Major congratulations are due to Jack O’Leary (Poetry), who won Gold at yesterday’s (30th May) All Ireland Schools’ Athletics in the Senior 2000m steeplechase. In a pacy and tactical race, he showed great maturity and tenacity to beat a high-class field. News of Jack’s success will come as no surprise to those of us who have been following his career over the last few years and comes hot on the heels (as it were) of his European successes last December (here) and his Leinster Senior Cross Country title in February (here).
Jack’s development into an international class athlete has been steady. He has shown tremendous promise, potential and dedication since his arrival in Clongowes and has brought many medals and honours back to the college from cross country, track and tetrathlon events. In fact, Jack has been a medal winner at all three All Ireland Schools finals he has been eligible to attend.
Following a medal winning performance at the All Ireland Club Cross Country in November Jack secured his berth on the Irish team for the Europeans in December. What makes this achievement even more impressive is that he had only just turned seventeen and has two more years to compete in this European ‘Junior’ category. Prior to this, perhaps his greatest achievement was capturing the All Ireland Schools Under 16 Mile title in 2013. As he is still underage age next year, perhaps he can complete his hat trick!
Mr Shane Heslin, Athletics Coach