Medals galore for Donegal Athletic clubs at Ulster Championships

Donegal Athletic Clubs had great success at the Ulster Championships last weekend with athletes from all clubs taking home medals. Below some of the successes are recorded.

Donegal Athletic Clubs had great success at the Ulster Championships last weekend with athletes from all clubs taking home medals. Below some of the successes are recorded.

Rosses AC

Some results from the Ulster Championships at the Antrim Forum last weekend were in the u14 girls shot putt we had Bridget McDyer 1st and Jessica Oglesby 3rd. Bridget was also 3rd in the javelin. Ailbhe O’Donnell was 3rd in the u14 girls long jump with a new pb of 4.49 with Amy Hanna close behind getting 4th with a new pb of 4.44. Later Amy was in the 200m final having a great race finishing in 6th place. Ultan Boyle was 4th in the u14 boys high jump.

Also competing on the day was Fodhla Nic Phaidin, Saskia Boyle, Maria Sharkey and unfortunately Joey Donald who was hoping to compete in his first ulster championship could not on the day due to an injury. On the Sunday we had the u16 girls shot putt with Nicole Boyle getting 3rd, Caoimhe Bonner close behind with 4th and Anna Sweeney in 5th. Nicole was also 3rd later in the long jump. Well done to all. Good luck Grainne McGlynn and Emma Maloney in the All Irelands in Cork this weekend.

The Lifford 5k last weekend saw the ever improving Noel Diver run an excellent 16:49 to finish tenth in a very competitive field. There was notable other performances from John Paul Wilson (18:44 PB), Derek Gillespie and Sharon Wilson.

On Saturday Shaun McShane was first home in the Glenties 10k with an excellent sub 35 minute run of 34:58 and Tracy Boyle having an excellent run also. The Maghery 10k is on this Sunday 24th starting at 1pm.

Sliabh Liag AC

Last weekend 14 Sliabh Liag Athletes travelled to Antrim for the Northern Ireland and Ulster Age Group Championships at the Antrim Forum to qualify for the All Ireland Championships which will take place in Tullamore on the 14th and 15th of July in Tullamore.

Excellent performances from all our athletes, with 7 qualifying for the finals. Sarah Conroy in the U15 Girl’s Hammer took 3rd place with a throw of 21.52m, a new PB. Mollie Donovan, in the U15 Girl’s Shot Putt took second place with a throw of 8.82m and John Gibbons, Shot, in the U15 Boy’s, with a throw of 10.28 gaining him second place. Peadar Conroy, took Silver in hammer with a throw of 21.66m, 4th in shot with a throw of 9.50m, along with a bronze in discuss, with a throw of 22.62m.

Dominic Gallagher came 2nd in the 100m Hurdles with a time of 17.48s and added another silver placing in the U17 Boy’s High Jump clearing 1.65m. This is a new PB from Wednesday evening when in Donegal Town he jumped 1.60m, up from his previous best of 1.55m.

Denis Byrne,exceeded himself with a new PB and went onto take Gold with a 4kg Shot and a throw of 12.26m. Susan O Donoghue set herself a new PB and went onto qualify with a jump of 4.40m in the U16 Girl’s Long Jump. All in all, an excellent weekend for our athletes.

Letterkenny AC

Following the recent Ulster Track and field Championships, Letterkenny juvenile athletes have paid dividends for a good season so fair by having a solid squad qualify for the Athletics Ireland National finals in Tullamore (July 14/15) and (July 28/29)/ going through the age groups and recognising that all competed magnificently in their efforts, those who haven’t qualified will surely benefit from these Ulster finals and will return with more confidence.

U12 Girls: Shercock AC hosted the U12-U13 championships on Saturday 9th June. Lee Walsh has certainly become a new name to monitor as she bravely reached the finals of the 60m and can look back on her 7th place in a blanket finish. Karen Gallagher was unlucky as her 600m time trials saw her fourth overall but with only three qualifying from this event she just missed out. Claire Doherty, Niamh Hume, Natasha Hamilton all competed well in their individual events.

