Letterkenny AC’s Ruairi Finnegan is heading for Spain and next month’s IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championship in Barcelona.
The Letterkenny teenager (pictured) booked his place in the 1500 metre finals with a brilliant run over the distance in Watford, England on Saturday afternoon to achieve the A Standard for the championship. He clocked a time of 3:46.27 just inside the 3:46.3 standard.
He is one of two Donegal athletes to qualify for the championship which are in Barcelona at the weekend. The other was Finn Valley AC’s middle distance runner Sarah Collins, who recorded a time of 9:26.80 for 3000 metres in Berne on Saturday. Sarah’s time is good enough for the B standard and she will be in the Irish team along with Finnegan, Mark English (also Letterkenny AC) and hammer thrower Dempsey McGuigan, Finn Valley.
“He knew what he had to do and he went out and ran the perfect race. This will be his first World Juniors and now that he has the qualification safely tucked away the pressure is off,” said Letterkenny coach Teresa McDaid.
“I’m delighted for both him and Mark (English) and we are all looking forward to the championships.”
At only 17, Finnegan will also be eligible for the championships again in 2013. Neil Martin, Finn Valley AC, is the Irish team manager for the championships.
Meanwhile a number of other Donegal athletes put in top class performances in Watford on Saturday night, among them Karl Griffin, Tir Chonaill AC, who clocked 1:50.2 for 800 metres and Letterkenny AC’s Ciaran Doherty who registered 9:12.00 for the 3000 metre steeplechase.
Also at the weekend John Kelly, Royal and Prior, Raphoe, (shot-putt); Kate McGowan (80 metres hurdles) and Kelly McGrory (300 metres hurdles), both Abbey VS, were named in the Ulster Schools team for the Tailteann Game, in Santry on Saturday, 23rd June.
Also selected on the Ulster Schools team for those games are Ciara Crawford, Abbey VS; Sara Timoney, Colaiste Colmcille, Ballyshannon (walk); Jade Leeper, Gairm Scoil, Ballinamore (disucss and shot) and Hannah Campbell, St. Catherines, Killybegs (pole vault).