In a sun kissed Santry stadium, Stepaside ETSS shone a bright light at the East Leinster Schools Track and Field event today. Our school has created a new tradition. With lots of determination, the athletes from the South County have led the way forward for future events of such nature.
Thanks to a lot of hard graft behind the scenes by coaches Sallie Ennis and Ross McNerney, our athletes well and truly showed true grit today. Besides the effort shown on the track, many remarked on the Olympic spirit shown by our sport stars both prior and post-race. This writer witnessed handshakes and congratulations offered to rival athletes; old friendships rekindled; and most importantly very vocal support for their peers.
Nicole ran an incredible race and was placed 4th in her sprint. She narrowly missed out on qualification for the next round and she is well on her way to great things on the track in the near future. Kuba gave great service to the school in the Minor hurdle event. He can be hugely proud of his performance and like Nicole is one for the future in this discipline.
Cian also narrowly lost out on qualification in the 500m event with a very strong finish. This writer is of the opinion that with further training and a step up in distance would bear fruit. Mallaidh and Alannah gave trojan performances in this event and were both hugely unlucky. Mallaidh got boxed in quite early which cost her in the run in for home. While Alannah, reminiscent of Grimm’s Cinderella, discarded half of her footwear in the early stages of the race.
A fairy tale meeting for Stepaside continued with Dylan who showed a great start in his 500m event. A shortening of trip may also be on the cards for this local man. The school has a lot to be hopeful for per the performances of Dominic and Guy in the 1100m. With temperatures reaching 20 degrees for this event, this pair of first timers can take many positives from today.
Runs from Kelly, Ben, Bilal, Shannon, Kyle, Manuel and Sadbh showed a sample of the talent we have in our school. Indeed further training and focus on these events will lead to greater success.
Finally, Matthew’s performance in the 1500 is one that had the entire group of spectators on their feet cheering. His 6th place performance was one for the ages. While he did not conquer today he fought well and truly captured the spirit of all that is good in athletics. The teachers who accompanied the athletes were absolutely thrilled with performances, the effort shown and the exemplary behaviour displayed by this group of students. Not only were they athletes, but wonderful ambassadors for our school and Educate Together Secondary Schools as a whole. The future is indeed bright.
By Thomas Cashin