Athletics News Roundup

Hazelwood College Athletic First Term Round Up

The first term was a very busy and what turned out to be a very successful one for the Hazelwood athletes. The season kicked off with the Munster Schools Indoor Combined Events. This event requires the athletes to compete over five events, after which their points would be tallied. Hazelwood had four athletes compete at the competition, Kevin O Leary, Laoise Bennis, Gerard O’Donnell and Alison Healy, all four athletes competed very well, all four had personal best performances; Alison got a personal best in the Hurdles in a time of 11.55 and the shot, where she threw 7.06m. This was Gerard O Donnell’s first time doing this competition, but he performed admirable, achieving personal best in the 60m hurdles (12.14 seconds) , the 800m (2:41.5) and the 200m (28.30 seconds). Kevin O’Leary was competing his first year U17 so had a stiff competition to qualify. He ran close to his personal best in the hurdles (9.25 seconds) and ran a new personal best in the 200m (27.20 seconds), the hurdles bagging him close to a massive 700points. Laoise Bennis was on form on the day and despite suffering with shin splints she got 4 personal bests out of the five events: Hurdles (10.09 seconds), shot (7.15m), high jump (1.55m) and the 800m (2:43.7 min). This fantastic performance was enough to secure her first place as Munster Champion and secured her qualification for the Irish School Combined Events Finals in Athlone IT. Despite their fantastic performances Kevin, Alison and Gerard all narrowly missed out on qualification.

Laoise went on to compete in the Irish School Combined Events Finals in Atlone IT International Arena on Saturday the 15th of November. With a place on the national team for the top four places at stake, Laoise opened the completion well, reducing her personal best over the hurdles to 9.93 seconds. Next up was the shot putt where she had a solid throw of 7m. However, issues with her run-up on the long jump meant she only got 4.39m with 2 foul jumps close to 5m. A consistent jump in the high jump of 1.54m meant that she was going into the 800m in fifth place and a real chance of getting onto the national team. But some fantastic runs from her competitors meant that she finished in eighth place. Despite her narrow miss, it was a fantastic achievement.

Among the most impressive results of the first term were those of Noelle Lenihan, who competed in the Cork and Waterford para game. Noelle competed in the shot putt, discus and javelin, winning gold in all events. The most impressive aspect about her in that the games are open to all ages and, as 15 year old, she had to compete against adults to secure her medals. Noelle is now waiting for classification to be able to compete in further para games, with the possibility of making the national team and representing Ireland in international competition.

On the 21st of October, a group of 38 Hazelwood athletes travelled to Fota Wildlife Park to compete in the Munster Schools Orienteering League. This was the first time that Hazelwood had competed at the competition, so much was learned by many of those competing. Hazelwood’s best finishers, on what turned out to be an extremely wet and windy day, were Amy O Sullivan and Rosin Normoyle who did fantastically to finish in seventh and eighth places respectively in the First Year Girls’ Competition. Cory Knipe and Douglas Woolam came in fourteenth and fifteenth place in the Second Year Boys’ Competition. Hazelwood’s athletes faced crowded fields, manned by more experienced athletes, so this was an excellent result for compete beginners and bodes well for future orienteering events.

With an action packed first term packed with some fantastic performances, the second term look promising. This term we have the cross country, outdoor schools and more orienteering action.

Watch this space.

Picture 1: Laoise Bennis with the gold medal for first place in the Munster Schools’ Indoor Combined Events.

Picture 2: The Hazelwood College team who participated in the Munster Schools’ Indoor Combined Events. Pictured are (left to right) Alison Healy, Laoise Bennis, Kevin O’Leary and Gerard O’Donnell.

Picture 3: Hazelwood College’s Noelle Lenihan with the three gold medals she won in the Paralympic Games Cork Regional Final and the three medals she won in the Paralympic Munster Finals, which she won for Discus, Shot Putt and Javelin.

Picture 4: Hazelwood College’s Athletics team which travelled to Fota Wildlife Park to compete in the Munster Schools’ Orienteering League. Hazelwood College students Amy O’Sullivan and Rosin Normoyle came seventh and eighth respectively in the First Year Girls’ Competition while Corey Knipe and Douglas Woolam came fourteenth and fifteenth respectively in the Second Year Boys’ Competition