Efrem Gidey created his own special piece of schools athletics history when lapping the entire field to win the senior boys 5,000m at the Leinster championships in Santry on Saturday.
The Eritrean-born student, in fifth year at Le Chéile Secondary School in Tyrellstown in west Dublin, clocked 15:24.43, finishing more than a lap ahead of second placed David Troy from Castleknock, who clocked 16:38.84 in second. No one in Santry could recall such a feat.
Gidey only started running with Le Chéile last year, coming to Ireland after spending several years at a refugee camp in Calais: last month he was recognised by Fingal County Council for his “courage and dedication” at a ceremony held on Tuesday in Swords.
Records were broken in other ways too, starting with Rhasidat Adeleke from Presentation Terenure, who broke the 40 year-old intermediate girls 200m record, clocking 24.11 seconds, to eclipse Michelle Walsh’s record way back set in 1978.
Adeleke also won the 100m in 11.60, completed a sprint double over her friend Patience Jumbo Gula of St Vincent’s Dundalk, who took second in both events with respective times of 11.68 and 25.45 seconds.
Niamh Fogarty of St Joseph's Rochfortbridge also had a record throw in the senior girls' discus, while David McDonald from Wexford CBS had an impressive senior boys' 100m and 200m double with times of 10.81 and 21.66.
Ciaran Carthy (St Michael's College) and Jack Mitchell (Pres Carlow) scored tough 400m hurdles/400m doubles. Carthy won the intermediate section with times of 57.02 and 50.42. Mitchell won the senior with 54.51 and 49.81. Sarah Healy of Holy Child Killiney also had another impressive win in the senior girls' 1500m 4:42.11.