It was back to the magnificent Athlone indoor arena on the 12th and 13th of March for the Westport athletes who recently qualified for the All-Ireland indoor championships.  This is the same indoor arena which recently hosted the AIT International Grand Prix.  On that occasion, IAAF world championship silver medallist Melissa Bishop set a new Canadian indoor record for the 800m.  Her fellow countryman and pole-vault world-champion Shawn Barber set a stadium record of 5.79m, while Dawit Wolde set an Ethiopian indoor record of 3:54:02 for the mile.

Just a few weeks later our own gifted crop of young athletes followed in their footsteps to take home 1 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals.  
The gold medal went to the brilliant Adam Sheridan who completely dominated the field in the U15’s shot putt.  Adam’s superb throw of 13.82m was over a meter longer than 2nd place.  In the closely contested U12 high jump, Leila O’Malley took silver with an excellent jump of 1.33m.  To put Leila’s performance into perspective, it took a new U12 Irish indoor record jump of 1.36m to beat her and both girls actually jumped higher than their male counterparts.  In the U13 shot putt, Laura Moran continued her recent good form to set a new personal best to take the bronze medal.  Her club colleague Maggie Chambers finished in a very respectable 6th place in the same event.  In the boy’s event, Harry Sheridan fought gallantly to finish in a very satisfying 5th place.  Rossa Horgan (U14) and Eanna Geraghty (U15) once again impressed in their new chosen event by both claiming bronze in the 1K walk.  Rossa narrowly missed out on silver by 0.18s.  Are we watching the emergence of the next Cian McMenamin (local Westport Irish International walker)?  Our final medal went to the talented Saoirse O’Brien who came home in 2nd place in the U15 800m to add another All-Ireland medal to her vast collection.   In the boy’s race, the ‘Silky Smooth’ Oisin Ryall (as per Athletics Ireland YouTube commentary) ran a PB to qualify for the final.  Unfortunately Oisin’s tender years took its toll in the final as David was unable to get the better of a number of Goliaths on this occasion.  

Other Westport athletes who put in spirited performances included Sarah Mulroy and Lilas Houalet (both U12), Roisin O’Brien (U13), Ethan Lloyd (U15), Aisling Halpin Fahey (U16), Luke Dawson (U16) and Aoife O’Brien (U18).  All should be proud of their efforts and savour the experience of competing at this level.  
To join this accomplished group of athletes why not join Westport AC for training on Mondays (U9 – U11), Tuesdays and Thursdays (U12 – U19) and Sundays at Bethra for all age groups.  Click HERE for Photos