Getting the 2018 Track & Field off to a start, the Athletics Louth Pre-Championships took place recently in the Lourdes Stadium. A glorious day made for a very welcome change to the months of bad weather, and saw record numbers of athletes from across Louth compete in a variety of events. Opening the competition, a heartwarming tribute to young Killian Ekhator was delivered by Athletics Louth chairman Micheal Mulligan, followed by a minutes clap from all those present in memory of this talented young man who passed away recently. It was then down to the business of the day, and getting the ball rolling for Boyne A.C., Nathan Robertson secured the first medal of the day with a silver in the 60m sprint. Next to the track, Edison Ekhator certainly proved he is following in his brothers footsteps with a super win in his 80m sprint. In the girls u10 sprint, Chloe Cooney, recovering well from injury took a fine silver, while in the boys race it was a one/two for Boyne with Calum Byrne taking the win followed closely by Cormac McEvoy in silver position. The u11s also dominated the podium with Sholah Lawrence winning the girls 80m as did Oliver Carolan in the boys race, with Alex Robertson hot on his heels in second. Shea O’Donnell, more known for his distance running, took a fine silver in the u12 boys sprint, with clubmate Sean Cummins also gracing the podium in 3rd place. Alex Devine is putting his sprint training to good use as he stormed to victory in the u13 boys 80m, followed closely by Amitesh Bala who finished in the bronze medal position. Saran Meite clocked a superb 12.9 seconds for her 100m sprint to easily take gold, while in the boys race, Neil Culhane ran well to take silver. Lily Cummins and Anna Faulkner, also better known for their distance events both took podium places in the u15 sprint, finishing 1st and 3rd respectively, while in the u17 girls race, Subomi Oladimeji ran well to take bronze. No stranger to the podium, albeit usually in middle distance, Ruuarcan O’Gibne clocked 11.6s to take gold in the u19 boys 100m. The longer distance races were the next events on the track, and once again, Boyne featured heavily in the medal haul. Nathan Robertson was back for more taking another silver in the boys u8 300m, and in the u10 girls 500m, Chloe Cooney took the gold medal, followed closely by Ally Fennell who took silver, while in the boys race, it was silver for Tadgh Forde Dunne. Sholah Lawrence was her usual smiley self as she sailed across the line winning the u11 600m, while int he boys race a super sprint in the last 20m saw Alex Robertson surge from 3rd to 1st, with Lorcan Forde Dunne taking the second spot. Eimear Cooney ran a strong race to finish 2nd in the girls u13 600m, while it was an easy win for Shea O’Donnell in the boys race, with Emmet McEvoy running well to take 3rd place. Boyne were back on the podium in the boys u13 race, with a silver medal finish for Paddy Price and club mate Caelan Quinn taking the bronze. The u14 girls had two laps of the track to race, with Eabha Cosgrove and Saran Meite taking silver and bronze respectively, while in the boys race, Danny Nugent topped the podium, with Neil Culhane taking the silver. In the u15 girls race Caer NiGhibne stormed to victory in a super 2.26.9, with Anna Faulkner close behind in second in a time of 2.34.8. Calum Sheedy and Christian Quinn shared the podium as they took 1st and 3rd place in the boys u16 800m, while in the u17 boys race, Tom Cummins led the way from the gun taking a well earned gold. Toms sister Eva also took gold in the u19 girls race, as did Ruarcan O’Gibne, clocking a speedy 2.02.7 for his efforts, with Tadgh Everitt Thompson running well to finish 3rd. To the field events then , and again Boyne displayed their prominence. Caoimhe Martin got things off to a great start with a gold in the u10 turbo javelin, throwing 11.07m, while teammate Ally Fennell threw 9.7m to take bronze. Oliver Carolan moved up an age to take silver in the u12 Turbo, with a fine throw of 20.72, and also took silver in the u11 long jump, with a jump of 3.69m. It was another gold for Edison Ekhator as he jumped 2.83 to take gold in the u10 boys event, while Naiya Semple jumped 2.50 to take silver in the girls long jump. Gold went to Aaron Fennell as he reached 4.12m in the u13 boys long jump and he also took bronze in the u14 boys Shot Putt, while Cathal Monaghan had a 4.51 long jump in the u15 boys to take bronze. An exciting day of athletics drew to a close with the sun still shining down, and the promise of great things to come from Boyne A.C. in the Championships proper due to take place in two weeks time.