Brilliant medal haul for athletes.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

THERE was a brilliant medal haul at the Ulster Schools' Track and Field Championships for St Colman 's athletes.

There was gold for Miceal McCaul, gold for Jack O'Farrell, gold for David Corkey, gold for the 4 x 400 team and a new Ulster record.

There was silver for Eoghan Byrne, bronze for Conor O'Carroll.

It was simply a magnificent weekend for the College athletes at the championships over the weekend.

Miceal McCaul got the ball rolling on Friday night (18 May) with a gun to tape victory in the 3000m closely followed by the record breaking 4 x 400 team.

On Saturday (19 May) Conor O'Carroll took a marvellous bronze in the inter boys 400 at his debut in the event. Conor has another year in this age group and will be a force in this event at next year's championships.

His performance has now put him on the senior 4 x 400 squad who will be competing in the All Ireland's in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Next up was Eoghan Byrne who after an injury-ravaged winter was slowly getting back into form, and he duly delivered in the final of the 400m, producing his second ever fastest time to gain the silver medal and automatic qualification to the Irish finals, but perhaps more importantly reversing the Down Schools' result by relegating Aaron Hughes of Grosvenor Grammar into third place.

In the junior boys' 800 Leo Magee was desperately unlucky not to make it to the All Ireland finals being beaten out of the bronze in the last 40m. However, he again reduced his PB for the third race running.

The senior boys' 800m was always going to be a tactical affair, David Corkey was well placed at the bell.

After a slow opening first lap, he tracked his conqueror from the Belfast open meet, Andrew Hildritch down the back straight and made his move 70m from the tape, where his strength and speed were too much for the opposition as he won quite comfortably.

It was a fitting end to his Ulster Schools' athletics career where he has represented the College since Year 8 and culminating with his first individual title.

Our final action of the weekend was in the 1500m, where the College was represented by Callum McDonagh in the junior boys' and Jack O'Farrell in the senior boys'.

Callum's race went off at a hectic pace and the field was quickly spread out within 200m.

Callum did well to hang on to the pace and finished in 8th place, just shy of his PB.

Jack, after breaking four minutes for the metric mile recently in Greystones, was the overwhelming favourite for this race. However it is one thing being favourite and delivering on the day.

We need not to have worried, as Jack produced a masterclass in the art of 1500m racing, an opening 800m of 2.09 gave him a good lead going into the third 400m of the race.

A devastating change of pace from 800m to the 1100 mark gave him a 50m advantage as he took the bell and he maintained this lead comfortably, to give him his third Ulster Schools' track title in as many years.

So going forth to the All Ireland Schools in two weeks' time the College will have the biggest representation ever going to Tullamore for these prestigious championships.


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