There was Ardee & District Athletic Club representation at the North Leinster qualifiers for the 2017 Schools Track & Field Championships on Wednesday, with four of the club’s young athletes in action at Santry Stadium in school colours.
Jonathan Commins, Conor McMahon and Abbie Sheridan (pictured above) all represented Ardee Community School while club member Aoibheann Carolan represented Dundalk St Vincents as the students competed to try and quality for May’s Leinster finals.
Both Jonathan and Conor have qualified for next month’s finals event, as has Abbie, but both the girls will be back in action next Wednesday so there’s plenty more events and chances to qualify to come.
Commins was the first Ardee athlete up and he got off to a flying start in the intermediate 100m hurdles. Making each flight look easy, Jonathan took his place on the podium and received a well deserved gold medal for a first place finish.
Later in the day, Jonathan competed in the U16 shot. Throwing a heavier 5kg implement, his throw of 9.94m was enough to claim his second gold medal of the championships and secure entry in both events in the Leinster finals.
That success came just 24 hours after Commins had helped the school’s GAA team win the Under 16 Flood cup – and the teenager was showing no signs of fatigue as he excelled in Santry.
McMahon’s first event of the day was the the senior boys high jump. Having a good sequence of jumps with the bar raised to 1.75m, there remained only four in the competition and it was all to jump for. Clearing the 1.75m, Conor secured a silver medal and a pass into next month’s finals.
Sheridan ran in the intermediate 1500m on Wednesday and running superbly throughout the race, she finished fourth after a strong finish on the home front. While not staking a claim on the medals, Abbie was happy enough that the top four finish secured progress to the Leinster finals.
Carolan was the last to compete on the day and she had a good successions of throws in the minor girls javelin to finished in fifth place. She’ll be back next week to compete for her place in the Leinster.
Additional reporting by Deidre McMahon.