Aaron Bradshaw was the big winner on a day of outstanding success for Leitrim athletes at the Western Region U14 to 19 and Senior/Masters Track & Field at IT Sligo last Saturday.
Aaron won a remarkable five gold medals on the day while Lara Mulvaney Kelly won four golds as North Leitrim AC dominated the walks and throwing events in the older age groups.
There were also some nationally ranked performances from Carrick AC sprinters Alannah McGuinness and Toyosi Fagbo with Alannah producing perhaps the closest finish of the day when winning by four thousands of a second in the U18 100m.
Connacht officials, however, may take a future look at the event, it's timing and participation rules with a very poor turnout of competitors, particularly in the older age groups as athletes took advantage of a ruling that allows them qualify for nationals provided they are entered in their provincial finals.
Top winner on the day was North Leitrim’s Aaron Bradshaw who won gold medals in the U19 400m hurdles, 3,000m steeplechase, triple jump, hammer and discus in quite a remarkable spread of events, something emulated by his clubmates.
Lara Mulvaney Kelly completed a throwing clean sweep as she won the U17 Shot, discus, javelin and hammer while Nathan Cassidy won gold in the U19 Shot and Javelin to go with silvers in the triple jump, hammer & discus.
The U19 events also saw Oisin Carolan place second in the shot and javelin and third in the triple jump, hammer and discus while there were also throwiing victories for Dean Williams (U14 Hammer & Discus), Edward Mitchell (U15 Hammer), Sara O’Beirne (U15 Hammer), Helen Verachtert (U16 Javelin) and Niamh Carolan (U16 Discus).
Carrick AC had a number of notable winners with Toyosi Fagbo winning the U16 100m & 200m titles by a distance while Alannah McGuinness did at the same at U18 level, winning the shorter race by 0.004 of a second head of Longford’s Yemi Talabi.
Carrick’s Clive Glancy stepped down from the marathon to lead everyone home in the 3,000m with clubmate Eoghan Farrell returning to competition for the first time since November to claim a bronze medal in the U18 event.
There were also gold medals for Ellis Conway (U19 800m), Cathal McElgunn (Senior 400m), Lauren Reynolds (U17 3,000m) and Daniel Bosquette (U17 Javelin) as well as medals for Fionn O’Brien (2nd U19 1,500m) and Jack Keenehan (3rd U17 Long Jump).
Ballinamore AC's Matthew Lee was a close second in the U14 walk while Saoirse McWeeney of Mohill ran a strong race in the U14 Girls 800m to finish seventh.
Other medal winners not already mentioned included North Leitrim’s William Hodson, Rachel Keaney and Cormac Fahy while Dean Willian, Sara & Susanne O’Beirne, Edward Mitchell, Niamh Carolan, Sarah Brady, Darragh Mitchell, Eugene Doherty, John Fallon and Helen Verachtert all won other medals on the day.
It completes the Connacht Track & Field programme for the year with the Nationals still to come.