Boys U12: Ulster medals were the order here as Charles Worth took silver in the shot putt, only centimetres dividing him from the gold medal. Charles has several weeks of solid training to zone in on a national medal. Likewise Caine Harkin, silver in the ball throw and Ronan Frain bronze in long jump, Oisin Bradley joined this trio to take bronze in the 4x100m relay. Sean and Neil Martin, Christopher McCaul also contributed their best.

U13 Girls: No need to worry about the future of middle distance in the future as it was a solid performance from Laura Crossan and Ciara Bonner who took gold and silver respectively in the 600m. Crossan has already shown her worth at the nationals before and showed her class with gun to tape victory here but it was the encouraging sign of Bonner emerging to take her first Ulster medal to indicate the club has two gems here.

Another relative newcomer Cliodhna Harvey emerged with two Ulster medals and again looks an exciting prospect. Bronze in the 80m and silver in the long jump sees Cliodhna go to Tullamore for her first national finals.

Alana Clarke can take satisfaction in progressing to the 80m final also and seventh place was encouraging, Clarke, Bonner, Harvey and Crossan also took silver in 4x100m relay. Rachel Tinney competed well in her events.

Boys U13: No medals here but certainly hard luck stories were the order of the day, Jamie Doherty was five metres ahead of his rivals in the 80m final but fell heavily with the gold medal assured and his national medal, and his hopes were cruelly dashed. Likewise Ben Carr who like Karen Gallagher U12 whose brave fourth in the 600m was just one short of qualification. Brendan Horgan gave his best in his events but was just out of the medals.

U14 – U19 in Antrim: Antrim’s well presented arena was as usual busy place (sat/Sun last) where qualification for National Finals always ensures two days of exciting action, and the LAC squad certainly played their part with great performances.

U14 Girls: Arlene Crossan and Saoirse Callaghan both emerged as Ulster champions. Crossan as usual maintained her great history in Ulster athletics ensuring a busy schedule in Tullamore. She jumped 4.95 to take gold in the long jump and displayed her obvious multi event ability with two silver medals in the 200m and 800m (2.25.9).

But a 1-2-3 for Letterkenny girls in the 1500m final ensured a proud trio on the medal rostrum as all three girls 1st Saoirse Callaghan (5.34.20) 2nd Altan Murphy (5.37.8) and 3rd Edel Smith (5.41.3) took their first Ulster medals and again ensured a great future in middle distance.

An unexpected bonus in this age group was the magnificent gold medal of Meabh Rafferty in the 2000m walk. This discipline has (3.07.6) certainly benefited from the expert coaching of Danny Sharkey and Rafferty displayed great technique over the final 400m. Certainly a great prospect in tullamore. Shauna McFadden, Megan Skinnader, Ciara Blaney and Alison Higgins can all take encouragement from their respective efforts.

U14 Girls: Ciara Finnegan carries the flag for this age group coming through in her 800m time trial to earn fourth place overall and earns her place in national finals. Sadly she just missed out in a difficult 1500m event. Niamh Farrell continues to impress in sprint events reaching both finals of the 100m and 200m just finishing out of the medals in both events.

U16 Girls: Tara Carr has emerged as a good prospect in high jumping and her 1.50 ensured the bronze medal. While Hollie Duddy experienced the trauma of finishing fourth in both 200m and 250m hurdles only to be disqualified for a line infringement, a lesson sorely learned. Natasha McArdle gave her usual commitment but finished down the field in both 800m and 1500m.

U16 Boys: A double gold medal effort from Peter Gibbons whose gun to tape front running tactics proved too strong in both finals and Peter heads to Tullamore with high hopes of national medal prospects. Daire Curran, Sean O`Brien and Conor Neils preformed well in the 100m/200m reaching finals but edging out of the medals.

U17 Boys: Conor Morrison took on the both the 800m and 1500m whose fourth place in the latter sees his qualification for Tullamore.

U17 Girls: As usual, Lisa Gibson took on all-comers in the Ulster shot putt competition and added the gold medal to her C.V (9.58). Lisa certainly can produce on the day and hopefully can add some more metres to her national efforts. 4th place in the triple jump indicates the competitive nature of this girl.

