LEAVING CERTIFICATE student Matthew Callinan Keenan (Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach) produced record-breaking performances to star at a high-class Irish Life Health All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore when he vaulted into the record books clearing 4.52m in the senior pole vault to take the record from Thomas Houlihan of Dungarvan. Matthew Rossiter (Castlecomer CS) won silver with a personal best of 4.00m.
One of the standout performances of the championships came from Aaron Shorten from St Laserian’s School, Carlow. Aaron, running in lane one, blew the field away in the
intermediate boys 800m, with one of the greatest front-running displays the championships has ever seen.
Aaron went out bravely to run the first 100m in 11 seconds, and he hit the 200m mark in 25 seconds to dominate from start to finish. This was Aaron’s ninth national title, and his second All-Ireland schools title for St Laserian’s, Carlow.
Adam Nolan (Scoil Chonglais) made a big impression in the junior boys’ 80m hurdles winning the bronze medal in a time of 11.87 seconds, improving from his winning time of 12.03 seconds in the Leinster finals. He later lined up in the final of the junior pole vault and cleared 3.50m to claim the silver medal.
Adam Shaw (Presentation College, Carlow) was the surprise packet of the day when he got a blistering start out of the blocks in lane eight to win the silver medal in the junior boys 100m in a time of 11.74 seconds.
Adam, in his first year competing, won the South Leinster title and went on to win silver in the Leinster Schools in a time of 12.27 seconds.
Billy Delaney, his coach and the president of the Irish Schools Athletics Association, who presided over 122 presentations throughout the day, said this was a remarkable performance by Adam and he has a bright future in the sprints.
Borris girl Hannah Kehoe, running in the colours of Loreto Kilkenny, is the Junior All Ireland Schools cross-country champion this year so she lined up as one to watch in the junior 1500m. She ran a very gutsy race, leading the field into the home straight only to be pipped by Sophie Quinn (Mount Sackville) and Catherine Martin (Down HS) as they approached the line to collect the bronze medal in a time of 4:51.83.
Luke Rice (Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach) was in fine form in an eight strong line-up in the final of the intermediate boys pole vault, collecting the silver medal with a vault of 3.40m.
The tall figure of Canice Whearty (Knockbeg College) was in lane eight for the final of the senior boys 400m hurdles and he did not disappoint when he collected the bronze medal in a time of 56.94 seconds. Canice is eligible again for this event next year.
Elisa Doyle (St Leo’s College) finished an agonizing fourth place in the girls U16 mile. Elisa was part of a group of four that broke away from the field and held third place right into the finishing straight only to be caught close to the line.
Also in fourth place was Damni Adesina (St Leo’s Carlow) in the inter girls 100m, finishing in a time of 12.32 seconds. Just 0.1 seconds covered four athletes behind the very impressive Rhasidat Adeleke who won in a time of 11.67 seconds. Rhasidat was a team-mate of Carlow’s Molly Scott when they won the 4x100m relay silver medals in last year’s world U20 athletics championships.
Damni was also the anchor leg for the St Leo’s inter relay team who finished in third place.
Meanwhile, Aaron Sexton (Bangor GS) sealed a sizzling double in the senior boys 100m and 200m in new record times of 10.43 and 20.69 seconds, breaking records which were set by Marcus Lawler (Carlow CBS) in 2013. This capped off a stunning schools career for Sexton who now heads the European U20 rankings for the 200m. The Ulster schoolboy will compete at the European U20 Athletics Championships in Boras, Sweden before taking up a professional rugby contract with Ulster.
Matthew Callinan Keenan (Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach), 1st senior pole vault (4.52m); Aaron Shorten (St Laserian’s Carlow), 1st inter 800m (1.56.36); Adam Nolan (Scoil Chonglais) 3rd junior 80m hurdles (11.87), 2nd junior pole vault (3.50m); Adam Shaw (Presentation College, Carlow) 2nd junior 100m (11.64); Luke Rice (Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach) 2nd inter pole vault (3.40m); Matthew Rossiter (Castlecomer CS) 2nd senior pole vault (4.00m); Canice Whearty (Knockbeg College) 3rd senior 400m hurdles (56.94); Hannah Kehoe (Loreto Kilkenny) 3rd junior 1500m (4.51.83); Ciara Moore, Damni Adesina, Lily Gaffney, Lan Gaffney (St Leo’s) 3rd Inter 4x100m Relay (50.54); Elisa Doyle (St Leo’s) 4th U16 mile (5.26.69); Kiana Nolan (Scoil Chonglais) 6th inter discus (27.85m); Sarah Graham (St Leo’s) 6th senior discus (31.44m); Ciara Moore (St Leo’s) 5th inter shot (12.59m); Sophie Myers (St Leo’s) 10th minor long jump (4.38m); Sophie Myers (St Leo’s) 6th minor 75m Hurdles (12.33); Damni Adesina (St Leo’s) 4th inter 100m (12.32); Sarah Doyle (St Leo’s) 9th senior 800m (2.26.21); Corrine Kenny (Gorey CS) 6th inter 800m (2.20.27); Kieran Cooper (Ardscoil na Trionoide, Athy) 6th junior 80m hurdles (12.25); Kieran Cooper (Ardscoil na Trionoide, Athy) 5th junior high jump (1.65m); Alan Miley St Kevin’s Dunlavin, inter 100m hurdles (injured), Inter 400m hurdles (injured); Seoighe English (St Leo’s) Inter high jump DNS