A number of Lifford AC athletes made the trip to the Mary Peters Track in Belfast on Saturday last for the Ulster Masters Chamopionships, the final track and field event of the year for this group of athletes.
After several outstanding performances in recent weeks at the All Ireland Masters, Isabella Breslin, Brian Breslin, Mark Doherty and Gary Gallagher travelled, confident that they were in good shape and in the shake up for further medals at their Provincial Championships. With only four athletes competing, there was a collective haul of thirteen medals, with six gold, three silver and four bronze making their way back to the border club.
Isabella Breslin was the star of the day yet again, lifting gold in the Hurdles, Shot Putt, and High Jump, while a first time throw at the Discus earned Breslin a bronze medal. Breslins exploits are all the more commendable, combining her own training with the coaching of other Masters Track and Field athletes as well as Juvenile athletes within the Lifford club. Indeed, it was a happy Breslin household last Saturday, with husband Brian also in the medals, collecting a tri colour of metalware, with gold and a personal best in the Hurdles, Silver in the Long Jump, and a bronze in a personal best time in the 100m.
Gary Gallagher also had a fine day picking up a gold medal in the Hurdles and a silver in the High Jump, both with personal best performances. In the Long Jump, Gallagher won a fine bronze medal, while in the 200m, he was just outside the medals in fourth position.
St. Johnston lad Mark Doherty has been on the podium at these Championships for several years now, and yet again in 2014, the thrower was in excellent form, coming home with three medals, a gold in the Shot Putt, a bronze in the Javelin, and in his first time throwing the 56lb weight, lifted a lighter but more precious silver medal for his efforts.
All in all, not only was it a good day for these Masters athletes, but it has been an excellent year, with all earning a well deserved break.
Lifford AC Senior athletes were also prominent at a number of road races recently, with leading lady on the roads, Claire McGuigan in flying form at the recent Dessies Run in Derry, finishing second. At the Milford 5K on Friday night, the progress being made all Senior athletes in recent months was very evident, notably by Paul Kelly and Sean Dudgeon who both smashed into the sweet sixteen’s, only a few short months after the Derry marathon.
Juvenile athlete Brendan O’Donnell was in action in the hammer at the English AAA Championships in Bedford last weekend. Having won the Irish equivalent at the end of July, O’Donnell travelled in confidence, hoping to round off another successful season in England. Unfortunately, the fifteen year old had three no throws, a disappointing result, but no doubt one that he will learn from in the years ahead.
Training has resumed for juvenile athletes on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6.30pm. Athletes aged 9 and upwards preparing for Cross Country training takes place on Monday evenings, with training for all athletes on Wednesday evenings
The club has launched another Couch to 5K Programme which will run for seven weeks and culminate in a 5K run at the end of October. Free training and information session on Thursday evening 4th September, with the Programme kicking off proper on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6.30pm. All levels of ability catered for and welcome.