An historic day in Irish athletics and Ennis Track AC played a significant part by competing in the first competition to be held at the Sports Ireland National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown on Saturday. The newly opened venue welcomed the first athletes for the National Indoor Club League Final, which Ennis Track qualified for in third position over two earlier rounds. The top 8 teams in the country then arrived on Saturday to battle out for national glory & qualification for European competition.
The day began positively with Jemil Saidi leaping 5.85m for a sixth place finish in the long jump. Alex Conway continued this steady start with a fine third place in the shot putt. Martin Curley added further points finishing fourth in the 60m hurdles. The youngest member of the team, Ben Deasy performed well in the 1500m, claiming 5th, an excellent result in a senior race for an athlete who is yet to turn 16.
Jemil Saidi completed his second event of the day, running a solid 7.57sec in the 60m. Tony Odubote stormed to a fantastic second place finish in the 400m in 50.01sec, & Damien Landers replicated that result in the 800m, which moved Ennis into contention to challenge. Martin Curley was 6th in the high jump while Cathal O’Brien finished in 5th in the triple jump with 11.72m.
Shawn Benson continued his recent good form, claiming 6th in the 200m. The final event of the day was the 4×200 relay, which produced one of the most exciting races of the day, where the Ennis Track team consisting of Tony Odubote, Shawn Benson, Cathal O’Brien and Jemil Saidi, stormed home in a terrific 3rd position in a time of 1:31:78. This result, in a senior national competition final, is made more impressive by the fact that 3 of the team members are age 17 or younger.
As the total points were added, Ennis Track finished the day in sixth position, an incredible result for a club that had entered the competition this year for the first time ever.