Laois Athletics News and Pics - February 17


Laois Sprint Squad
The Laois Sprint Squad had a successful two days in Athlone over Day 1 and 2 of the Leinster Indoors. Most athletes from the squad made finals and a number of quality races produced medal for the county. The Daly sisters Elaine and Aoife won silver and bronze medals in the 60m, Jack Fortune also won a bronze in the 60m.
Jillian Keenan won a well earned silver in the technical 60m hurdles. Well done everyone who raced and involved with the squad. Training continues every Sunday in Vicarstown from 11am to 12.30pm.

Leinster Indoors Day 1 and 2
As well as the sprint squad the county had a lot of clubs and athletes on show in Athlone. Full details of which are in the club notes. But to be brief along with the sprint squad (listed above) other athletes that won medals are: Sarah Coyle won a Bronze medal for herself and the club in the Girls U-13 Shot-Putt competition. Shane Buggy finished 3rd in the U-14 Shot putt and Josh McDonald won the U-15 60m. Ruby Millet won the U-17 LJ with an Indoor PB of 5.68m and the 60m hurdles with 8.89s. Canice Whearty won the silver medal in the U-16 hurdles.
A special mention has to go to one of the biggest prospects in Laois sprinting, John Ikopotikin, who won the U-13 60m in a new Leinster record of 7.90sec. This time would have seen him win the U-14 and U-15 also. Well done to everyone who competed over a busy weekend.

National Masters Cross Country 
Martin McDonald reeled back the year with a fine run in Waterford Last Sunday. In cold damp conditions Martin showed the younger lads how it's done, by winning the over 60 mens competition. Well done also to Dick Mullins who won a fantastic silver in the over 70's race.

All Ireland B Championships 
Well done to Cian McDonald on a tremendous second place in the U-17 boys last Sunday. A well earn place with some brave running. Adam Holden won a fantastic individual medal also after a tactical race.
The two boys also lead Laois to a county bronze medal while being supported by Cathal Connaughton, Eddie Allen, Colin Grennan and Liam Butler. Well done everyone.

Leinster Schools Cross Country
Well done to all Laois athletes who took part in today’s Leinster Schools Cross Country in Santry Demesne. The following Laois athletes have qualified for the All Ireland finals which will be held in Belfast on the 11th of March Minor Girls: Ava O’Connor – (Scoil Christ Ri Portlaoise) 1st place. Minor Girls Team: 2nd place, Ava O’Connor, Grainne Cotter, Kate Corcoran, Ava Prendergast. Minor Boys: Oisin Hooney – Knockbeg College 5th Place. Junior Girls: Niamh McDonald – Heywood Community School 11th place. Junior Boys: Ben Crotty – Knockbeg College 15th Place. Senior Girls: Louise Stack – Mountrath Community School 7th Place. Senior Boys: Cian Kelly – Knockbeg College 7th Place. Oran O’Flaherty - Knockbeg College 12th Place. Senior Boys Team: 3rd Place, Cian Kelly, Oran O’Flaherty, Jamie Wall, Declan Roberts. Well done to you all today and we wish you all the best for the finals.

Portlaoise update Webpage & Facebook
The club launched the new Athletics Club and Streets of Portlaoise webpages and Facebook page on Monday. The newly designed webpage is now much more interactive and user friendly with a separate section for all Juvenile updates plus contact details and training times. It is also planned to have all registrations for the Club processed online through the webpage.
The new Facebook page Portlaoise AC is now live and can be accessed through the webpage. This is the Clubs official facebook page and going forward all reports and up and coming events will only be posted on this facebook page and also on the webpage.

Upcoming Races
Downey Nissan Road Race Championships
Senior Road Race: Venue - Kilcavan, on 26th March.
Junior and Masters Road Race: Venue - Portarlington, on 23rd April.
Local Races
Vicarstown Park Run every Saturday at 9.30am.
The Heritage 5k, Killenard - 5th March.
The Streets of Portlaoise 5k - 17th March.
The Emo Forrest Run - 14th April.
If your race does not appear on the calendar please contact us via Facebook or our website.


