Lifford Strabane AC’s throwers made the headlines again at the weekend, with both Gareth Crawford and Brendan O’Donnell making waves on both sides of the Irish Sea. Strabane lad Gareth Crawford is chasing a European Youths standard in the javelin and made huge inroads to achieving this when throwing 61.71m to win the National Spring Throws in Dublin. With a 64m standard in his sights, this throw at the weekend will give him the confidence needed to nail a big throw over the coming weeks to put him firmly in view of the Irish selectors.
Crawford’s team mate, Brendan O’Donnell competed at two hammer events in England on Saturday and Sunday. Having already thrown over the 63.50m European Youths standard twice, including a big 66m plus personal best throw in Bangor during the week, O’Donnell launched the hammer out over 64m in both weekend competitions, 64.56m his best in Liverpool on Saturday. Having consistently thrown over the European standard at four competitions now so early in the season, O’Donnell not only has his place on the Irish team in his sights but a 70m throw also in the viewfinder when the Summer competitions hot up.
On Sunday also, the club’s middle distance athletes were making a name for themselves at the Great Ireland Run schoolboy mile in the Phoenix Park. Alan McGinley finished an impressive 6th with Niall Elliott coming home 13th in a very strong field.
At the Titanic 10K in Belfast, Conor Gallagher had a big personal best, running just over 36 minutes around the Titanic Quarter. Also at the weekend, the club’s Ultra Marathon men, Ed McGroarty and Geoffrey Sproule were in action in the Connemara mountains, with McGroarty finishing an excellent 5th in 5.10, with Sproule also running a fine sub 6 hour time.
The club has been working with Tír Chónaill AC to deliver a Juvenile, Senior and Masters competition over the May Bank Holiday - Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd May. The juvenile competition along with some Senior/Masters events will take place in Donegal Town on the Sunday, while Lifford will be the venue for an Open Senior Meet on Monday 2nd May.
Both meets will have Electronic Timing and standards achieved for European Youths, World Juniors, etc will be recognised by Athletics Ireland/Athletics NI.
The following Senior/Masters events will be held in Lifford:
200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 400mH, Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, Shot Putt and Javelin.
Races will be graded based on personal best times with all events open to athletes aged 16 in the year of competition. The Open Meet in Lifford will also incorporate part of the Donegal Athletics Board Senior/Masters Championships. Therefore, the following events will also be Donegal Championship events: 200m, 400m and 1500m, Triple Jump, High Jump and Javelin.
Finally, the club will host a fundraising Table Quiz in Maggies Tavern, Carrickmore this Friday evening at 9pm. Tables of 4.