More medals for LAC juveniles

March 2012

following the success of the U14-15-16 and 17 age groups at the Odyssey arena Belfast two weeks ago, twenty five young athletes in the U12-13 and U18-19 age groups completed the Ulster indoor activity in Magherafelt Meadow bank arena on Saturday last. The return of four gold, one silver and eight bronze medals at individual level and further success in the U12 boys and U/13 girl’s relays made it a very successful outcome for these promising young athletes. With qualification for the AAI indoor finals in Nenagh (24th-25th March) and (31st-1st April) at stake for all medal winners, the full days programme saw some great action and Letterkenny AC can be proud of their contribution to these championships.

This was a great experience for these young athletes and the experience gained will surely land further success for the club. Leah Walsh, Niamh Hume, Aoibhinn O`Grady, Claire Doherty, Karen Gallagher, Natasha Hamilton and Eimear Devenney all took part in various events(60m, long jump, 600m and shot putt) with medals difficult to attain such was the standard.

Walsh, Hume, O`Grady and Doherty were just run out of the medals in the 4x100m relay but these girls will have their day again.

The honours here go to Charles Worth who took the gold medal in the shot putt; this was a great performance by Charlie and surely sets him up for more success at national level next month. His winning effort (8.37) was well ahead of his nearest rivals and it was a proud young man who took to the rostrum for his first medal at this level.

Oisin Bradley qualified for the final of the 60m and was just out of the medals, but both Worth and Bradley joined Cain Harkin and Ronan Frain in taking silver medal position in their relay. These four young athletes epitomizes the future of the club over the next few years. Likewise Neil and Sean Martin and Christopher McCaul can be pleased with their efforts.

Laura Crossan continues to dominate this age group and surely is a name to look forward to over the coming years.

Gold medal in the 600m (1.53.08) plus two bronze medals in the long jump (3.81) and the 60m hurdles (11.53) sees Laura join older sister Arlene in the hunt for national medals in Nenagh.

Laura anchored the 4x100m relay team into silver medal position along with Ciara Bonner, Cliodhna Harvey and Alana Clarke. Bonner was excellent in her first competitive 600m but just missed out on qualifying while Jessica Gallagher, Rachel Tinney, Aoibhinn Murray gave good performances in their respective events.

Discovering talent is what the club is all about and new kid on the block this season must surely be Jamie Doherty.

In his first competitive action for the club Jamie took home two bronze medal. Coming impressively through the heats of the 60m he overcame a bad start in the final, but stormed over the line in third place.

Likewise in his long jump event he again overcame his two foul jumps to record 3.84 in his final jump and claim the bronze medal. So another newcomer to the club colours heads to Nenagh for his first national finals.

Ben Carr bravely competed in his events despite being sick the previous few days, while Conor Farrell and Ronan McCann will gain from this experience.

In the older age groups Natasha McArdle (U16) took third place in a very competitive 1500m (5.03.7), Natasha will now attempt the two middle distance events in Nenagh (800m/1500m).

Kristy McElwaine bravely took on the 1500m in her first competitive effort for the club and will surely return for more in the summer season.

Two club stalwart Rose Boyle and Lauren O`Connell (U18) returned three medals, Rose taking silver in the triple jump and bronze in the 300m (45.60) while Lauren joined Rose on the triple jump rostrum taking bronze just behind her club mate.

Katie Toal continued the clubs recent success in walking discipline by taking gold medal in her first Ulster final writing Nenagh into her diary also.

Shaun Boyle (U17) kept the flag flying for the boys with a very good bronze medal performance in the 1500m (4.35.6).

This was a brave performance in a very talented entry for the blue ribbon in Ulster. Conor Morrison and Patrick Mcconigly found the pace too hot but will surely be around to battle again in the club colours during the outdoor season.

So thirteen medals from the second instalment of the Ulster Indoor championships and two more relay teams to add to the qualifiers from the Odyssey was a great return from LAC in Magherafelt.

Now all qualifiers for Nenagh two national final weekends must diligently attend training Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays over the next few weeks, national medals are at a premium not easily achieved, so total focus is required.