Basquille on the double in Irishtown
St Joseph's star strikes gold in high jump and hurdles
Irish schools international Caoimhe Basquille of St Joseph's of Cluny, Killiney, was a double winner at the second day of the East Leinster Track and Field Championships for girls at Irishtown.
Basquille started her day by skimming over the hurdles for victory in the inter 80m girl's race. Last year's Leinster junior champion Linda Earls of Dominican Wicklow was second and Holly McGurk from Holy Child Killiney third.
The Killiney girl then moved on to the high jump, an event she has won in the past. There, she beat Hannah Wentges of St Columba's and Rathdown's Caroline Lynch with a jump of 1.67m after attempting 1.69m.
With the distance moved up to 100m, Loreto Bray's Laura Boylan was a clear winner of the senior hurdles ahead of Robyn Trayner of Alexandra College.
Minor and junior hurdlers had a busy time of it with heats and semi-finals. Taking the minor title was Ciara Barry of Loreto St Stephen's Green. First home of the juniors was Sarah Evans from Rathdown.
Another double winner was Elaine Begley from Loreto St Stephen's Green, winner of both the inter 300m hurdles and 300m flat.
Taking to the track with great determination were the walkers. Rathdown had a good entry in all races, with Laura McGettigan winning the junior title. In the inter race, Rathdown's top two of Clare Williams and Rachel Swan lost out to a determined Amy Mooney from Dominican College Wicklow. Sarah Madden, also from Rathdown, finished third in the senior 3000m walk behind Helen Comerford of the Institute of Education and Alex Hartford from Muckross.
Star of the middle distances was again Siofra Cleirigh Buttner of Coláiste íosagáin, who had won the inter 800m a day earlier. Although she will run in the junior category at next week's Leinster Championships, Buttner took on the inter girls last week.
In the 1500m, she not only won the race easily, but almost caught the back-markers. Finishing second was Claire Fox from Loreto Bray, while third was Buttner's Coláiste íosagáin team-mate Megan Ní Riain. A clear winner of the junior 1500m was Una-Mary McCarthy-Deering from Holy Child Killiney, who had taken to the front from the start, with Sarah Ni Mhaolmhuire from Coláiste íosagáin ending up second. A fast-finishing Jane Fagan of Dominican Wicklow was third.
Niamh Kearney continued her successful schools athletics career by beating her Loreto Dalkey team-mate Fiona McKenna for the senior 1500m. Tara Jameson of Dominican Wicklow was a fighting third after a long lay-off.
Minor athletes ran shorter distance of 1100m, with Cliodhna Carthy of St Kevin's beating Mount Anville's Ella Fennelly and Aoife O'Reilly of Loreto Stephen's Green.
At U16 level, the athletes took on the classic mile distance.
Winner of a competitive race was Sorcha Nic Umfraigh of Coláiste íosagáin. Maryfield's Laura Smith was second and Aoife Conroy from Avondale third.
One of the best fields of the day assembled in the senior girls' shot.
Despite the chilly conditions, Sarah Fleming of Coláiste Raithín took the title with a mighty throw of 9.40m. Aisling Cusack from Notre Dame was second with 8.68 and Alexandra's Lucy O'Donoghue third.
In the long jump Maryfield's Sarah McCarthy, junior runner-up at the All-Irelands last year, won the inter title with a brilliant 5.56m jump. Not surprisingly, the relays generated huge excitement, both on the track and among supporters, with a bewildering number of heats required to cut down the numbers. First off were the minors and juniors, who both had A and B races, such was the demand. Many schools had entered more than one team, which underlined the enduring appeal of this event.
Muckross won the minor A race, beating Alexandra College and Loreto Stephen's Green, while a second team from Loreto Stephen's Green proved best in the B race.
Roared on to the line in the junior A race was the Coláiste íosagáin team. They beat St Gerard's from Bray, while for third place, Loreto Dalkey and Muckross could not be separated. After dropping the baton in the heats, Sion Hill won the B race.
In the inter race, Maryfield was out in lane seven, but still got there first ahead of a fast-finishing Loreto St Stephen's Green and Mount Anville.
Powered by Irish international sprinter Stephanie Creaner, winner of both the 100m and 200m, Institute of Education was the team to beat in the senior relay. They duly nailed down the title, with victory over Alexandra College and Coláiste íosagáin.
The Institute team will be one of the favourites for Leinster glory at Santry next week. On Wednesday (10.0) the minor, junior and U16 programmes take place, along with hurdles and steeplechase, while on Saturday (10.0) it's the turn of the inter and juniors.