OLYMPIAN YAC contested the N. Ireland and Ulster Indoor Track and Field Championships held in the magnificent Abbotstown Indoor Arena at the weekend.
Olympian’s young athletes claimed a total of 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medals as well as 13 All Ireland Indoor Championship qualifications.
Henry Bose got the ball rolling, showing exceptional technical prowess in the U19 Boy’s 60m Hurdles, powering away from the field in the end to claim the mantle of Ulster and N.I Indoor Champion in a swift time of 9.35secs.
Emma Mc Daid, reigning All Ireland Indoor Champion, put her power and pace behind the Shot Put in the U13 girls category to throw a phenomenal personal best distance of 10.23m (over a meter more than last year’s best throw of 9.10m with the same 2kg weight) to retain her Ulster & NI Champion title.
Performance of the weekend had to go to Sophie Parlour. She showed what an immense talent she is in the U16 Girls 60m as she simply blew the competition out of the water.
From start to finish she was pulling away from the opposition with every stride to take the Gold medal and mantle of Ulster and NI Champion.
What made this performance even more phenomenal was that her winning time of 7.97secs was the third fastest time of the weekend overall, including the senior woman race.
Sophie also showed her versatility to place fourth in the 60m Hurdles to book her place in the All Ireland Indoor Championships in both events.
Young Aoife McGeehin, in her first Indoor Championships competition, tested herself across a number of disciplines in the U12 Girls. She took part in the 60m, and Long Jump but it was her throwing ability that came to the fore in the Shot Put where she picked up a Silver and a place at the All Ireland Indoor Championships.
In the U18 age group, Lara Faul contested the 400m, showed her continued training and hard work is paying off, clocking herself a P.B and picking up a Bronze for her sterling efforts.
In the Shot Putt event she almost made it double bronze, holding 3rd position with a throw of 7.95m throughout the competition, until one of her rivals snatched the bronze medal from her grasp on their last throw by a mere centimetre with a throw of 7.96m. However, her 4th place position secured her a second All Ireland Indoor Championships spot.
Back on the track it was Patrick Mc Hugh, U12 Boys 600m, Bonnie Gillard, U14 Girls 60m, Ciara Doherty, U17 Girls 1500m and Oisin Teape in U18 Boys 60m and 200m who finished 4th in their respective events and booked their ticket to compete at the All Ireland Indoor Championship at the end of March/early April.
The final qualifier for the day was Clodagh Friel in the U18 girls High Jump with a 4th place finish, leaping her way into the All Ireland’s and joining her club team mates.
Conor McMorrow was in his first Championship outings at this level, while Eoghan O’Donnell took park in the Race Walks for a determined first go at this level.
Ellie McMichael and Leah Barr continue to develop and increase their confidence in their events. Orlagh Faul and Sean Paul Cullen made the finals of the U13 girls 60m Hurdles & U17 boys 60m & 200m, with Jimmy Doherty, Ellen O’Donnell and Aine Carlin all showing great heart.