Eight Laois athletes travelled to Leixlip on Friday night to compete at the Junior Leinster Track & Field championships. Despite having relatively low numbers in attendance, the Laois athletes came home with a total of 12 medals between them.
Ballyroan AC athlete, Avril Deegan was first up for Laois, and showed everyone what class really is. Avril dominated the junior ladies 3,000m race, easily holding first place from start to finish and taking the first Laois medal of the night.
She followed this up later in the evening with an equally impressive first place finish in the junior ladies 800m race, making it look effortless.
St Abban’s AC had three athletes competing in the field events on the night, taking four medals home between them, and showing how strong they are at the jumps.
David Baldwin was the first to compete, and took the third Laois gold by winning the junior men’s triple jump competition.
Mathew Rossiter followed David’s success and took the second position in the triple jump. Not content with this, he then went on to take a third place finish in the junior men’s Long-jump as well.
The final St Abbans athlete of the night, and the only other Laois girl competing, was Laura Graham. Never one to be out done be the men, Laura took on the junior ladies triple jump and came first, proving for anyone who doubted it, that the Laois girls are a force to be reckoned with.
Mountmellick AC had four athletes in attendance.
First was Niall Bracken who took on the 400m hurdles. Fresh from his silver medal success at last week’s U-19 competition in Tullamore, he repeated this performance with another second place finish last night, and Mountmellick’s first medal of the meeting.
Next up for Mountmellick was Adam Holden in the junior men’s 800m race. Adam started slowly from the gun, reaching the first bend in fifth place, and held this position for the first 500m. As others were tiring at the final bend, Adam took on the race and made up four places on the final straight, finishing the race in second place and taking Mountmellicks second silver medal.
The final event of the night, the junior men’s 4x400m relay saw four Mountmellick athletes take the final four Laois medals of the night. Adam was first out of the blocks and held and maintained second place for the first 400, passing the baton to Carl Deans. Carl took on the race, and initially moved into first position. Tiring slightly towards the end of his 400m leg, he passed the baton to Romeo Ncube in second place, who again made a strong attempt to put Mountmellick into first position. Niall Bracken was on the final leg of the relay and finished the race in the silver position keeping two other teams behind him for the full lap.
A great night for all Laois athletes, showing how athletics in the county is going from strength to strength.