AAI National u/23 & u/23 Indoors 2023 (14th Jan)
Top class indoor performances for Mullingar
The middle distance events at the AAI National u/20 and u/23 Indoors held on Saturday 14th January at the National Indoor Arena in Dublin produced some top class competition and Mullingar Harriers was very well represented.
First into action was Colin Smith in the u/23 men 1500m. Colin won the silver medal in the 800m last year and was confident of a good run, having just returned from a warm weather training camp with DCU. Colin ran a strong race, positioning himself on the leader’s shoulder and maintaining that place throughout the race. With a strong last lap, he secured second place and the silver medal in a time of 3 minutes 54.11 seconds, making it a great start to the day.
Eoin Quinn ran well in a very strong heat to win and secure his place in the final of a very competitive u/23 men 800m. In a tactical final, Eoin encountered a lot of positional challenges, as tactics really came into play. Despite this, Eoin finished really strongly but was just out of the medals in fifth place with a time of 1 minute 56.24 seconds. In the u/23 women 800m, Shauna Leydon gave herself every chance of a medal putting herself among the medal contenders from the outset. Despite a great effort, Shauna had to settle for fourth place in a time of 2 minutes 18.51 seconds, a new personal best time. It was an encouraging start to the season and a very strong performance by Shauna.
In the heats of the u/20 women 800m, Aimee Wallace was competing at National level for the first time in over three years and despite being just shy of her seventeenth birthday, she ran with great confidence. Aimee was always positioned prominently and secured an automatic qualification position. In the final, Aimee ran a really brave and aggressive race to break away with the two pre-race favourites. She remained in contention until the final 150 metres and finished well to comfortably take third place and a bronze medal in a time of 2 minutes 15.08 seconds This was a fantastic comeback to this level of competition by Aimee and will provide her with great confidence for her own age group championships in the weeks ahead.
Another young athlete tasting competition at this level for the first time was Kyle Faherty who competed in the u/20 men 200m. Kyle is still fifteen and doesn’t turn sixteen until July, but he looked very much at home and relished the challenge. The entry was so big it required seven heats and with only the six fastest times qualifying for the final, it was always going to be a very big task for Kyle, but he ran a great race to place second in his heat and even though his time was not enough to advance to the final, he will have learned a lot from the experience and remarkably he is underage for a further three years, so has plenty of time to progress.
The women’s 3,000m race walk was a combined race of u/20 and u/23 women. Aisling Lane was racing in the u/20 women category and lost no time by going straight into the lead from the start, and with an faultless display in this very technical event went on to absolutely dominate the race and win by a big margin of over a lap to secure another very well deserved National title. The men’s 3,000m race walk was also a combined race of u/20 and u/23 men and featured two from Mullingar, both polished performers and their class showed, as Matthew Glennon cruised to an easy victory in the u/23 race, and Andrew Glennon won silver in the u/20 race.