YOUNG and not so young members of Boyne AC had a chance to hang up the spikes and running vests on Friday night last to attend the AAI Louth Athlete of the Year Awards, held in the Dundalk's Crowne Plaza Hotel.
First of the club's athletes to receive a certificate in recognition of his nomination for U-9 to U-11 Athlete of the Year in track & field was Tom Cummins, looking dapper in his red bow tie. Tom then made a return visit to the stage to receive an award for Club Athlete of the Year, presented by Boyne AC chairman Paddy Clarke.
In the Girls category, Tara Meier deservedly received a nomination in the U-9 to U-11 track & field section after a fantastic year in which she won both county and national titles. Tara too was presented with a club award for athlete of the year.
In the girls U-12-14 category, Kenza Cherouat narrowly missed out on the athlete of the year title, trailing by just one point, but she didn't let this deter her and was beaming from ear to ear when she took to the stage to receive her certificate.
In the Girls U-15-U-19 age group Amy McTeggart received a nomination for athlete of the year, track & field, and also received a certificate of recognition from the Louth county board to acknowledge her amazing achievements at both national and international level over the past year.
Keith Dunne received a nomination in the boys U-15-U-19 category and then returned to the stage to receive his gold medal as part of the U-16 boys intercounty team who competed earlier in the year. Also receiving his medal as part of the team was Oisin O Gibne.
The boys U-14 intercounty team received their bronze medal, and representing Boyne were Max Flannery and Ruarcan O Gibne, and Niamh Kelly and Emer O'Rourke also received a bronze medal as part of the girls U-16 intercounty team. Niamh Kelly also received a club award in recognition of her outstanding achievements over the year, and clubmate Oisin O Gibne was also honoured for his excellent performances in both track & field and cross country.
A big winner on the night was nine-year-old Jack Carolan who 'ran away' with the title of Louth Athlete of the Year Cross-Country U-9-U-11. Jack has competed strongly in many cross-country events this season, finishing in the top three in most, and recently won the U-10 Louth Championship Cross-Country event. His dedication and hard work, under the excellent guidance of his coaches, has certainly borne fruit, and as with all the successful athletes on the night he will surely continue to excel in athletics in 2013.
Paying testament to the evergrowing talent of the Boyne AC athletes was the awarding of no fewer than four out of a possible five titles from the Louth County Summer League, Boyne the best club for Jumps, Throws and Track and also received the award for the club with the top 20 performances in the U-9 - U-13 category.
A small but mighty contingent of Boyne athletes made their way to sunny Dunboyne for the Leinster Cross-Country Championships at the weekend. However, the previous day's rain certainly ensured a tough and wet course for the athletes.
Not put off by the muck, the girls U-11s battled it out over 1,500m, with 141 entrants, and Tara Meier ran a fantastic race to finish first for Boyne AC in 14th position overall with a time of 6:35, followed closely by Jessica Welsh in 20th position and Moya McCabe in 58th.
Tara and Jessica finished third and fourth respectively for Louth, contributing to a third county finish and ensuring a place in the All Irelands.
The boys u11 were next to race their 1,500m, and the four young athletes competing for Boyne certainly gave it their all. There were 126 athletes contesting this race and leading the way for Boyne were Tom Cummins and Jack Carolan in 45th and 50th respectively.
Eva Cummins was the female star of the show for Boyne AC with a magnificent run in her 2,500m race against 143 other athletes. She stayed the pace to finish fifth overall, first for her county and part of the firstplaced county team.
The boys Under-13 event was contested by Ruarcan O Gibne against 118 other athletes, and he finished in an impressive 22nd position, coming second for his county.
The boys Under-15 3,500m was a mighty contest of 88 athletes and here Oisin O Gibne lived up to his athlete of the year title with a superb third-place finish, first for his county, with teammate Andrew Matthews in a fine 32nd place.