Stars in our midst

Wex­ford quar­tet feted at awards night

New Ross Standard - - SPORT - Ath­lete of the month

A RE­CEP­TION to hon­our the re­cip­i­ents of Leinster Ath­let­ics Star Awards for 2018 took place at the Bridge Ho­tel, Tul­lam­ore, on Satur­day.

For the sec­ond year in a row, the award for best Ju­ve­nile fe­male ath­lete in Co. Wex­ford went to Maeve Hayes of St. Paul’s A.C. Maeve is a fourth year stu­dent at Loreto Wex­ford.

At the Leinster In­doors, Maeve won the Un­der-17 long jump (5.03m) and high jump (1.63m P.B.), and placed fourth in 60m hur­dles.

She won a bronze in the high jump at the na­tional in­doors. At the Leinster schools she placed sec­ond in the high jump de­spite go­ing into the event with an an­kle in­jury. She went on to fin­ish eighth in the event at the All-Ire­lands.

At the Leinster out­door cham­pi­onships, she won the long jump (5.00m) and placed sec­ond in the high jump (1.53m), pro­gress­ing to the na­tion­als where she won gold in the high jump, her first na­tional ti­tle, and sil­ver in the long jump.

At the Leinster schools in­door com­bined events in Septem­ber, Maeve took the sil­ver in In­ter­me­di­ate girls with 2,899 points. The fol­low­ing month at the All-Ire­lands, she placed fourth with 3,103 points. At that event she had the joint best re­sult in the high jump (1.59m).

In Novem­ber she won her first Ir­ish vest when she was se­lected on the team for the schools in­ter­na­tional pen­tathlon meet in Glas­gow. She won a sil­ver medal with the In­ter­me­di­ate girls’ team.

The award for best Ju­ve­nile male ath­lete in Co. Wex­ford went to Jack Forde of St. Kil­lian’s A.C. Jack, a com­bined events spe­cial­ist, is a fourth year stu­dent at Wex­ford C.B.S.

Jack started 2018 on a high note, tak­ing gold Un­der-16 at the Ir­ish Life Health in­door com­bined events cham­pi­onships.

He won two Un­der-16 golds at the Leinster in­doors - high jump (1.80m P.B.) and shot putt (12.68m).

At the na­tional in­doors he placed sec­ond in the shot putt and fifth in the hur­dles.

At the Ath­let­ics Ire­land com­bined events cham­pi­onships he em­bod­ied all the qual­i­ties of a cham­pion as he re­peated his gold medal-win­ning per­for­mance of the pre­vi­ous year to take the Un­der-16 ti­tle with P.B’s in high jump (1.83m) and long jump (5.75m). His over­all points to­tal was 3,914.

Jack won five Un­der-16 medals at the Ju­ve­nile Wex­ford track and field cham­pi­onships: gold in the high jump (1.60m), triple jump (12.05m), shot putt (10.98m) and long jump (5.64m), and sil­ver in the 200m.

Com­pet­ing at the All-Ire­land schools track and field in June at In­ter­me­di­ate level, he placed fourth in the high jump (1.88m) and eighth in the triple jump (11.96m).

Jack was ev­ery­one’s ath­lete of the meet at the Leinster Ju­ve­nile cham­pi­onships where, com­pet­ing Un­der-16, he won the shot putt with a P.B. of 13.41m, set a new cham­pi­onship best per­for­mance

Wex­ford win­ners Jack Forde, Clare Doyle, Maeve Hayes and Peter O’Con­nor.

(C.B.P.) of 12.42m to win the triple jump, and cleared 1.86m, an­other C.B.P., to win the high jump. Any time you come away from an event with three golds and two C.B.P’s is a good day!

The same month he won a bronze medal at the pres­ti­gious Tail­teann Games at the Mor­ton Sta­dium, Santry.

On then to the All-Ire­lands where Jack won the high jump (1.85m) and was run­ner-up in both the shot putt (12.52m) and triple jump (12.26m).

Jack started the month of Au­gust with a sec­ond place fin­ish in the Un­der-16 high jump at the Celtic In­ter­na­tional Games in Glas­gow.

The fol­low­ing month he placed sec­ond in In­ter boys at the Leinster schools in­door com­bined events with a points to­tal of 2,890. At his fi­nal event of the year, the All-Ire­land schools com­bined events, he placed sixth in In­ter boys.

In a year when the multi-even­ters starred, Peter O’Con­nor of En­nis­cor­thy A.C. was the re­cip­i­ent of the award for best Se­nior ath­lete in Wex­ford.

Peter was sec­ond in both the 60m hur­dles and high jump at the Leinster in­door cham­pi­onships. He was also a mem­ber of the En­nis­cor­thy team which won the 4 x 400m and placed third in the 4 x 200m.

At the Leinster out­door track and field cham­pi­onships, Peter was third in the dis­cus and sec­ond in both the shot and javelin.

He made the podium for com­bined events at the out­door and in­door Ir­ish uni­ver­si­ties cham­pi­onships, fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the for­mer and third in the lat­ter.