Ballyfin AC Training Schedule
Strength and Conditioning: Wednesday from 8-9pm in the Ballyfin Community Hall.
Senior Men: Tuesday 7.30pm meet at St Fintans Car Park, Portlaoise. Thursday 7.30pm  meet at St Fintans Car Park, Portlaoise. Sunday 10.30am  meet at Emo Court Car Park.
Senior Women: Monday from 6.30-7.30pm, meeting in the Old Dunnes Store Car Park in Portlaoise.
Juvenile Training: Every Monday from 6.30-7.30pm in the Ballyfin Community Hall. Every Friday from 6.30-7.30pm in The Portlaoise Leisure Centre, aimed at kids 10 and over.


Father and Son win National Medals
It was a great weekend for the club as both father and son came home with national medals from Waterford IT at the National Master and All Ireland 'B' Championship.
Cian McDonald ran a fantastic race in the U-17s. He took the race on from the start with Ben Carr (Finn Valley). It was in the balance until halfway through the final lap when Ben made a break, Cian never gave up and finished in second position for a well deserved national medal. Congratulations to the Laois team of Cian McDonald, Adam Holden, Cathal Connaughton, Eddie Allen, Colin Grennan and Liam Butler who all worked hard to win a bronze county medal.
The evergreen Martin McDonald also had a terrific race in the masters race running strong from the off and going on to win gold in the O-60. A proud day for Martin and Cian!

Leinster Schools Cross Country
We had three club athletes representing Heywood at the Leinster Schools Cross Country final in Santry Demense, Niamh McDonald (Junior), Sarah Delaney (Junior) and Jessica Brennan (Intermediate). Niamh had a great run in the Junior girls race, finishing 11th. The top 15 athletes across the line are automatically through to the All Ireland Cross Country in Belfast. Sarah Delaney finished a respectable 27th. 
Jessica Brennan was forced to pull out of the Intermediate girls race due to injury.

Monday night run from Sue Ryder Ballyroan leaving at 7pm. Tuesday night training at the GAA at 7:30pm for all ages. New members welcome.


Leinster Indoors Track and Field
Nine athletes from the club made the journey to Athlone IT indoor track on 11th and 12th of February, for Days 1 and 2 of the Leinster Juvenile Indoor T&F Championships.
They were: Elaine and Aoife Daly, Gillian, Eoin & Chloe Keenan, Emily O’Neill-Delaney, Lee Mullen, Donal Hetherington and Jack Fortune. Competition as usual at these championships was of the highest standard and medals hard earned. Nonetheless our athletes set about their business and accumulated four medals in the sprints events. Elaine and Aoife Daly raised their game considerably to secure second and third places respectively in the girls U-18 60m event. This was a big step up in class for the girls and just reward for a hard winters training.
With limited time to concentrate on her hurdle skills due to soccer commitments, Gillian Keenan still impressed with a second place in the girls U-18 60m hurdles. In the Boys U-19 event Jack Fortune was up against some of the best juvenile sprinters on the circuit. A slow start in the semi-finals meant he had to work hard to qualify for the final, but he did just that. In the final he had a much better start and gave it his all to finish a very credible third with just hundredths of a second separating the top three.
Lee Mullen had an excellent sprint in the semi-finals of the Boys U-18 event where he qualified for the final. He finished a very credible sixth in the final. Known more for his high jumping exploits, Eoin Keenan has made great progress in the sprints this year and was just hundredths of a second off making the final in the Boys U-18 60M event also. It won’t be long until he’s up there challenging for a medal.
The high jump event for Eoin will be held in Abbotstown shortly. Donal Hetherington had a very competitive heat in the Boys U-18 200m. Donal ran a very good race but found himself in fourth place at the tape with just two guaranteed places in the final. Chloe Keenan had a shaky start in the semi-finals of the girls U-13 60m hurdles but managed to qualify for the final. She had a much better start in the final and finished in an impressive fifth place just outside the medals. Emily O’Neill-Delaney competed in her first Leinster Indoors in the Girls U-16 200M. Although she didn’t qualify for the final Emily ran a solid race all the way to the tape and is one to watch for in the future.
Well done to all our athletes on some outstanding performances in this highly contested competition. We wish those going forward to the National finals all the best. We also look forward to seeing our athletes on show at the Laois County Indoor competition in Athlone on March 4th.

