Rosses Athetlic Club’s Sarah Doherty created a big of sporting history in Birmingham on Saturday at the UK Aviva Sportshall athletics finals.
Never before has a Donegal athlete taken two gold medals in such prestigious finals but Sarah proudly climbed onyo the medal rostrum as winner of the six-lap race and the speed bounce.
In these time trials Sarah’s winning time of 20.4 was never surpassed over four other heats and she again took gold in the speed bounce event with a brilliant return of 87 bounces.
This brilliant young athlete also added bronze as a member of the obstacle relay team with Mary Teresa Doherty, Rebecca McShane and Ailbhi O`Donnell. Also on the medal rostrum twice was Finn Valley’s Janine Boyle, with two brilliant performances in two-lap race and long jump.
Arlene Crossan from Letterkenny has medalled in most of her events (Ulster/National track and field) and once again came good in the four lap race. Never an easy discipline Arlene won her heat comfortable with a solid performance and in a thrilling final just held on to a bravely earned bronze medal. Another Rosses girl Ailbhi took fourth place behind her club mate in speed bounce (84).
Results: 1- Hampshire (1278 points) 2- Norfolk (1094) 3- Hertfordshire (1085) 9- Donegal (796).
Team: Sarah Doherty, Ailbhi O`Donnell, Bridget McDyer, Tara Harley (Rosses AC), Janine Boyle (Finn Valley), Arlene Crossan, Altan Murphy (Letterkenny), Debbie Kennedy, Rebecca McShane, Eilish McShane (Slieve Liag), Shannon Craig (Lifford) and Mary Teresa Doherty (Inishowen).
UU-13 Boys Results 1- Avon (1279) 2- Birmingham (1229) 3 – Hampshire (1127) 9 Donegal (728). Like the U-13 girls, the boys team also finished ninth of the 12 team finalists. But where the girls took five individual medals, only James Kelly of Finn Valley medalled, with his final effort of 11.83 earning him a silver.
Joey McDonald played his part with vital points in the vertical jump (54) and no doubt another star in the making from Rosses AC. His effort took him to fourth place just missing out on a medal. Fergus Cox also took a top 10 placing in the triple jump (6.87) while Conor Lynch’s high jump effort (1.40) was also noteworthy. Jack O’Donnell (77) in the speed bounce helped the Donegal points total in no small way.
Team : James Kelly ( Finn Valley) Jordan Ryan , Patrick McClogan (LAC) Conor Lynch, Alan McGinley, Thomas Mullan (Lifford), Jack O’Donnell, Joey Donald (Rosses), Michael McGill, Lanty Molloy (Slieve Liag), Dylan Kearns (Killybegs), Fergus Cox (Inishowen).
Donegal U-15 girls Niamh Farrell, Emma Brady, Kate McGowan and Kelly McGrory were just edged out by over all winning team Surrey, but received their silver medals. Emma also medalled in the speed bounce, 87 earned her silver which was matched by Kelly’s silver in the four-lap race. Nicole Boyle played her part with seventh overall in the long jump (2.36).
Team: Kelly McGrory, Emma Brady, Kate McGowan (Tir Conaill) Niamh Farrell, Eimear Walsh (LAC), Nicole Boyle (Rosses), Caoimhe Byrne (Slieve Liag). Sportshall co-coordinator Neil Cullen wishes to thank all the athletes on the trip for their efforts and good behaviour. Special thanks to team managers, Maria Boyle (Finn Valley) Tanya Byrne (Slieve Liag) John O’Donnell (Lifford) Anthony Ward (LAC) Sharon Bradley (LAC).