Two weeks ago two Waterford athletes won titles at the Irish University Indoor Championships Niamh Whelan and Kate Veale and they repeated the feat at the Irish Life Health National Senior Indoor Championships in Abbotstown last week end. The very first winner of the Championships on Saturday last was Kate Veale West Waterford AC and she did it in style while retaining her 3000 metres walk title. She was pressed for quite a long way in the race but in the last four or five laps showed all her great fighting qualities to pull away and win comfortably in a very good time of 13 minutes 38.6 seconds, Niamh O'Connor Celbridge with a personal best was second in 13.43.01 and another young Waterford athlete Órla O'Connor Waterford AC improving with every race was third in 14.00.09 again with a personal best. After qualifying for Sunday's final of the 200 metres by winning her semi final on Saturday Niamh Whelan first of all competed in the 60 metres heats on Sunday and qualified for the final in which she finished a close 4th in a personal best time of 7.45 seconds. Half an hour later she streaked to an easy victory in the 200 metres final in 24 seconds even a season's best.Olympian Thomas Barr running a distance well below his usual one the 200 metres won his semi final on Saturday in 21.65 and in Sunday's final he was 4th in a blanket finish in 21.70 no doubt using the event to improve his speed.
A number of the younger athletes from the county competed and they did quite well. Grace Furlong Waterford AC won the bronze medal in the triple jump with 11.02 metres and just behind her in 4th place on 10.99 was her club mate Emily O'Mahony, Lisa Houlihan was 6th in the pole vault with 3.05 metres, Rachel Power was 6th also in the shot putt final with 7.37 metres and Yuri Kanash was 7th in the pole vault with a season's best of 4 metres all three West Waterford. James Murphy Waterford was 8 th in the long jump with 6.25 metres, Niall Blackwell was 11th in the 3000 metres final with Patrick Veale two places behind him all West Waterford, Eoin Kenny Waterford was fourth in his heat of the 200 metres but didn't progress and Ruth Heery from the same club was unfortunately disqualified in the 3 k walk due to a loss of contact which can happen anyone in race walking and nothing to worry too much about, it can always be rectified. So two Irish senior titles for Waterford, one with Kate on Saturday and one with Niamh on Sunday In any sport a win in a sports National Senior Championships is superb and for us here in Waterford its a regular occurrence in Athletics year in year out.
On Wednesday the Annual International Indoor meeting is in Athlone and Thomas Barr is entered for the 400 metres building up to his outdoor season and Niamh Whelan is entered for the 60 metres.Kate Veale competes in the Isle of Man next Saturday in a Manx Harriers Festival of race walking ,she will compete in either a 10 km or 20 km race and Órla Ó'Connor is in the 10 km event
On Friday next Feb 23rd the Munster Secondary Schools X Country Championships are at the WIT Sports Campus Carriganore. Hundreds of athletes boys and girls from all over the province will compete in four grades minor, junior, intermediate and senior, the first event is at 12.30 pm, the minor girls. Lots of athletes from Waterford schools will be among the entries and with the All Ireland Schools Championships at the same venue on March 10th many will be striving to do well on Friday and go on to the All Ireland's both as individuals and on teams.
The Munster u 13 to u 19 Indoor Championships are in Nenagh on Saturday and Sunday next with a 10 am start both days. All the clubs in Waterford will have athletes competing there and as usual several are expected to take home medals Full programme of events on Munster Athletics website.
The 16th Annual Kilmacthomas 4 miles Road Race is on Sunday next at 11 am and its race 4 of the Michael Roche Carpets Series. Entries will be taken at the Race Headquarters in The Community Hall Kilmacthomas from 9.45 am.
Saturday March 3rd Dunhill /Fenor 10 miles 10 am (or did I see Fennor on a signpost) Sunday March 11th Annual Deise College Dungarvan 10 km, 11 am. Easter Bunny Run April 1 st RSC 11 am.
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