National B Cross Country
Eddie Allen was the Club’s sole contestant at the National B Cross Country Championships in Waterford at the weekend. Eddie was backed by a strong County Team which won bronze in the team event. Well done Eddie and well done to the County Team.

Training continues every Monday night 6.45pm to 7.45pm. Our TY students are of great assistance on Monday nights. Training for our older athletes continues on Friday nights from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. For those involved in the Laois Sprints Squad there is a strength training session on Wednesday nights in Vicarstown hall 7.30pm to 8.30pm and sprint training on Sunday mornings 11am to 12.30pm.


Leinster Indoor Track & Field Championships
The 2017 Leinster Indoor Track and Field championships kicked off on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th of February in AIT International arena Athlone, with the juvenile Championships taking place over the two days.
Mountmellick AC had a number of our members competing in both track and field events over the weekend. They were as follows - David Coss, Sarah Coyle, Jake Coss, Munirat Shobowale, Ava Lawlor, Malik Shobowale, Katelyn Dunne, Carl Deans, Niall Bracken, and Chloe Quirke. It was the first time for some of these juveniles competing at provincial level and they did exceptionally well with a few getting personal bests in their respective events, but it was on Sunday in Athlone on Day 2 of the championships that a very welcome surprise came when Sarah Coyle who was competing in the Leinsters for the first time won a bronze medal for herself and the club in the Girls U-13 Shot Putt competition in which there was a big field of entry and talent. Well done to ye all keep up the training more personal bests and medals will come.

All Ireland B Cross Country Championships
Sunday the 12th of February also saw two more of our athletes competing this time in Co Waterford at the All Ireland 'B' cross country championships. Our two athletes competing on the day for both Mountmellick AC and Laois were Adam Holden and Colin Grennan. The racing took place at Waterford IT on a bitterly cold morning, the course was tough and demanding on all the athletes from across Ireland competing.
Adam Holden ran a very intelligent and tactical race amidst some super competition to finish 9th individual overall and take a national medal for his efforts this was the first of two national medals on the day for Adam and three national medals for the club with Colin Grennan and Adam both members of the Laois team which took third place in the team prize. This is a great achievement for the club and the lads. Hard work does pay off and Colin and Adam put in so much commitment to their training programmes. Missed on the day and no doubt would have taken a national was Curtis Lee who unfortunately make the race due to injury. We wish Curtis well and hope his injury heals soon. Congratulations again Lads, A proud moment indeed.

All Ireland Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships
Wednesday February 15th was the day of the National Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships. They were held in Santry, Co Dublin and Adam Holden was out competing and representing his school CBS Portlaoise, Adam ran very well but didn’t take a medal on this occasion, nevertheless well done to you from all in the club.

Get Well Soon
Mountmellick AC sends it best wishes to Mary Lee for a speedy recovery from her recent illness. Mary has four children in the club and is a very good friend of Mountmellick AC. There is never a night at training or a competition that Mary has missed. She is always there by encouraging and supporting all the kids and helping us the committee out in any way she can. Parents and friends like this are invaluable to a club or organisation and we hope to see you back again soon. You are missed.

Club Training
Mountmellick AC hold their training every Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7-8pm at the running track in Smiths Field. we are reminding all juvenile Athletes and their parents to make sure that they are dressed and kitted out in the right attire for winter training sessions and also as the flood lights are on a timer it is imperative that all parents arrive on time to pick their children up at the end of training. It is club policy that juvenile athletes under the age of 10 must have a parent/guardian present during training.

