Indoor success for Laois athletes

Athletes from the St Abban’s atheltic club brought home three medals from the recent National Junior and U-23 indoor championships in Athlone IT last weekend.

Athletes from the St Abban’s atheltic club brought home three medals from the recent National Junior and U-23 indoor championships in Athlone IT last weekend.

Conor Daly, Nessa Millett and Siobhan Nash all made it onto the podium at the impressive Athlone IT facility, but unfortunately gold eluded the trio, as Daly and Nash claimed silver with Millett securing bronze.

Daly won his medal in the junior mens triple-jump, as his best effort fell 21cm short of eventual winner Conor Durnin of St Peter’s AC. From the early rounds of the triple jump it looked like it was going to come down to a shoot-out between both Daly and Durnin, as they were the only entrants to break the 13m barrier.

Siobhan Nash added to her reputation as one of the most promising young race-walkers in Ireland as she came home in second place over 3000m in the junior women’s race. She finished 21 seconds behind the winner Alicia Boylan of Oriel AC, and ten seconds in front of Edel Glennon from Mullingar. Nessa Millet won her bronze medal in one of the toughest categories, the junior women’s 400m.

The St Abban’s athlete didn’t need to be at her best in the heats, as she eased across the line in a time of 59.54 seconds to win Heat 3 and earn a place in the final. She shaved two seconds off of her time in the heats in the final, hitting the tape in a time of 57.50, but was beaten by two powerful athletes in Alanna Lally (56.58) and Jenna Bromell (56.78).

There were other Laois athletes also in action at the Athlone meet, with Niamh Quinn from Portlaoise missing out on a bronze medal in the junior womens 800m race by 0.29 seconds to Emily Milner of St Coca’s.

St Abban’s had three other athletes taking part, with Barry Regan finishing 8th in the U-23 60m final with a time of 7.34, and Katie Brennan just missing out on a place in the U-23 womens 60m final. Eoghan Buggy also competed in the sprints, the junior mens 60m, but did not advance beyond the heats.

The National Masters Indoor Championships also took place recently, with three Laois men taking home medals. Martin McDonald was seconds in the V5 category of the 3000m in a time of 10.14.66, while Portlaoise’s Seamus Fitzpatrick won gold in the V3 shot-putt with a distance of 11.03m. St Abban’s John Territt was the other Laois medallist, also in the shot putt, where a throw of 10.81m was good enough for the silver medal in the V4 category.

Finally, in cross-country action, Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District athlete Avril Deegan finished in tenth place in the junior girls 2.5k at the Munster Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships, where she was representing Presentation Thurles.