The Tailteann Games Schools’ Interprovincial took place at the Morton Stadium in Santry, Dublin, on Saturday 23rd June and the only thing more fierce than the temperature was the competition for medals and the chance of a place on the Irish team at the Schools International (SIAB) in July.
Rachel McCann (Sullivan Upper), continues to go from strength to strength this summer and was full of confidence having been recently selected for the Irish team going to the European Youth Olympics festival in early July. Rachel was named as Ulster girls’ team captain and lead by example with yet another impressive performance. She went out hard over the first 100m of her 300m race and lead from gun to tape to duck under 40sec for the first time, taking gold in 39.77s and earning her place on the SIAB team and a spot in the top 5 in the UK. Later she was given too much to do on the anchor leg of the 4x300m relay and brought the Ulster quartet home in 3rd with 2:51.8.
Another athlete to book his place on the SIAB team was multi-eventer, Troy McConville (Craigavon Senior HS). In only his third pole vault competition, Troy added another 20cm to his PB and cleared 4.00m for the first time to win gold by an emphatic 40cm. Later, he equalled his PB in the high jump, as he cleared 1.90m for silver behind the Irish Schools champion and record holder.
For the second consecutive year, Amy Kimber (Sullivan Upper) had to run between the discus circle and javelin runway as they took place at the same time. In the discus (1kg) she had a very consistent series of throws, the best of which sailed out to yet another new PB of 31.18m for 4th place, while in the javelin (500g) she only had time for three throws and finished 9th with a best effort of 25.67m.
The sweltering conditions were far from ideal for the middle distance runners, however, Jakob Swann (Bangor Grammar) ran a good 800m race in a big field to finish 6th in another fast time of 2:00.84 while Faye Nixon (Strathearn) saved her best throw for last in the shot putt (3kg), when she threw 10.32m to finish 9th.
Parallel Success Open Meet
Eve Dann (T36) competed in the 200m at the British Athletics Parallel Success Open Meet in Newham, London where, despite a headwind, she ran 15.03s (-2.5) for the 100m and she shaved a fraction off her PB in the 200m (-1.0) with 31.34s.
Mannheim Junior Gala
Meanwhile, Aaron Sexton traveled to Germany as part of a small Irish team to compete against U20 athletes from around Europe and further afield in the Mannheim Junior Gala. Aaron won his 100m heat in 10.59s to qualify for the ‘A’ Final where he disappointly finished 6th in 10.72s. Later he ran the second leg of the 4x100m relay that set a new Irish Junior record of 40.30s which was almost a full second inside the World Junior qualifying standard.