Membership of the club is open to adults and children over the age of 7 years.

Contact Details
For information on membership or anything else you can visit our Facebook Page. Leave a comment or private message. Or you can contact us directly on the club phone at 087-3493503.


Leinster Indoor Championships Day 1 and 2
On the 11th and 12th of February, Oughaval travelled to the National Indoor arena in Athlone, to compete in the Leinster Championships.
Day 1 saw Matthew and Luke Buggy take on the best in the province, in their respective events. Matthew finished in 7th in the U-14 Shot Putt, with a new PB of 7.71m. His brother Luke Buggy competed in the U-13 Long Jump and also did very well.
Day 2 saw Canice Whearty go from strength to strength in his newly choosen event, the hurdles, which saw him win the silver medal in the U-16 category. Canice also did the U-16 long jump placing in fifth place. Aaron Foley did U-13 Shot Putt and came sixth over all, with a magnificent new PB of 7.34m. Well done to all on another terrific outing for Oughaval AC.

All Ireland CC B Championships
Well done to Cathal Connaughton and his Laois team mates on taking a bronze medal at the All Ireland Cross Country B Championships in Waterford. Cathal ran superbly all through the race and missed out on an individual medal by the narrowest of margins, finishing in 13th place. Well done Cathal, you should be very proud of yourself.

Leinster School's CC Championships
The Leinster Schools cross country took place in Santry on February 15th. Oughaval had three athletes competing. Oisin Jago finished in 70th place, Cathal Connaughton finished in 47th spot and Orla Fennelly continued her good form to finish in 16th. Well done to all three.

Upcoming Laois Indoor Championships
Downey's Nissan Laois Indoor Track and Field Championships takes place in Athlone Indoor Arena on March 4th. There will be sprints, distance races, high jump, long jump, shot and relays. We encourage all athletes from U-12 to U-19 who train regularly to take part, please make your intention to compete known to John or any of the coaches at training.

Training continues on Monday nights for younger ages and Wednesday for the older athletes from 7pm to 8pm. Registration for any athlete who has not registered for 2017, contact Susanne Scully.


National Masters and Juvenile B
Tony Reilly was our only athlete competing in the All-Ireland Masters Championships held in Waterford IT on Sunday 12th of February. Tony Reilly continuing his good form to date finishing in 20th place overall.

Seodhna Hoey
Seodhna represented DCU in the 2017 IUAA Indoors in AIT on Friday last the 10th February. She took bronze in the women's weight for distance. Well done Seodhna.

Irish Life Leinster Schools Cross Country Championship
A massive congratulations to Louise Stack, who came 7th in the Senior Girls Leinster Schools Cross Country held in Santry on the Wednesday the 15th. Louise’s hard work and dedication to the sport has allowed her to qualify for the all-Ireland Schools Cross Country, to be held in Belfast on the 11th March. An inspiration to all our young athletes.

Leinster Indoors Day 1
A very brave Aoife Cuddy travelled to Athlone on Saturday the 11th. Aoife competed in both the U-12 60m sprints and U-12 600m sprints. Aoife enjoyed the experience of the indoors and is looking forward to the County Indoors being held in Athlone on the 4th March.

Vicarstown Park Run
A new course last Saturday in Vicarstown along with the bitterly cold wind, had our athletes a little apprehensive. As the saying goes 'change makes us grow'. This didn't affect any performances. The first six men today were all from Portlaoise AC. Fionn Marum (1st), Paul Cuddy (2nd), Richie Reid (3rd), Trevor McCormack (4th), Noel Marum (5th) and Patrick Marshall (6th). Michael Delaney completed his first park run also on the morning.
Like the men, the first four ladies were also from Portlaoise AC, Grace McConnell was our first lady followed by Maria Cuddy (2nd), Anna Duggan (3rd), Lucy Dunne (4th) and Nuala Arrigan (19th). This was Lucy’s first of many Park runs in Vicarstown.
Our star juvenile one the day was Fionn Marun who battled hard and took overall first place. Well done Fionn. We had two first time juveniles, Tom and Jack Delaney. Ones to watch in the future. Well done boys. Caoimhe and Emma Jane, today also ran good solid run.

