Lifford Strabane AC finished in a highly commendable seventh place at last weekend’s National Indoor League Final to round off a most successful first outing for the club at this prestigious National event.
The club travelled to Athlone on Saturday to compete in the League Final, having qualified in fifth place over the two qualifying rounds held in recent weeks. Pitched against the top club sides in the country, the Lifford Strabane side was a mixture of youth and experience, with a number of juvenile athletes experiencing senior competition for the first time.
Thomas Mullen had blistering runs in both the 60m and 400m, posting a 52.12 pb in the 2 lap race. Alan McGinley showed his consistency yet again, posting yet another two minute run in the 800m, which followed a 1.59 pb last week. Niall Elliott ran the race of his life in the 1500m to come home 4th in a new personal best time of 4.24, while Stephen McCallion had a fine 5.62m long jump to finish third. Masters athletes Gary Gallagher and Mark Doherty also performed brilliantly to gain points for the club, Doherty throwing the Shot out to 10.14m, with Gallagher running a fine 10.87 for the sprint hurdles.
On Saturday and Sunday, the club’s juvenile athletes were in action at the Ulster Indoors in Magherafelt. Over 40 athletes were in attendance, the club’s biggest ever representation at the Ulster Indoors and what a weekend it was. On the medals front, the club collected 21 individual medals, thirteen gold, three silver and five bronze as well as team gold and silver in the U18 and U17 relays.
Gold medal winners included double champions Aaron McGrath, Under 15 60m and Long Jump and Thomas Mullen, Under 17 200m and 60m Hurdles. Individual gold medal winners included Conor McGinley, U17 800m, Harriet McCrossan, U12 High Jump, Shannon Craig, U18 High Jump, Diarmaid O’Donnell, U12 High Jump, Claudia Cuskelly, U17 1500m Walk, Gareth Crawford, U18 Triple Jump, Jude McCrossan U14 High Jump, Brendan O’Donnell, U18 High Jump and Alan McGinley, U18 1500m.
Silver medallists included Alisha Cuskelly, U12 High Jump, Andrew Crawford, U13 High Jump, and Ross Henderson, U14 Shot Putt. Bronze medal winners included Harriet McCrossan, U12 60m, Conor Breslin, U17 60m and 60m Hurdles, Adrienne Gallen, U13 Shot Putt, and Charlie McElwaine, U17 1500m. Just missing out on the medals in fourth place included Lucy Kirk, U13 High Jump, Cormac O’Donnell U13 Long Jump and Shot Putt, Aine Marie McBride, U13 Shot Putt, Charlie McElwaine, U17 800m, Diarmaid O’Donnell, U12 Long Jump, Claudia Cuskelly, U17 Shot Putt, Alisha Cuskelly, U12 Long Jump, Angel Durose, U14 Shot Putt and Niall Elliott in the U18 1500m. Fourth place finishes were also recorded by the Girls Under 12 and Boys Under 13 4 x 100m relay teams.
From other Lifford Strabane athletes, there was a number of other fine performances, many from first time athletes at these Championships. Performances included, Ellie McCurdy,10.48s, Hannah Whyte, 11.26s, Mara McArdle, 10.59s, Olivia Pyne, 11.30s, all in the U12 60m, Kyle Crawford 2nd in his heat of the U13 60m with 9.52s, Caoimhe Harvey, 10.16s in the U15 60m, Mark McCurdy, 9.36s in the U16 60m, Harvey Mullen, winner of his heat in 1.56 in the U12 600m, Fionntan Morre, 2.26 in the U17 800m, Wilson Craig, 2.34 in the U15 800m, Oran Gallagher, 2.07 in the U12 600m, Molly Harkin, 4.82m and Cora Burns, 4.66m in the U12 Shot Putt, Odhran Stewart, 13.37s in the U14 60m Hurdles, Eoin Breslin, 1.25m in the U14 High Jump, and Patrick Gibson, 7.38m in the U15 Shot Putt.
The Under 17 boys relay team had a fine run to finish second in the 4 x 200m relay, while in the last event of the day, the Under 18 boys crowned a most successful two days for the club when they stormed home to win the 4 x 200m relay, three seconds ahead of the Finn Valley and Ballymena and Antrim teams.
A number of club athletes also ran the Finn Valley 5K on Sunday, with Stephen Burns first club athlete home in 20.26, followed by John McElwaine in 23.13, and Joe Gallen in 25.25.
This weekend, two club athletes, Thomas Mullen and Cormac O’Donnell will travel to Glasgow for the Scottish Combined Events Championships and we wish them well.