Action all the way at Irishtown today – once the stadium had decided to open up at 10am for a 10am start. Dublin CC don’t cover themselves in glory in the way they manage the centre. The control and organisation of the day otherwise went smoothly with an experienced cadre of officials assisted by various people hooked in from the clubs – me included.

Crusaders have around 50 youngsters in action over the two days. Today they threw themselves into their events with their usual enthusiasm. For some of the newer ones it was a baptism of fire, especially on the track. Even for some of the ‘old hands’ i.e. those that have been with us for the 10 months or so since the Open Day that kick started the junior section, it was not all success by any means. And the club has a big part to play in helping those young athletes to continue to enjoy their athletics when they are not winning.

But we had a steady stream of finalists and even medalists. Isabel O’Leary found herself on the podium for long jump and (I think) 60m, with hopefully more to come tomorrow in her throws. Niamh Ferry and Emily Shiels made their sprint final. Orla Murray was third in long jump. Alix Hughes returned from her 80m final to take her last five discus throws in succession and won the gold.

There may have been other successes but I was skipping around the outfield after discuses most of the day. As I have said before the Dublin throwing talent pool is low. Most of that talent lies with Phil Conway’s older Crusader lads, though Raheny and Fingallians are doing their best to raise the standard. Sarah Fleming – not throwing well at present, had a free pass in the U18W shot and discus with little opposition apart from Niamh McCarthy. We’ve not seen Niamh at Irishtown for many months, but she is nevertheless throwing very nicely and put out a best 28-metre throw today to progress to Tullamore together with Sarah.

Fair play to Dublin – they keep alive race walking in these championships. This arcane branch of the sport is relatively strong in Ireland with two senior athletes competing at world level. Today however a total of four girls turned out. The first two were just about passable but the last girl on the track looked as if she was walking down Grafton Street with her shopping. Reminded me of how we at Jersey Spartan used to encourage our athletes (including my poor daughter one year) to fill up spare time at the Hampshire Championships by picking up cheap medals in the walks.

So onto tomorrow and what may transpire.

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