Colt GAA 6k Family fun run
Anna Duggan is a great lady for supporting her local communities with these runs. On a very windy Sunday afternoon Anna was first female competitor in Colt. Well done Anna.

Webpage and Facebook
The Club launched the new Athletics Club and Streets of Portlaoise webpages and Facebook page on Monday. The newly designed webpage is now much more interactive and user friendly with a separate section for all Juvenile updates plus contact details and training times. It is also planned to have all registrations for the club processed online through the webpage.
The new Facebook page Portlaoise AC is now live and can be accessed through the webpage. This is the club's official Facebook page and going forward all reports and up and coming events will only be posted on this facebook page and also on the webpage.

Couch to 5k and Streets of Portlaoise 5k
We are now into week six. We had 127 in total register for couch to 5k programme. The committee would like to thank all club members who help our each year. Without these members, helping out this programme would not be as successful.

Road Race 5k 17th March
Registration is now open for this race on . Juvenile races with on the day registration.

Female: Tuesday and Thursday, 6pm to 7pm, Track, Portlaoise College.
Male: Tuesday and Thursday, 7pm to 8pm, College Track.
Juveniles: Tuesday and Thursday, 7pm to 8pm, Portlaoise College Track.
Please check our Facebook page for updates.


Training every Monday evening in Kilcavan GAA field 6pm to 6.45pm.

Leinster Indoors
Ellen and Lucy Conroy, Amy and Ronan Hyland and Grainne Lalor all represented RKAC at Leinster Indoors in Athlone IT on Saturday 11th February. They all performed very well on the day. Ronan qualified for the semi-final of the U-15 boys 60m the sprint and Grainne finished 7th in girls U-15 60m sprint.

All Ireland B Cross Country Championships
Well done to our four athletes who travelled to Waterford on Sunday 12th of February for the All Ireland B Cross Country Championships. It was a very cold morning and a very tough course! Arron Lawlor and Niall Lalor both competed very well in U-11 Boys. Rory Lalor performed well in U-13 Boys 1.5km. Last up for RKAC was Grainne Lalor in U-15 Girls 2.5km. This was Grainne's fifth race in 24 hours and she put in a great performance. Well done to all our athletes and all Laois athletes who represented their club and county last weekend in Athlone IT and Waterford IT it was a very busy but enjoyable weekend of athletics.


IUAA Indoors
At the IUAA indoors several of our athletes competed for their Universities in Athlone. Paul Byrne had a busy day for UL, he won the 60m hurdles in 8.37, was fourth in the 400m final in a PB of 48.96 and was on the UL relay team who took gold.
Aran Murphy again ran a PB in the 400m of 54.73 and then ran on the IT Carlow’s 4x200m relay team who finished fourth. Eoghan Buggy anchored the DCU 4x200m team who finished second.
Craig Coffey representing Carlow IT jumped 1.80m in the HJ finishing 9th and 5.84m in the LJ placing 6th. Saragh Buggy again furthered her indoor PB and set a new IUAA indoor and AIT stadium record with 13.05m in the TJ.
Saragh then made the trip to Sheffield, GBR to compete in the British senior Indoor Trials where she finished second, again furthering her indoor best to 13.08m.

Leinster Juvenile Indoors
At Day 1 and 2 of the Leinster indoors, we had several of our juvenile members out competing in Athlone. Seoige English finished 5th in the HJ with a jump of 1.35m and 7th in the 800m, Shane Buggy finished 3rd in the u14 Shot putt and Maebh Maher was 5th in the u19 800m. Josh mc Donald won the u15 60m sprint and Ruby Millet won the u17 LJ with an Indoor PB of 5.68 and the 60mh with 8.89s.

