15 Irish athletes have been named on the Irish Team for the European Youth Olympic Trials in Baku, Azerbaijan from the 30th of May to the 1st of June. The European trials also act as the qualifying event for the 2014 World Youth Olympic Games to be held in Nanjing, China in August.
The trials will bring together the best Youth Athletes (16/17 years of age) from all across Europe to compete in a variety of track and field events. The Irish team will be represented across the board with athletes competing in throws, jumps, sprints and middle distance events:
Elizabeth Morland (Cushinstown AC) who achieved the qualifying mark in three events (long jump, high jump and 100m hurdles) will contest the 100m hurdles event in Baku. Morland has enjoyed a fantastic 2014 season already including setting a national youth record in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.55.
Phoebe Murphy (Clonmel AC) and Roseanna McGuckian (City of Lisburn AC) were members of the gold medal winning relay team at the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Utrecht, Netherlands. Both athletes will use this experience as they contest the 200m events at this year’s championships.
Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) who struck gold over 800m at the 2013 EYOF’s will spearhead the middle-distance challenge in Baku as she contests the 800m event. William Crowe (North Sligo AC) another medallist from last year’s EYOF’s goes in the boy’s 1,500m event. Pierre Murchan (Celtic DCH) competed in the recent IMC race in Greystones (10th May) running a time of 8.38.01 in the 3,000m to bag himself the standard and a place on the team.
There will be seven throwers representing Ireland at the championships led by Michaela Walsh (Swinford AC) in the Shot Putt. Walsh has been in fine form this season producing a new championship best performance of 15.08m at the national juvenile championships in March. Ann-Marie Torsney (Fingallians AC) will join Walsh in the Shot Putt event as she threw a personal best of 13.06m to secure her place on the team.
Aoife Vaughan-Witts (Borriskane AC), James Williams (Shercock AC) and Adam King (Iveragh AC) will all contest the hammer event after achieving the required standard. Eoin Sheridan (North Westmeath) has enjoyed a breakthrough season including setting a new Irish Youth Record of 56.38m in early April. He is joined in the discus by Andrew Barkley (City of Lisburn AC) who has thrown 52.10m this year.
Donagh Mahon (Gowran AC) will lead the charge in the high jump and he will be joined in the event by Keith Marks (Cushinstown AC). Mahon has been in record breaking form this season setting a new Irish Youth Record of 2.10m in March. Mark’s has also been over 2m this year clearing 2.03m to secure his place on the team.
The Irish team’s preparations for the trials have included a warm weather training camp in Monte Gordo, Portugal in April. The camp was overseen by Junior High Performance
Manager Jacqui Freyne and provided athletes with an opportunity to fine-tune their form pre-season. Athletics Ireland would like to congratulate all athletes on their selection and wish them and their coaches the best of luck at the championships.