National Juvenile Indoors 2023 (1st/2nd Apr)
The indoor season concluded on Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd April when the National Juvenile Indoors were held in Athlone. Mullingar had three girls in the u/18 girls 1,500m on Saturday morning, Aimee Wallace, Grace Byrne and Caoimhe Kilmurray. Aimee lost little time setting the early pace and slowly drew out the field behind her. She continued to work hard as the laps counted down but couldn’t shake off one girl who stuck a pace behind her all the way until she struck at the bell for the last lap to take the lead. Aimee dug deep to respond but just didn’t have enough to catch her and re-take the lead and after a very fast last lap Aimee finished in second place. Meanwhile, Grace had worked her way to the front of the chasing group and opened a gap that couldn’t be closed and guaranteed herself a medal with a great final lap, to see Mullingar take silver and bronze, with Caoimhe not far behind but out of the medals.
Kyle Faherty is still very new to the 400m but that certainly didn’t show as he ran hard from the gun in the u/17 boys 400m, leading at the bell. Despite continuing to work hard to hold his place, at the 300m point he had to surrender the lead and though he ran as hard as he could to the finish, crossed the line in third place, a good result but unfortunately his time was not enough to advance to the final on this occasion.
Moving to the race walks, Daniel Glennon put in a great shift in the u/15 boys 1,000m walk, and was unlucky to miss out on the gold medal by only half a second in a very close finish but was still delighted to win the silver medal. Following Daniel in was Ronan Kelly who put in a great effort and was rewarded with a fine sixth place finish in his first National Indoor final. In the longer u/17 boys 1,500m walk John Glennon worked hard all the way in a tough race to finish third and was rewarded with the bronze medal. We finished with the u/19 boys 1,500m walk where in a rare defeat, Andrew Glennon was pipped right on the line by just three hundredths of a second in an extraordinarily close finish in a race walk to win the silver medal.
We finished with the 60m sprints where Finn Roddy won his heat of the u/16 boys 60m to qualify comfortably for the final. In the final, he blasted aggressively from the blocks to put himself right in contention but in a near-blanket finish with only hundredths separating the top places, he finished fifth in an extremely close race but can be very proud of his efforts in his first National Indoor final and knows that the experience will stand to him and he can only improve in future competitions. Also competing in the sprints was Quyen Bartley (u/17 girls 60m) and Barry Walsh (u/17 boys 60m) who both competed strongly but didn’t qualify from their very competitive heats.
Sunday opened with the 200m where Kyle Faherty and Barry Walsh lined up for the heats of the u/17 boys 200m. With three heats and only the winner of each and the next three fastest times advancing to the final, qualification was always going to be difficult. Undeterred, Kyle blasted around the tight indoor bends to finish second in a close race and it looked like he had done enough to qualify for the final. However, his celebration was short-lived as unfortunately he was disqualified for a lane infringement on the second bend in a very close call. This was a very unexpected end to his indoor season but Kyle will learn from the experience. Barry had contested an earlier heat where he put in a good effort but didn’t advance to the final.
Scott Cogan ran a very smart heat on the u/14 boys 800m where he kept in touch with the leading group and with a terrific final lap brought himself rapidly though the field into second place to qualify for the final. The final was held in the afternoon and though Scott ran a good bit quicker he had to settle for a place out of the medals in sixth place, but this is a fine result in a National final.
The u/18 girls 800m was a straight final and on the start line for Mullingar was Aimee Wallace and Grace Byrne. Aimee and Grace settled into the pack but at the halfway point Aimee moved quickly to cover a break at the front. Running hard over the second half, especially over the final lap, Aimee pushed the leader all the way to the finish and a new Championship Record, with Aimee close behind in second place in a new PB of 2 minutes 12.17 seconds, which was also inside the previous Championship Record. Grace ran very well and finished strongly out of the medals on this occasion.
This finished the indoor season with two silver medals for Aimee Wallace, silver medals for Daniel Glennon and Andrew Glennon, and bronze medals for Grace Byrne and John Glennon, and great efforts from the rest of the Mullingar athletes that competed.