Sunday 18 March 2018

Ladies seal third

WEXFORD COUNTY A.C. secured a third place position in the Division 1 women's category at the Woodies DIY National League final in Tullamore.

Fiona Kehoe put in two solid performances, winning both the 800m and 1,500m events. Team-mate Orla Furney won the 100m hurdles and placed second in the 400m hurdles to add to Wexford's points tally.

In the throws events, Emma Owen secured a second place position with Christine Furlong taking the hammer to seal the Wexford team's fate in the third place spot with 99 points to winners St. Abban's A.C's 110 points and City of Derry's 103.

Meanwhile, good performances at the National Juvenile championships are important if you hope to further your athletic career and so it proved for three Wexford athletes. Having won three events at those same championships, Shannen Dawkins from Horeswood was assured of a place on the Celtic International Games competition which was held recently in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Orla Furney from Gorey, a convincing winner of the 400m hurdles at the National championships, and Annie Stafford from Menapians were also selected. The Celtic Games are confined to Celtic nations and are held annually. The venues rotate among participating countries.

Shannen Dawkins was selected to compete in two events. In the 100m hurdles she had a convincing win over her Welsh and Scottish rivals. In the high jump she tied for first place with a jump of 1.65m which was 6cm below her own P.B.

Conditions mitigated against good jumping, as athletes had to jump into a very stiff head wind which affected all performances and on countback she was relegated to second place.

There was no equal to the talented Orla Furney in the 400m hurdles; she was a clear winner, with her hurdling ability and determination guaranteeing Ireland first place.

Annie Stafford can be described as a surprise package. Having finished second in the National championships she might not have expected to get the call-up but she served the cause well.

She led the long jump competition for most of the way, only to be beaten at the end by 1 cm. It earned her a silver medal and kept the Irish scoreboard ticking over.

The three Wexford athletes contributed two gold and two silver to the collection which was the most successful Celtic Games ever for the Irish team. On the same week that some of our athletes in London were struggling, our Juveniles were proving that there is a future for Irish athletics.

Out of seven categories Ireland won six and only lost the other one by two and a half points. The National Juvenile committee would like to compliment the athletes, their coaches and parents for their contribution to a very successful weekend.