At the Wex­ford cham­pi­onships last sum­mer, he made the podium in both the high jump and the long jump.

The last of the four awards re­turn­ing to Wex­ford was one for life­time ser­vice, and it went to Clare Doyle of Bree A.C.

Clare has been ac­tive in ath­let­ics ad­min­is­tra­tion and coach­ing since the early 1980s. She first be­came in­volved with Bree A.C. as Ju­ve­nile coach and club P.R.O., go­ing on to be­come Sec­re­tary in 2006.

Her in­volve­ment at county level be­gan in 1999 when she took over from John God­kin as Wex­ford B.L.O.E. Sec­re­tary un­der Chair­man Jim McGee.

In 2000, the year the A.A.I. was formed, Clare was As­sis­tant Co. Sec­re­tary with re­spon­si­bil­ity for Ju­ve­nile events. The fol­low­ing year, she was elected Co. Sec­re­tary and re­mained in that po­si­tion un­til 2011.

Dur­ing those years, the po­si­tion of Co. Sec­re­tary in­volved look­ing af­ter the ad­min side as well as or­gan­is­ing both Se­nior and Ju­ve­nile cham­pi­onship events. She also took on the role of Co. Reg­is­trar in 2004.

From 1999 to 2011, Clare at­tended Leinster meet­ings as a county del­e­gate as well as at­tend­ing Na­tional Congress on many oc­ca­sions. She was elected Leinster Reg­is­trar in 2004, and be­came Record­ing Sec­re­tary in 2008.

She re­tired from this po­si­tion in 2010 when she was elected Leinster In­door Sec­re­tary. As a Leinster com­mit­tee mem­ber, she worked at cham­pi­onship events, mostly as time recorder and photo fin­ish judge.

Clare is still very much in­volved with her club, serv­ing as both Sec­re­tary and P.R.O. She is also a Ju­ve­nile coach.

Fix­tures: Jan­uary 12, A.A.I. Na­tional In­door League round one, Ab­bot­stown, Dublin; Jan­uary 13, Leinster cross-coun­try (In­ter, Masters and Ju­ve­nile re­lays), Gowran, Co. Kilkenny. ‘I MIGHT pos­si­bly be in the best shape of my life.’

Those were the words of Me­napi­ans A.C. ath­lete Leon Reid hav­ing qual­i­fied for the men’s 200m fi­nal at last April’s Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth Games in Aus­tralia.

He then went on to win a bronze medal, North­ern Ire­land’s first Com­mon­wealth Games ath­let­ics medal since 1990.

Leon, who won Euro­pean medals for Bri­tain at Ju­nior and Un­der-23 level, made a de­ci­sion a cou­ple of years ago to switch his al­le­giance from the U.K. to Ire­land.

He then en­dured a frus­trat­ingly long wait for a sat­is­fac­tory out­come to his ap­pli­ca­tion to the I.A.A.F.

His case was not helped by the Fed­er­a­tion in­tro­duc­ing a to­tal freeze on in­ter-coun­try trans­fers. Shortly af­ter it an­nounced that trans­fers would recom­mence un­der new rules, word fi­nally came through that Leon’s trans­fer was of­fi­cially ap­proved.

He was on the next plane to Ber­lin for the Euro­pean cham­pi­onships where, for the first time, he would be wear­ing a green sin­glet.

Leon was ul­ti­mately dis­ap­pointed with his Ber­lin ex­pe­ri­ence as he could only man­age a sev­enth place fin­ish in the 200m fi­nal, de­spite clock­ing 20.37, just out­side his Ir­ish record of 20.27 which he ran when plac­ing third at the 2018 Bri­tish cham­pi­onships.

This re­sult did not stop ‘ The Ir­ish Times’ an­nounc­ing that he rep­re­sented ‘ the fu­ture of Ir­ish men’s sprint­ing’.

He clearly showed, ear­lier in the year, that he is top dog in Ir­ish men’s sprint­ing.

At the A.A.I. in­door games he did the 60m dou­ble, win­ning the se­ries one race in 6.81s and the se­ries two race in 6.79s.

He also placed sec­ond in the 400m in a time if 48.48s. He also had dou­ble suc­cess na­tion­ally at both the in­door and the out­door cham­pi­onships.

Leon is de­lighted to be a com­mit­ted mem­ber of Team Ire­land and says he is to­tally fo­cused on the world track and field cham­pi­onships in Tokyo.

Ath­lete of the month Ais­ling Kelly of Tagh­mon – All-Ire­land Un­der-16 100m cham­pion and sil­ver medal win­ner in 200m – with Sea­mus Darcy of Mr Oil (spon­sor) and Paddy Mor­gan (Ath­let­ic­sWex­ford Chair­man). Ais­ling is an out­stand­ing prospect.

In­ter­na­tional sprinter David McDon­ald with coach Shane Mc­Cor­mack.

Leon Reid of Me­napi­ans.

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