Saturday last saw the culmination of the indoor track and field season for 2015 with the Athlone International Athletics Arena the venue for the second and final weekend of the National Juvenile Indoor Championships.
Lifford AC’s Karen Gallagher ran the race of her life to win a thoroughly deserved silver medal in the u19 Girls 800m. The Killygordon lass was denied an almost certain silver medal in the All Ireland Schools u17 Girls Steeplechase in 2013 when falling at the water jump on the final bend while well clear in second position.
Andrew Mullen had a most impressive 6th place finish in the u14 Boys Shot Put with a new personal best throw of 9.77m.
Alan McGinley finished 4th in his heat of the u17 Boys 800m in a time of 2 mins 04.00 seconds to qualify for Saturday evening’s final. The necessity to run a heat and a final within a few short hours proved a step too far for young McGinley, however, with his final time of 2 mins 12.61 seconds giving him an 8th place finish.
Conor McGinley and Charlie McElwaine had good runs in the u16 Boys 800m finishing in 9th and 10th positions respectively - McGinley in 2 mins 12.23 seconds and McElwaine in 2 mins 13.77 seconds.
Niall Quinn had to settle for 14th position in a time of 2 mins 26.27 seconds, well outside his personal best.
Sunday meanwhile saw the beginning of the outdoor track and field season with Athlone also hosting the National Spring Throws Championships. Lifford AC’s Brendan O’Donnell was the outstanding performer in the Men’s Hammer with his throw of 55.92m the best throw of the day and enough to give the Letterkenny youngster another national title and gold medal to add to his ever growing collection.
The hard luck story of the weekend was Conor Breslin who had the misfortune to false start in the u16 Boys 60m Hurdles resulting in automatic disqualification on the Saturday. He then went on to record a sequence of 4 no throws in the Men’s Hammer on the Sunday.