So a return of seven gold, seven silver and three bronze medals ensures a good representation in Tullamore during July.

Tir Chonaill A.C.

On Saturday and Sunday 16th/17th June a large contingent of the clubs juvenile athletes plus supportive coaches and parents, competed with much success in the Ulster/Athletics Northern Ireland Under 14,15,16,and 17 club championships at the Antrim Forum.

Kelly McGrory, continues to improve with every outing this year. The Laghey lass had a trio of very impressive victories in the U17 100m, 200m and 100m Hurdles U17 disciplines. In the 100m she sliced a huge 0.4secs from her P.B. when winning impressively in a very good time of 12.40secs. In the 200m she dipped under 26secs. for the first time. Drawn in the unfavourable lane 8 she blasted the bend and won by 5 metres -time 25.60secs. The 100m Hurdles, a technical event with new spacing’s and heights , found Kelly recrording her 3rd victory of the day in atime of 15.66secs.

Kate McGowan was impressive in winning the U16 Long Jump --5.27m and in a closely fought 80m Hurdles final she had to accept 2nd place, 11.92secs behind Megan Marrs, Lisburn, 11.91secs. The Lisburn lass, one of the new stars of the weekend, earlier High Jumped 1.65m and ran sub 13secs for 2nd in the 100m into a headwind of -2secs. Kate also ran 13.21secs for 3rd in the 100m. Emma Brady, a relative newcomer to Triple Jump -introduced to the discipline at schools level in 2011 where she won a bronze medal - got out to new PB 10.38m to win the U17 event.

Mark Boyle is another club athlete that continues to improve with every outing. In the U16 800m he comfortably qualified via heats and in a closely fought final finished 2nd behind Letterkenny’s Peter Gibbons -times Gibbons 2mins 09.03secs, Boyle 2mins 09.08secs.

Pole Vaulter’s Hannah Campbell U17 cleared 2.50m and newcomer to the event Katie Hoad, U16, with a best of 2.10m were victorious.

Racewalkers Sarah Timoney and Jessica Quinn scored a 1st and 2nd in the 2k U16 event. The discipline of Hammer throwing, introduced to club athletes in 2011, found Chloe Masterson in a hapy mood when she recorded a series of PB bests and became provincial U15 champion with a best of 26.59metres. She is part of Paul O’Gara’s throws group in Donegal Town - a group that had another member Clara Herron, Nth Sligo AC, score a number of exciting PB’s at the Connaught championships on Saturday -- Hammer 30.66m; Shot Putt -11.37m and Discus 22.22m.

Caolan O’Callaghan, recently joined the club via Michelle Harvey’s AVS training group. He was very happy with a 1.65m best for 2nd in the U16 High Jump. Eva McMullan, qualifed for the All-Irelands with a 3rd place 200m best of 28.10secs while Christopher O’Loughlan had a similar finish in the U16 250H -36.38secs. Just outside a top three finish were Ruth Gillespie U16 80H 4th 13.57secs and Mark Hegarty, 10.16m U16shot and 26.46secs -200m.

The local road racing scene is in full swing at the moment with numerous opportunities weekly to walk.jog or race over 5k /10k distances.The Enniskillen 10k on Saturday had the following club athletes record excellent times. Richard McCarthy 39mins 07secs;

Philomena Gallagher, 43mins 40secs; Sharon Thomas/Meehan, 45mins 40secs; Anne Donoghue, 48mins 21secs;Bernie McNeely, 50mins 08secs; Valarie Moore, 53mins 01secs.

The club would like to offer condolances to the Michael Maguire and the Maguire family Ardara on the death of Tomas recently in Australia

Next weekend: On Saturday a number of club athletes will be part of the Ulster schools team when the annual Inter Pro/Tailteann Games are held in Santry.The prestigious Irish schools team wil be selected immediately after this event

On Sunday Tullamore is the venue for the Irish Junior c/ships. A numbe rof club athletes are entered. Folloing this event the Irish team for the World Juniors will be announced.

The local road scene continues at a pace with the Aghyaran 5k on Friday 29th June.