Two wor­thy re­cip­i­ents of ath­let­ics awards

Irish Examiner - County - - Sport - John Wal­she

A young pole-vaulter who fin­ished sec­ond at na­tional se­nior level and a cross-coun­try run­ner who led the Ir­ish team to sil­ver medals at the Eu­ro­pean Mas­ters in Madrid are the lat­est re­cip­i­ents of the Cork City Sports Monthly Ath­let­ics Awards.

Ciara Hickey from the Blar­ney-In­nis­carra club is the Fe­bru­ary win­ner for her per­for­mance at the Ir­ish Life Health/Na­tional Se­nior In­doors at Ab­bot­stown where she vaulted a per­sonal best of 3.40m to take the sil­ver medal be­hind Ellen McCart­ney of the City of Lis­burn AC.

The fol­low­ing week, Ciara set a new cham­pi­onship record when win­ning the Mun­ster U19 ti­tle with a vault of 3.30m. Only two years at the event, which she took up after be­ing in­volved in gym­nas­tics, Ciara is one of a promis­ing group of young vaulters coached by Ea­monn Flana­gan.

The sea­son ahead is dic­tated by the Leav­ing Cert for the Coláiste Choilm, Ballincol­lig, pupil but once that’s over no doubt she will con­tinue to set new heights in one of the most de­mand­ing events in ath­let­ics. “Once I have the Leav­ing out of the way I’ll be look­ing for­ward to the schools cham­pi­onships where I’ll be hop­ing for a medal as it’s my last year.”

Last July, Ciara fin­ished sec­ond in the pole vault at the Cork City Sports and this year’s meet on July 16 is also on her tar­get list.

“It was great to com­pete last year as the pole vault hadn’t been on the pro­gramme for a while so I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to that again.”

Michelle Kenny was hon­oured with the March award for her sev­enth place at the Eu­ro­pean Master cross­coun­try cham­pi­onships in Madrid. In the process she led home the Ir­ish F35 team which se­cured the sil­ver medals in the team con­test.

“It was a priv­i­lege to be there first of all but cross­coun­try over there is not like what we have here,” ad­mit­ted the Lee­vale ath­lete.

Michelle was also on the Lee­vale se­nior team that com­peted in the Eu­ro­pean Clubs Cross-Coun­try at Mira in Por­tu­gal in Fe­bru­ary.

“It was a huge hon­our and achieve­ment, thanks to Lee­vale, to be se­lected for the team and it was great to have that ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore go­ing to Madrid, so it’s been a great year so far.”

The Cork City Sports Ath­let­ics Per­son of the Month Award is jointly spon­sored by the Evening Echo, Cork 96FM & C103, LeisureWorld, and The River Lee Ho­tel.

At the River Lee Ho­tel for the Cork City Sports Ath­lete of the Month Award for Fe­bru­ary and March were Shay Curtin, Frank Wal­ley, Ni­cola Cul­li­nane, Claire Myler, Tony O’Con­nell, Ciara Hickey, Blar­ney/In­nis­carra AC, award win­ner for Fe­bru­ary, Michelle...

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