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golden day

Irish schools athletes enjoyed their best outing every at the annual SIAB Schools International Pentathlon at the Emirates Stadium in Glasgow.

All four teams pushed the usually dominant English hard in the fight for the team medals, with the junior girls taking gold at the competition for the first time and the three others teams taking silver.

Star of the team was Elizabeth Morland of Dunshaughlin CS who broke the 4000 points barrier for the first time when she won the under 18 girls' competition with a brilliant score of 4045. This broke her own record of 3740 set last year in the same competition. She began her competition with a personal best 12.33m in the shot and continued by running 8.32 seconds for the 60m hurdles - a slow time by her own high standards, which saw her finishing second behind Caitlin Edgar of England.


In the long jump, her 5.68m brought her 753 points and was the best effort in the competition. She went agonisingly close to 1.77m in the high jump, but had to settle for 1.74m, worth 903 points. Last came the 800m, where she pushed herself to the limit to finish in 2 mins 23.35 secs - a time that ensured she would score over 4000 points.

A second gold followed in the under 18 boys event, where Daniel Ryan of Thurles CBS came out on top for a second year, just holding off two English athletes by five points with a score of 3645. Ryan's younger brother David finished second of the under 16 boys in another closely fought competition.

Other Irish athletes to take individual medals were Sophie Meredith of Scoil Mhuire in Newcastle West and Kate O'Connor of St Vincent's who finished second and third of the under 16 girls.

The team gold was guaranteed when Bronagh Walsh of St Leo's Carlow finished fifth.