary St Declan's Kilmacthomas,fourth placings went to Evan Keane also from St Declan's at senior level and Oisin O'Riordan Dungarvan CBS in the junior grade,Saoirse Allen Mercy Convent was 5 th in the minor grade and Cian O'Riordan Dungarvan CBS 6 th in the intermediate race.Other high placers were Tara Ramasawmy Presentation 8 th intermediate, the following were 10 th Ml Troy St Augustine's senior,Aoife Allen Mercy junior and Órla O'Connor Waterpark senior,two were 11 th Anna O'Connor Waterpark senior twin sister of Órla, Niall Blackwell Dungarvan CBS senior and two were 12 th David Mc Glynn De La Salle in the senior grade and Aoife Redmond Abbey CC minor.
Good run by Shane Quinn.
Last week the Armagh International Road Race had a huge entry and Shane Quiinn Ferrybank AC had a very good run to finish tenth overall and was the first Irish athlete to finish.
In the Tullamore Court Hotel last Saturday evening the Annual Athletics Ireland Juvenile Sports Star Awards took place. An athlete from each of the 32 counties gets an award for their performances in 2016. The Waterford winner was sprinter Katie Murphy Ferrybank AC and a special award also went to race walker Órla O'Connor Waterford AC
Credit Union Athlete of Year
Last Friday evening at a function in The Tower Hotel the St Dominic and Waterford Credit Union Supreme Young Athlete of the Year Award went to Javelin thrower Órlaith O'Brien from Waterford AC. In her ten performances of the year listed she won seven and was second in three,setting five records and two personal bests in two others Some of her performances during 2016 included second place with a personal best in the All Ireland Senior Championships,second in Ton Na Ghaoithe Open senior event with personal best, winning the All Ireland Senior Schools title,the Munster Senior Schools title with a new record, Munster u 18 with a record, East Munster Schools again with a record and Munster Junior with a personal best. A total of twelve monthly winners were considered for the Award coming from Waterford AC,West Waterford Tramore and Ferrybank.Guest guest of honour was Ailis Mc Sweeney former top class International sprinter and RTE pundit whose words were very appropriate for the occasion.
Muster Indoors in Nenagh
Nenagh is the venue on Saturday and Sunday next for the Munster under 13 to 19 indoor championships and all Waterford clubs will have lots of athletes competing.The starting time both days is at 10 am and full timetable for two long days of competition is on Munster Athletics Website