Report by Siobhán Grant
Although the school year is only underway, the track and field season had one more event up its sleeve to tie up loose ends with the Ulster Schools, Combined Event Championships.
Given the success of the Newcastle AC junior squad within track and field this season, it was inevitable that local schools, Shimna Integrated College and St. Malachys High School would capitalise on this and give these young athletes an opportunity to represent their schools.
Team mates at club but now in completing schools, Eve McNamara, Shimna Integrated College and Maisie McVeigh, St Malachys High School, knew each other strengths well and took peace in knowing that amongst the other girls competing, they had each other’s support and reassuring smile.
Over the course of the day both girls took on the Long Jump, 70m hurdles, High Jump, Shot Putt and 800m.
After a long day of managing efforts, emotions and being challenged on a new level by other competitors Eve scored well in the Hurdles and 800m scoring 541 and 527 respectively to secure 11th place overall proving that her introduction into Multi-eventing this year is just the start of a promising future within this competition. Maisie saved her best for the last event of the day with one of the quickest 800m of the day, 2.43.50 for 533 points. Maisie performance on the track was notable and in line with her current form this season.
Fiachna McAleenan, St Malachys High School, who is the current NI and Ulster Pentathlon Champion was a little disgruntled that the boys competition didn’t include the High Jump. Unlike the girls events, the boys had a 3rd track event with the 200m instead. This change of event meant one of his stronger events had been sidelined. Not one to dwell much on things, Fiachna was ready to fight for his place and kicked off the day with strong performance on the hurdles securing 533 points. He continued throughout the day to perform consistently and a few minor errors on the long jump cost some valuable points. Scoring better than he had done in July over five events, Fiachna came home with 10th place, plenty of experience and the desire to come back fighting again next year.
Newcastle AC would like to thank both Shimna Integrated College and St.Malachy High School for affording these talented junior athletes the opportunity to part take in this multi event competition and represent their schools, especially so early on in the school year.