Ulster wing Sexton among the winners at Athletics Ireland awards

Thomas Barr was crowned Athlete of the Year at today’s ceremony in Dublin.

THOMAS BARR’S BRILLIANT European bronze earned him the Athletics Ireland Athlete of the Year award, while Ulster winger Aaron Sexton was also recognised with the Schoolboy Athlete of the Year accolade. 

Barr provided the moment of the year when he clocked the second fastest time of his life to claim bronze over the 400m hurdles at the European Championships in Berlin last August.

Thomas Barr celebrates finishing third Thomas Barr celebrates bronze in Berlin. Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

The 26-year-old’s performance earned him the top award, as well as the Track and Field Athlete of the Year gong, at this afternoon’s 2018 Irish Life/Athletics Ireland awards in Dublin.

Barr, who also won the award in 2016, saw off competition from Phil Healy, Leon Reid and Ciara Mageean, while the Women’s U20 4×100 relay team won the Team of the Year award.

The relay squad of Molly Scott (SLOT), Gina Akpe-Moses (Blackrock-Louth), Ciara Neville (Emerald) and Patience Jumbo-Gula (St Gerard’s Dundalk) and Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght) were recognised for their sensational silver at the IAAF World U20 Athletics Championships in Tampere, Finland. 

Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley) also won silver in the high jump at that championships, and she was duly named U20 Athlete of the Year, while Matthew Behan (Crusaders) scooped the U23 award.

For her gold medal-winning exploits at the European U18 Championships in Gyor, Sarah Healy won the Schoolgirl of the Year award for a brilliant 800m/1,500m double.

Sexton, meanwhile, was named Schoolboy of the Year after claiming a national sprint double, the 17-year-old making his Ulster senior rugby debut in the pre-season game against Gloucester back in August. 

Athletics Ireland 2018 awards:

  • Athlete of the Year: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)
  • Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)
  • Team of the Year: Women’s U20 4x100m Relay Team
  • Inspirational Performance of the Year: Phil Healy
  • Endurance Athlete of the Year: Alex Wright (Leevale)
  • U20 Athlete of the Year: Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley)
  • U23 Athlete of the Year: Matthew Behan (Crusaders)
  • Performance Club of the Year: Clonliffe Harriers
  • Development Club of the Year: West Waterford A.C.
  • Mountain Runner of the Year: Sarah McCormack (Clonliffe Harriers)
  • Master Athlete of the Year: Joe Gough (West Waterford)
  • Ultra-Athlete of the Year: Aidan Hogan (Rising Sun)
  • Schools Athlete of the Year: Sarah Healy (Holy Child Killiney/Blackrock), Aaron Sexton (Bangor Grammar/North Down)
  • University Athlete of the Year: Elizabeth Morland (DCU/Cushinstown)
  • Hall of Fame: Mary Purcell
  • Lifetime Services to Athletics: Paddy Marley
  • Services to Coaching: Eamon Harvey
  • Official of the Year: Sean Callan
  • Special Recognition Award: Frank Greally 

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