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‘Our ones to watch’ — part two

Sport

In part two of our series, we look at some outstanding young Mayo sporting talent

ATHLETICS
Conor Cusack
Lake District AC
THE Ballinrobe teenager has been making waves in the Javelin world over the past number of years but 2020 was his best season yet.
The Lake District Athletic Club star won the gold medal in the Junior Men’s Javelin event during the National Junior Track and Field Championships at Santry last Autumn, while he also picked up the silver medal in the Men’s event at the National Senior and Under-21 Athletics Championships.
The 18 year-old’s talents were evident well before that, however, and he received an ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ for his chosen sport at the 2019 Mayo Athletic Awards.
A student at the University of Limerick, Conor is also a talented footballer for his local GAA club, Ballinrobe, when he’s not competing on the track.

CYCLING
Niall McLoughlin
Westport
Covey Wheelers

AT barely 16 years-old, the multi-talented teenager is already looking like the latest star to roll off the production line for the Covey Wheelers club.
A native of Newport, McLoughlin’s stock has risen sharply over the past number of years with his performances on the roads of Ireland. He’s also enjoyed big days on the grass too, like taking an impressive victory at the Cyclocross National Youth Championships this time last year.
The Junior rider also claimed silverware in the Rás Mhaigh Eo back in March while in July of last year, he won Round Two of the Mayo Cycling League against riders of much greater age and experience.
Throw in a third place finish at the 2020 Youth National Championships in Wexford back in August, and you begin to see why he is so highly-rated.
McLoughlin has started 2021 like he means to go on too, and sits on top of the Connacht Virtual Cycling League, racing in the A3 category, ahead of his Covey Wheelers club-mate Anthony Murray and Jonathan Caulfield of Castlebar CC.
His dream is to ride in The Tour De France as a professional, so remember the name!

GOLF
Ellen May Longeran
Westport GC
ANYONE who reads the Westport Golf Club notes in The Mayo News on a regular basis will recognise the name as it appears on an almost weekly basis in the results section.
The teenager has been making huge strides in the game over the past few years and that was rewarded with a place on the Golf Ireland National U-17 Girls High Performance Development Panel for 2021.
The Sacred Heart, Westport student has been swinging a club since she was three-years-old and over the past two years has recorded some impressive victories, which include the Connacht Girls U-16 Open Bentley Plate in Tuam, a third place finish at the Leinster U-18 Open Competition and Donie O’Connor Memorial Cup in Westport, all in 2019.
She also has a silver medal in the Pitch and Putt Community Games, losing by a count back, from that year.
In the early stages of 2019 Ellen May had a handicap of 30 but she’s now on the verge of breaking into single figures, and those who know her in Westport expect her to be at the low end of the scale this year.
When she’s not golfing she’s also a talented footballer with Kilmeena LGFA and helped them to win a County Under-14 title last year.

CAMOGIE
Ava Lambert
Westport

Meadbh Delaney
Na Brideoga
AS Mayo Camogie embarks on another milestone of fielding its first adult team in 2021, two players of note entering the senior ranks are Meabh Delaney and Ava Lambert.
Both girls have had All-Ireland success with their County at Under-14 and Under-16 level, and were joint captains of the Mayo Under-18 squad last year.
In September 2019, the girls were selected on the Connacht U-17 panel. The girls acquitted themselves well in the competition, which saw Connacht lose out narrowly to Munster in the final of the Cup that day.
Meabh was instrumental in Na Brideoga’s All-Ireland Junior B Final success in late 2019, bringing an historic All-Ireland title to her club and village of Tooreen.
She will continue to inspire her Na Brideoga team-mates in their quest to claim county title honours in the Galway adult competition.
Meanwhile, Ava captained the first Westport camogie adult team in the Galway Junior ‘C’ Championship in 2020.
Having contested the final in what was a dream start to adult competition, Ava was awarded ‘player of the match’ after a fantastic individual performance.
She is an ambitious player who will drive Westport on again in 2021.

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