Ruarcan O’Gibne and Tara Meier with coaches Liam Cooney and Colin McHugh at the schools Internationals in Santry.
It's been an exciting few months for Boyne A.C. athletes Tara Meier and Ruarcan O'Gibne, with months of hard work and determination that finally culminated in the opportunity to represent their country on home soil.
The Schools International Athletics Championships is the target for all athletes hoping to make it onto the international stage, and for these two outstanding athletes, their place on the Irish team was well and truly deserved.
Their schools championships journey began back in April, as they contested the North Leinster competition, where a 2nd place finish for Meier in the 80m Hurdles saw her mark her return to competitive action following a serious ankle injury last year.
O'Gibne, chasing a second international appearance, easily won the 800m race. The Leinster Championships followed in May, where Tara upped her game to take victory in the hurdles, securing her place in the Tailteann games, the qualifying event for the international competition.
Ruarcan ran a super race to take silver, and also qualified for the Tailteann games. Fast forward to the games in June, where a nerve wracking photo finish decision awarded Tara a second place finish, with the top three all crossing the line in identical times! But, more importantly, securing her place on the Irish team for the International competition!!
Likewise, a second place finish for Ruarcan in a super new PB time of 1.57.05, also saw him qualify for the International games, for the second time, having represented Ireland in 2016 in the Steeplechase, winning the bronze medal.
With just a few weeks to recover, and slap bang in the middle of the Athletics Ireland National Championships calendar, it was off to the Morton Stadium in Santry on Saturday last for the Schools International Athletics Championships, which this year was hosted by Ireland.
With the top athletes at intermediate age level from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland all battling it out over a variety of disciplines, the day made for some seriously competitive action, a joy for the large crowd of spectators in attendance.
O'Gibne was first to take to the track, where in a tough field of middle distance athletes, he held his own and ran a super 1.59.05 to finish in sixth place overall, with his family members and coach Liam Cooney proudly looking on.
Tara then made her International debut in the Ireland vest, and looked cool and calm as she set up her blocks and got ready to race. From start to finish, Tara glided over each hurdle with ease, making it seem effortless for this talented young lady as she crossed the line in 11.77secs.
With first and second place clearly taken by the two athletes from England, there then ensued another agonising wait as third place was deliberated by the judges, some serious nail biting and various opinions from all the Boyne AC coaches and Tara’s supporters could not call it, but all were hopeful that she would be awarded third, and indeed she was!
Standing proudly on the podium to accept her bronze medal, there was many a tear in her proud parents’ eyes, and that of her coach Colin McHugh, and with two more years at this age level, this is surely just the first of many international medals to come for this young lady.