By Paul O’Neill
The qualification started in late April at the District Championships before the provincial finals last month. Last Saturday, over 1200 athletes from 369 schools fought it out for the 122 titles on offer at the Irish Schools’ Championships held at the Tullamore stadium.
St Michael’s athlete, Jack O’Connor, has been in scintillating form since he pulled on a pair of spikes a little over two months ago. The young Belcoo athlete was very impressive and took the minor boys 100m and his first national title in 11.75 seconds.
After winning the Irish Schools’ junior boys cross country title, Sean Corry was the coolest person in the stadium as the race entered the back straight for the second time in the junior boys 800m.
While the St Michael’s followers watched on in awe, Corry was not alarmed with 250m to go and in 6th position, 15 metres off the leaders. One by one he picked them off and in the final 15 metres Corry hit the front and got up to take the win in a very impressive 2:02.07 ahead of long time leader Shay O’Donnell of St Mary’s Drogheda who took silver in 2.02.66 with Jack Delaney of Rathdowney in third in 2:03.16.
In the junior boys’ discus, Devenish College’s Oliver Polak’s put the pressure on his opponents right from the off as he launched the 1kg implement out to 39.52m in the first round, an effort which turned out to be the longest throw of the competition.
A superb performance from the young man in only his third ever competition-winning him a national title, winning by over 2.5 metres from Conor Quinn of Belvedere College who took silver with 36.89 while Oscar Naughton of PBC, Cork, took bronze with a best of 33.87.
There was further good news for St Michael’s College as they took the best overall minor boys title which was based on the performances of their athletes across the events in that age group.
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