A relatively small group of Westport athletic club athletes opted to compete in this year’s indoor track and field competitions, but those who did all finished in the top six in the country in their specialised events.

The first weekend of competition over March 21-22 saw eight Westport athletes in action.  Young Harry Sheridan got the day off to a great start with a 4th place finish in the under 12 shot put event.  Kate O’Malley also had a fourth place finish in the girls under 16 shot.  At the long jump pit, Aisling Halpin Fahy had a great day with a 6th place finish and a personal best jump of 4.72m.  

On the track it was a day for the middle-distance runners.  Eoghan McLaughlin, running his first Athletics Ireland All-Ireland track championships, had the toughest day of competition because he had to run both a heat and a final in his under 17 1500m.  He ran his heat in a very commendable 4:26 and then came back a few hours later to finish sixth in a personal best time of 4:23.  Aaron Doherty, who had helped Ireland to a silver medal in the Schools International Cross Country the day before, had a great run in the under 16 boys 1500m to finish 3rd in a time of 4:22.  He was followed by Cian McAllister who battled around the track to finish sixth in 4:30.  Malcolm MacEvilly was a finalist in what was perhaps the most competitive race of the day – the under 13 600m.  He finished 5th, just missing out on a medal position by tenths of a second.  

The girls also had a great day.  Aoife O’Brien had her best finish at a track All-Ireland with a very impressive 5th place finish in the under 17 1500m and Sorcha McAllister also finished 5th in the under 18 1500m.

The All-Ireland competition continued the following week on March 28th.  Adam Sheridan successfully defended his shot put title with an impressive win in the Under 14 event this year.  On the track, Saoirse O’Brien powered around the under 14 800m event to finish 2nd in a time of 2:22.  Aoife O’Brien and Sorcha McAllister were in action again this week but this time in the shorter distances of 800m – not their preferred events.  Yet, they both had great runs.  Aoife finished 8th in the under 17 event and Sorcha finished 4th in the under 18 event.

The club will now start focusing on the outdoor track and field season when athletes have a huge choice of events and disciplines to compete in.