Southsiders rule Leinster

by Stephen Findlater
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SOUTH Dublin athletes were in superb form at the the Leinster Schools Track & Field Championships in Santry on Saturday featured many gold medal performances from DSD athletes representing their schools.
Double gold was scored by St Michael’s College’s Ciaran Carthy at intermediate level in two of the toughest events on the day, 400m and 400m hurdles.
Carthy sailed through the first event, the hurdles, winning easily in 58.61, and then had the physical strength and character to win the 400m later in the day, in a personal best of 50.95.
In the middle and long distance races, DSD athletes were in dominant mood. In the seniors, Jodie McCann followed her great run in Solihull last week over 1,500m, in 4.26.24, with a comprehensive sprint to victory over the last 300m.
Abbie Taylor led from the gun in the intermediate 3,000m in wet and windy conditions throughout the race. She never seemed to move from second gear and did not let the conditions deter her, winning by a large margin, in 10.15.59.
Colaiste Iosgain’s Niamh Carey had perhaps the hardest race of the day as she clung to the leader, Izzy Carron, who was returning to top form.
Carey had to wait until the final 50m to produce a great sprint to the line which guaranteed gold and qualification to the All-Ireland Schools on June 4 with a time of 10.20.13.
Mount Anville’s Niamh Gowing followed her third place in the 100m hurdles with gold in the 400m version as she led from the gun to the tape. Gowing’s fluent hurdling style allowed her to coast home over the last hurdle in 64.24.
St Benildus’s James Maguire, who is under age again next year, was not daunted by the task in hand in the senior boys 1,500m, as he sprinted to the front with 500m to go.
He ran out of steam in the finishing straight but managed to qualify for the All-Irelands in third place, in 4.03.26.
Seamus Fenton, from Colaiste Eoin, caused a huge upset in the 200m inter boys as he tore through the first 150m with a five metre lead into the finishing straight.
The favourite, Joseph Finnegan Murphy, who won the 100m earlier in the day, closed up over the last 50m, but Fention had sufficient space in hand to hold on for victory in 23.17, adding to his fourth in the 100m in 11.88.
Loreto Dalkey’s Mollie O’Reilly took her place in lane seven of the senior girls’ 400m despite missing training over the past month due to knee injury.
She showed her usual great strength of character as she led for most of the race, only running into oxygen debt over the final 60m, and holding on for second place in 56.15, to qualify for All-Ireland Schools.
St Mary’s James Holden, who makes the senior 400m again next year, ran a personal best while finishing third in 49.79.

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