Ballyroan-Abbeyleix runner Sorcha Moloney was the big Laois winner at the All Ireland schools Track and Field finals in Tullamore today – as she took gold with a brilliant performance in the senior girls 3000m final.
Running in the colours of her school Presentation Thurles she was part of the leading group for the entire race and was second behind Grace Carson from Cookstown High School in Tyrone as the bell rang for the final lap.
But Moloney had more in the legs, and a la Sonia O’Sullivan all those years ago, she kicked on with 200m to go for a hugely impressive win in the end, three seconds clear out in front.
Moloney later went in the 1500m race where she finished just outside the medals in fourth, a little over half a second from Kate Nurse from Newbridge College. The winner of that 1500m race was Sarah Healy from Holy Child Killiney in a time of 4.18.32, a new national record for that event.
Other Laois medal winners on the day included Ruby Millet from St Abban’s who took silver in the senior girls 100m hurdles representing her school Kilkenny College.
Scoil Chriost Ri’s Ava O’Connor was second in the junior girls 1500m while Mountmellick CS student Grainne Lalor took bronze in the junior girls 200m and also competed in the 100m race.
Among the other Laois athletes in the high-standard event were Jena Joha from Colaiste Iosagain in Portarlington in the senior girls Triple Jump while Ger Kelly from Knockbeg was sixth in the senior boys Hammer, an event that Lucas Culliton – from Killenard but competing for Cistercian Roscrea – was fifth in.
Arguably the hard-luck story of the day was that of Colin Kelly, the Knockbeg student that competed in the junior boys 80m Hurdles and 200m. He finished 6th in the 200m and was an agonising 1/100th of a second outside the medals in the hurdles.