After an analysis of the medal table from the recent All Ireland Juvenile Championships, Lifford Strabane AC has emerged as the top Throws club in the country and in the Overall medal standings, finished up fourth behind Cork’s Leevale AC and now top juvenile club in Ulster.
Lifford Strabane AC was formed at the end of 2015 as an amalgamation of two of the oldest clubs in Ulster, Strabane Track Club and Lifford Athletic Club. At the same All-Ireland Championships last year when both clubs competed as separate entities, they lifted a collective total of eight national medals. Over three days in Tullamore in recent weeks, this tally was nearly doubled, with fourteen national medals won, comprising six gold, four silver and four bronze.
A number of local athletes were also in action at different international events, Brendan O’Donnell in the final of the Hammer at the European Youth Championships in Tblisi, while Shannon Craig, Conor Breslin and Thomas Mullen all competed at the Schools International in Kent. At that International, Raphoe girl Craig took an impressive silver medal in the high jump.
Last weekend, Brendan O’Donnell and Gareth Crawford made the trip to Swansea for the Celtic Games International. Both athletes put in some excellent performances, Crawford taking gold in the javelin with a throw of 62.21m and O’Donnell gold in the hammer with a throw of 67.35m. Well done to the other Donegal athletes, James Kelly, Fodhla McFadden and Danny Browne on their medal winning performances and to Dermot McGranaghan on his first appointment as Team Manager.
At the Connemara 100 on Sunday, Ultra Runner Ed McGroarty emerged victorious after a gruelling 15hrs 55mins 34 secs run over the 100 mile course.
At the Riverine 10K on Sunday, over 200 toed the start line for the annual event sponsored by the Travellers Rest in Strabane. The mens race was won by Foyle Valley AC’s Scott Rankin in 30.48, just nine seconds outside the Course Record, while Letterkenny AC’s Fionnuala Diver took the honours in the women’s race. For the club, Paul Kelly ran a fantastic time of 35.50 and finished tenth place overall. James Stevenson continued his improvement and was second local in 36.50, a personal best, followed closely by Bill Duncan in 36.56 and winner of the M50 category prize.
In the women’s race, Claire McGuigan ran a brilliant personal best of 37.42. Second club athlete home was Leoni Mullen in 44.01, with Ita Kelly taking second in the F40 with a time of 44.32. Michael Roulstone took two minutes off his previous best, finishing second in the M60 category in 45.09. Brandon McGrinder took the Junior men’s title.
This weekend a number of juvenile athletes will be in action in the Ulster multi events Championships in Belfast, while next week Sean McBride will travel to Manchester as part of the Ulster and NI Select team to compete at an international invitational event.
It was with much regret that the club learned of the sad passing of local taxi driver, Niall Gallen at the weekend. . The club also wishes its deepest sympathies to the family of Leo Finnegan and to Letterkenny AC on his passing.
Finally, we wish those heading to the Monaghan 10 miler this weekend all the best.