Records fell and young athletes from across Donegal rose to the occasion when Part 1 of the Woodies DIY Irish Juvenile Track and Field championships.
During the superbly organised two days meet on Saturday and Sunday in Tullamore, six athletes from the Finn Valley and Tir Chonaill clubs placed on the top of the winning podium while an additional twenty three from Cranford, Sliabh Liag, Lifford, Innishowen, Tir Chonaill and Finn Valley won silver and bronze awards.
The Kelly brothers, John and James, impressed in the throwing events. John, who departed for the World Youth Games immediately after the c/ships pushed the 5k shot out to 17.90m for an impressive victory in the U18 category. Younger brother, James, who is also coached by Dad, John Senior, at the Finn Valley club, smashed the U14 Shot record with a best of 15.52m and followed up with a 43.26m best and silver in a ‘ding dong’ javelin competition where the lead changed on five occasions.
Tir Chonaill pair Kelly McGrory, U18 400m Hurdles and Katie Hoad, U17 Pole Vault kept up the Donegal momentum with impressive victories. McGrory, recently selected for International duty on the Irish U17 schools team, added a bronze in the shorter 100m Hurdles. For Hoad it was her first victory in national competition.
Blathnaid Patton broke the 11metres barrier when winning the U18 triple Jump with a best of 11.20m. This event found three Donegal athletes on the victory rostrum when Emma Brady, Tir Chonaill and Caoimhe Mc Menamin, Finn Valley, filled the minor placing’s. The final Donegal gold medal winner, Aaron McGlynn, from Glenfinn and the Finn Valley club, ran an excellent time of 2mins 12.19secs when winning the U14 - 800m
There were many other silver and bronze triumphs as well as top ten placings, all of which are contained in the club notes which appear on this page.
Congratulations to all who competed in Tullamore and to their often forgotten coaches who had such a big input to their success