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Monday 10 December 2018

'More talent on the way!

RECORD BREAKER: Michael Farrelly from Raheny Shamrock celebrates U-17 100m win. Photo: SPORTSFILE
RECORD BREAKER: Michael Farrelly from Raheny Shamrock celebrates U-17 100m win. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Just a few short weeks ago, Sommer Lecky, Ciara Neville, Molly Scott and Rhasidat Adeleke, were winning titles at the Irish U-20 Championships in Tullamore.

A fortnight later, along with Patience Jumbo-Gula and Gina Akpe-Moses, they were not only competing on the world stage but winning medals at the World U-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

The regular diet of underage competition at venues including Tullamore, Athlone, Santry, Tallaght and the CIT in Cork over the past four years had helped produce the young athletes who competed so well in both Finland and, a few days earlier, at the European U-18 Championships in Hungary.

Honour

Had they not been abroad, some of those athletes would have travelled to Tullamore for the Irish Juvenile Championships last weekend.

Last year at these championships Adeleke had set a record of 11.98 when winning the girls' U-16 100m title. This year, the honour of running the fastest time of the meet fell to Lauren Cadden of Sligo AC in 12.03, when wining the U-19 title on Sunday.

Another record fell in the boys' U-17 100m, won by Irish schools champion Michael Farrelly in 10.82. His Raheny club-mate Sean L'Estrange with 10.90 and Cillian Griffin of Tralee Harriers with 10.99 were also inside the old record.

In a thrilling U-19 boys' 400m, Tallaght's Christopher Duffy just made it home ahead of Tony O'Connor from Naas AC, with the pair timed at 49.51 and 49.71 secs.

Pick of the girls' 400m races was the U-18 final, where Simone Lalor of St Laurence O'Toole was the winner in 57.22 secs, with Molly Brown of Metro St Brigid's, who had won the 800m a day earlier, a close second in 57.38 secs.

A day earlier, in kinder weather conditions, Louis O'Loughlin of Donore Harriers was a runaway winner of the U-18 boys 800m in a new record time of 1:52.13. O'Loughlin was also a winner in 2016 and in 2017.

Highlight of the girls' 800m races was an U-16 championships record of 2:11.63 from Aimee Hayde of Newport AC, who dominated the race.

Almost as fast in the U-15 final was Emma Moore of Galway City Harriers, winner of the U-15 title a year earlier in 2:17.65. This time, she ran a time of 2:11.98 to smash Hayde's record of 2:15.63. Sarah Hosey of Dooneen AC and Fiona Dillon of Thomastown AC were also inside the old record.

Huge

In the field, Karlis Kaugars of Dunleer AC set a boys' U-14 javelin record with a huge throw of 55.63m. Kaugars had first attracted attention when winning the U-12 shot in 2016.

In the U-17 boys' javelin, Conor Cusack of Lake District AC threw a record 58.35m for victory. In the girls' U-16 high jump, Aoife O'Sullivan of Liscarroll AC's 1.72m leap equalled Sommer Lecky's record.

A final day of competition is scheduled for Sunday in Tullamore, where the highlights will include the 200m and 1500m, and the high jump and javelin in older age groups.

An Irish juvenile team will also compete in Saturday's SIB Schools International in Falkirk, Scotland.

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