Abbotstown and Tullamore were the destinations for a host of Ardee & District Athletic Club athletes this weekend – but instead of wearing traditional blue, they were donning their county colours and representing Louth in national final competition.
In total, eight athletes were in action at the two venues with four young athletes – Holly Murray, Amy Murray, Tom Maguire and Jonathan Commins – taking to the track and field on Saturday at the Community Games finals at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown.
Six-year-old Holly was first on the track and she received a competitors medal for her fine effort in the Under 8 60m sprint before Amy easily progressed from her heat to the semi-final in the girls Under 10 60m hurdles. Running in the day’s final event, Amy finished a very credible fifth overall. Also running in the Under 10 hurdles was Tom Maguire, who just fell short of qualifying for the semi-final round.
Commins ran superbly in the Under 16 100m sprint, earning a place in the semi-final but unfortunately a stomach complaint forced him out of action for Sunday’s races. Hallie Sands and James Maguire did however travel to Abbottstown for the Community Games national finals.
Rain didn’t stop Hallie as she competed well in the girls Under 14 80m hurdles. Luckily for James, he didn’t have to contend with the poor weather conditions. The Under 14 long jump was moved indoors and James jumped brilliantly 4.77m. With four medals awarded to the top finishing athletes, James took his spot on the podium in fourth place, just a centimetre behind behind the third place finisher. It was a mighty effort from James who is still eligible to compete in Under 14s next year.
There was also very wet and windy conditions in Tullamore as Conor McMahon and Darren Weldon represented Louth at the National League Finals, competing in multiple events to earn points for the Louth team. Weldon earned himself a new personal best with a throw of 23.07m in the hammer event – finishing in 2nd place – while McMahon competed in four events in total. His best on the day was the high jump where in tough conditions, he managed to clear a height of 1.75m to finish first. At the end of the day, all points added, the Louth men’s team finished an impressive fifth.
Don’t forget, Ardee & District Athletic Club’s annual Seamie Weldon 5k takes place in Ardee on Saturday, September 2nd. Online registration is now open at http://ardeedistrict.com/register/ and the club will hold their annual open sports day in the Boys School field on Sunday 27th August, with races getting underway at 1.30pm.
Thanks to Deidre McMahon from Ardee & District Athletic Club for providing information for this article.