Five Laois winners at Leinster Athletics awards night

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Five Laois winners at Leinster Athletics awards night

From left, Barry Pender, Nicole Keogh-Dowling, Pat Whelan, Cathal Connaughton and Helen Ikpotokin.

The Bridge House Tullamore was the venue for the 2019 Athletics Leinster Star Awards. These awards apply primarily to Track and Field Athletics.

They honour the achievements of the top male and female juvenile athletes in each Leinster county, and also the top adult athlete, along with a number of special merit awards.

The juvenile award winners in Laois were Cathal Connaughton from Oughaval AC, and Helen Ikpotoken from St Michael's AC.

Helen is a sprinter and won Leinster medals in 100m, 200m and 250m Hurdles. She is a junior cert student in Colaiste Iosagain Portarlington.

Cathal is a middle distance runner, and is consistently running under two minutes now for the half-mile. He won medals at both 800m and 1500m in 2018. Cathal is a Leaving Cert student in Ardscoil na Trionoide, Athy

The senior award was won by Nicole Keogh-Dowling of St Abban's AC. Nicole specialises in the throws events, Shot Putt and Discus, and has been a key member of the All-Ireland winning St Abban's ladies team in the National Track and Field League over the past two seasons. She is a nursing student in DCU.

The Leinster Jumps award was won by Barry Pender from St Abban's AC. Barry has been one of Irelands top High Jumpers over the past two years, and with a personal best of 2.26m, he has certainly 'scaled the heights.'

The Outstanding Service Award went to Pat Whelan from St Abban's AC. A club stalwart, Pat has been at the centre of all the minor and major club activities over the past 40 plus years – purchasing the field, building the clubhouse, publishing the 50th anniversary book, parish sports, table quizzes, organising the annual Four County League for more years than he cares to remember.

Five very deserving recipients – well done all.