The senior girls’ 800m and 1500m races will be one of the most exciting competitions of the day with all eyes sure to be on Ciara Mageean, Assumption Ballynahinch. Ciara has had an outstanding year so far with impressive victories both at cross country and indoors. Her stiffest competition will come in the 800m where she will have to contend with Ciara Everard, Presentation Kilkenny.
Another exciting race will be in the 1500m Inter Boys’ where Shane Quinn, De La Salle Waterford, is the favourite but he will have to be at his best to hold off the challenge from the Monaghan Twins from Newry, Patrick and Andrew, and Stephen Attride, Knockbeg College, the Leinster Champion.
The Senior Boys’ 1500m will be another opportunity to see an emerging talent in Paul Robinson, Scoil Dara Kilcock. Paul has dominated underage middle distance running so far this season with several impressive performances including 3.50.95 at the GV Ryan Meet last Friday. Others to watch out for in the middle distances are Graham Power, Presentation Carlow, and Conor Turner, St Aidan’s CBS, in the Junior Boys’ 1500m.
Jake Byrne, St Joseph’s Rochfortbridge, will be hoping to add the Inter Boys’ 3000m title to his collection but will be challenged by the much improved, Liam Brady, St Brendan’s Birr, and Tommy Casey, Sligo Grammar School.
John Travers, Inchicore College, had a great run in the Leinster 5000m when he beat the favourite Liam Tremble, Coolmine Community School. This time he has James O’Hare, St Patrick’s Downpatrick, Ryan Creech, Glanmire CC, and Conor Rochford, Abbey CC, to contend with.
In the Inter Girls’ sprints Joan Healy, Colaiste na Toirbhirte Bandon and Sarah Lavin, Castletroy College, will resume their duel which started two weekends ago at the Munster Schools’ with each winning a race by the narrowest of margins.
The 2008 championships could be called the year of the 400m with outstanding talents like Brian Gregan and Curtis Woods leading the way. This year sees another outstanding young talent in Joanna Mills, Ballyclare High School, in the 300m. Last year Joanna set a new mark of 39.19 seconds and will be hoping to better that this year. In the Senior Boys’ 400m Billy Ryan, De La Salle Waterford, and Jason Harvey, Campbell College, are both in excellent form and could push one another to new marks.
In the hurdle events the 110m should be a great race with the winner coming from any one of Ben Reynolds, Sullivan Upper, Edmond O’Halloran, Rochestown College, Conor McCrossan, Castleknock College, and Ian Durkin, Davitt College.
In the field events there are many exciting young talents on show with competition for medals high. Early in the morning watch out for Killian Barry, Belvedere College, in the Senior Boys’ Hammer where his greatest threat will come from schoolmate, Conal Campion.
The Senior Girls’ Hammer has another potential star in Aoife Hickey, Loreto Kilkenny. Aoife on form could threaten the record.
Kourash Foroughi, Gormanston College, set a new record of 2.12m in the Leinster Schools’ Senior Boys’ High Jump. I am sure if the conditions are right he could make an attempt on this one as well. In the Inter Girls’ Long Jump we have the exciting Joanna Mills, Ballyclare High School, as well as Sally Maughan, St Joseph’s Castlebar, and Rachel Healy, Alexandra College. Again the record must be in danger.
In the Senior Girls’ we look forward to the performances of Clare Fitzgerald, Presentation Tralee, in the Shot and Discus. Darragh Hanlon, Cistercian Roscrea, and Eanna O’Cathain, Carraroe Comprehensive, look to do battle in the Senior Boys’ Discus.
Many trophies both individual and team will be on offer on the day and will be eagerly sought after. This year we are introducing a new trophy for the “Athlete of the Meeting”. It is “The Lar Byrne Memorial Cup” in memory of a great coach who sadly passed away this year. The presentation will be made at the conclusion of the championships