Athletes Shine At Wicklow Star Awards 2023

February 26, 2024

Athletes from clubs across the county packed out Greystones Lawn Tennis Club on Friday night for the annual Wicklow Star Awards 2023. The year saw a host of starts from Juvenile, Senior & Masters categories achieve fantastic results with strong performances from all of the Wicklow clubs.

2023 Award Winners

Under 13 – Under 16 Girls Star Award 

Winner - Jessica O’Connor – Roundwood & District A.C 

Jessica showcased remarkable performance across various athletics events. At the Leinster Indoors Championships, she qualified from heat 5 in the U13 600m and placed 4th in the final, narrowly missing a medal. Additionally, she achieved notable results in high jump and relay events, including winning Bronze at the National Mixed Distance Relays.

Special Recognition Award

Winner - Kate Brosnahan – Kilcoole A.C

Athletics Wicklow presented a special recognition award to Kate Brosnahan of Kilcoole, who has overcome significant challenges since birth. Supported by her parents, Kate joined Kilcoole A.C. in 2022 and quickly became a valued member, inspiring coaches and fellow athletes with her determination. Despite physical difficulties, Kate's commitment to training and participation in events has brought both physical and mental benefits, with a highlight being her heartfelt effort in a 400m race cheered on by her peers. The award signifies the admiration and encouragement of Athletics Wicklow and Kilcoole A.C. for Kate's ongoing journey and achievements in athletics.

Under 13 – Under 16 Boys Star Award

Winner - Ethan Bramhill – Greystones & District A.C

Throughout 2023, Ethan focused on recovering from an accident and returning to his passion for running. He achieved notable success at various championships, including winning Bronze in the Boys U14 800m and Silver in the Boys U14 3000m at the Leinster T&F Championships and securing Silver in the Boys U14 3000m at the Athletics Ireland National Even Ages Cross Country Championships. Ethan's determination and stamina were evident, particularly in cross-country events where he excelled, earning medals and solid placements.

Under 16 – Under 19 Girls Star Award

Winner - Maria Zakharenko – Kilcoole A.C

Maria, a versatile sprint athlete competing in distances ranging from 200m to 800m, achieved remarkable success in 2023. She earned multiple medals, including golds at the Leinster Juvenile Indoors and National Juvenile T&F Championships, and set impressive personal bests. Maria's outstanding performances secured her a spot on the National 2024/25 4 x 400m relay squad, reflecting her exceptional talent and dedication to the sport.

Under 16 – Under 19 Boys Star Award

Winner - Noah Harris – Parnell A.C

Noah, a distance athlete, experienced remarkable success in 2023 across various track, cross country, and hill running events, achieving medals and impressive personal bests. Highlights include winning Gold at the Leinster Schools Cross Country, Silver and Bronze at the National Juvenile Indoors for 800m, and securing Gold and Silver at the Leinster and All-Ireland Schools Track & Field Championships for 3000m. Additionally, he excelled in cross-country events, clinching Gold and Silver at the Leinster and National levels.

Junior Women Star Award

Winner - Eleanor Foot – Bray Runners A.C

Eleanor excels in various track and field events, particularly steeplechase, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, and cross country. Throughout her recent indoor season, she achieved gold and silver medals in multiple competitions, showcasing her versatility and talent. Transitioning to outdoor events, she continued her success in steeplechase across different age categories, earning numerous gold medals and setting personal best times. Additionally, she demonstrated her prowess in cross-country, consistently placing well in regional and national competitions.

Junior Men Star Award

Winner - Daniel Quirk – Greystones & District A.C

Daniel excelled in triple jump, long jump, and combined events throughout his busy indoor and outdoor seasons. He secured numerous gold medals in various competitions, including the National U20 T&F and Leinster Juvenile Indoors T&F, showcasing his exceptional athleticism and versatility in multiple disciplines. Despite facing injury setbacks, he continued to demonstrate his talent, earning medals in events like javelin and discus, culminating in gold and bronze medals in the Leinster and All-Ireland Schools Pentathlon competitions to conclude his impressive sporting year.

International Junior Women Star Award

Winner - Niamh Murray – Bray Runners A.C

Niamh has shown exceptional progress in the 400m event throughout 2023, competing at both U18 and U20 levels. She achieved significant victories, including gold medals at various championships and setting records. Notably, her performance in the U20 4x400m relay earned her a National Junior Indoors Record and a qualifying standard for the European U20 Championships.

International Junior Men Star Award

Winner - Jonas Stafford – Ashford A.C

Jonas Stafford's rapid rise in athletics since joining Ashford A.C. in September 2020 has been truly remarkable. In the athletic year 2023, he secured impressive results in cross country and track events, including winning gold medals at both Leinster and All-Ireland Schools Championships, setting championship records, and achieving notable placements in national competitions.

Masters Women Star Award

Winner - Catherine O’Connor – Parnell A.C

Catherine has emerged as a revered figure in Masters athletics. In 2023, she achieved notable success nationally, including podium finishes and age group victories across various distances such as the Leinster 3 km Road Race, National Marathon, and several other events, showcasing her exceptional talent and dedication to the sport.

Masters Men Star Award

Winner - John Conway – Glendalough Harriers A.C

John Conway, a Masters Ultra-runner, tackled several demanding mountain and trail runs in 2023. Notable among them were the Transalpine Run, a grueling 268km race through the Alps where he finished 33rd overall and 4th in his category, and The Bluestack Way 50km, where he secured 2nd place overall and 1st in the M40 category. Additionally, he completed The Art O’Neill Challenge and The International EcoTrail Wicklow, achieving impressive placements in both races.

Athletics Wicklow Team of the Year
National Half Marathon -Senior Slí Cualann Team

  • Sarah Baryga
  • Catherine O’Neill
  • Donna Quinn

Athlete of the Year

Winner - Fionnuala McCormack – Kilcoole A.C.

Fionnuala's outstanding performances in 2023 earned her the title of Athletics Wicklow Athlete of the Year. Her first notable achievement was completing the Valencia Marathon in 2:26:19, qualifying for the Paris Olympics just six months after giving birth to her third child. Additionally, she placed 4th in the European Cross Country Championships, displaying remarkable resilience despite the challenging conditions. Athletics Wicklow applauds her accomplishments and wishes her success in preparation for Paris

International Achievement Awards

Dominic Horan – Bray Runners A.C

Graham Bushe – Glendalough Harriers A.C

Maria Zakharenko – Kilcoole A.C

Colm O’Neill – Greystones & District A.C

Noah Harris – Parnell A.C

Emily Ryan – Parnell A.C

William Tyrell –Parnell A.C

William Belton – Parnell A.C

Annmarie Kenny – Parnell A.C

Ray Kenny – Parnell A.C

Catherine O’Connor – Parnell A.C

Niamh Murray – Bray Runners A.C

Jonas Stafford – Ashford A.C

François Kulik – Parnell A.C

Ashling Smith – Bray Runners A.C

Notes courtesy of Athletics Wicklow

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