Masters and Juvenile B Cross
At the juvenile ‘B’cross country championships, the boys U-13 team were unlucky and finished just outside the medals in fourth after great runs from the four boys. The team comprised of Jack Fenlon (13th), Eoin Cawley (15th), Adam Buggy (31st) and Lee Murray (45th). At the National Masters Cross Country Championships in Waterford, Dick Mullins finished third in the O-70s while in the O-60s Francis Fleming finished 11th.

Leinster Schools Cross
The Leinster Schools Cross Country was held in Santry again this year. Several club athletes were out representing their schools with the aim of qualifying for the All-Ireland School’s cross country to be held on the 11th of March in Belfast. Rebecca Fenlon ran in the junior girls for Colaiste Iosagain and finished 37th after a tough race, while in the junior boys for Knockbeg, TJ Burke was 36th. Maebh Maher representing Gael Colaiste, Ceatharlach finished 22nd in the senior girls, while in the senior boys Cian Kelly was 7th, securing qualification for the All Irelands, Declan Roberts placed 7th and Cialann Mulhall was 66th for Knockbeg College. Cian and Declan both finished within the first four Knockbeg boys securing a bronze for the school team.


Waterford Competition
Great day for St Michaels juveniles in Waterford at the weekend. We had 16 athletes competing including John Cooney, Hugh Connolly, Jack Murphy and Ryan Phelan in the U-11 boys. Andy Murphy and Dan Punch ran in the U-13 with Josh Murphy running in the U-15 boys category and Liam Butler in the U-17 boys - well done lads and well done Liam on your county bronze with Laois.
In the girls, Freya O'Donoghue ran in girls U-11 and in the U-13 girls we had Kate Connolly, Eimear Connolly, Anuska Dunne, Jade Coogan and Poppy Hackett well done to this team who had strong runs.
In the U-15 girls we had Ava Punch, Leah McKenna, Grainne Cotter and Jasmine Harte, this team performed very strongly with all in the top 50. Well done all, you were all a credit to club, and good luck to Grainne and Ava, who will run Wednesday in Santry and Jasmine who is improving with every run.
Well done to all for such great performances in Waterford from all in St Michael's AC, many thanks to the mentors who willingly as always give their time - huge thanks as always to Owen Connolly, Mark Higgins and Malcom Coogan.

Leinster Indoor Athletics Championships 
Well done to the three young athletes who represented St Michael's A.C at this weekend's Leinster Indoors Athletics Championships in Athlone. Running at his first major championships, Emmanuel Haastrup was disappointed not to make the final of the U-16 800m after being badly pushed and elbowed in the heat. He recovered from this to make the final of the 200m. Another finalist was Helen Ikpotokin in the girls U-15 60m. Performance of the weekend went to Helen's brother John in the boys U-13 60m. John went into the race as favourite for the title, and justified the favourite tag. Not only did he take the title, he also set a new Leinster record of 7.90 seconds in the process and now hopes to attack the national record in six weeks time. Well done to all and best of luck to John in the All-Irelands.

Senior Training
Senior training takes place twice each week from 7pm to 8pm. Tuesday training takes place at Heritage Hotel – meeting at 7pm. Thursday Training for the next few weeks will take place in Corrig. New members are always welcome at any time, just turn up at one of our training sessions, and give it a go!
Senior members still meet each Saturday morning at 9am in the Lidl car park (beside Odlums) for a long steady run. Distance range from 5K to 20K, and anyone is welcome to join in for an easy run and a friendly chat on the scenic country roads and forest trails around Portarlington, Emo and Killenard.

Juvenile Training
Juvenile training will continue each Monday and Thursday in 2016 from 6pm to 7pm recommencing in September at McCann Park in Portarlington. We would ask that all who take part in the sessions are fully registered with Michael’s athletics club, registration forms are available at each session. For more information, contact Jean on 087-2125870.

Contact Us
Find us on Facebook (Michaels AC) and send a friend request to keep up to date with all that’s happening, or check out our club website on Any questions and comments are welcome by e-mailing

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