Akers sets out to defend hammer and discus titles

RACHEL AKERS (Scariff CC), who won both the senior girls discus and hammer at the Kit Kat Irish schools championships in Tullamore last year, begins to defend her titles at CIT in Bishopstown tomorrow at the Kit Kat Munster schools championships, starting at 9.30am.

The Scariff girl holds all the hammer records and appears set to make a huge impact in the event over the coming years.

Among the athletes bringing down the curtain on their school sporting careers is Andrew Ledwith (North Mon) who had a superb run in the junior race at the world cross-country championships in Brussels last March.

Like fellow international Mark Christie who broke the national junior 3,000m record last week, he has not concentrated on the track up to now, but will have an interesting race when he lines up for the senior boys 5,000m alongside another junior international from last cross-country season, Jamie McCarthy (Kinsale CS), who won the this event at the Irish schools championships last year.

In last year’s Irish schools final, McCarthy beat Colm Turner (Villiers) by almost four seconds and the latter will also line up tomorrow when they will be joined by Mark Hanrahan (Douglas CS) and Timmy O’Donoghue (Midleton CBS) in an exciting race.

Rory Chesser (Rice College, Ennis) was runner-up in the Intermediate schools 3,000m last year and will be back in action as well, while in the senior boys 1,500m, Philip Conway (Waterpark) and William Hughes (Thurles VS) will be battling it out.

Last year’s Irish schools junior 1,500m champion, David McCarthy (St Augustine’s), is in the intermediate 800m as well as the 1,500m and will be difficult to beat in whichever event he concentrates on although Ciaran O Lionaird (DLS, Macroom), if fully fit, will be out to make a big impression in the 1,500m with Brian Markham (St Flannan’s) also qualified for the 800m and 1,500m.

Orla O’Callaghan (Presentation, Bandon), Amy Clarke (Regina Mundi) and Louise Nicholson (Pallaskenry) will feature in the senior girls’ sprints with Aoife Cooke (Coláiste Choilm), Elaine Fitzgerald (Pres, Tralee) and Marian Halley (Ursuline, Thurles) set to battle it out in the senior 3,000m.

Anne Marie Cronin (Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig), who won the Irish schools intermediate hammer last year, and her sister, Linda, who won the junior title, will be in action together this time.

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