Donegal mark another great athletics year

ATHLETICS

Donegal mark another great athletics year

Donegal athletics marked another excellent year for their sport at their annual awards night in the Finn Valley Centre on Saturday night.

On what was another superb year for athletes from Donegal, both on the national and international stage, Olympian Brendan Boyce from Milford was named the male athlete of the year. Kelly McGrory, Tir Chonaill AC, was named the female athlete of the year.

Among the highlights of 2016 for Letterkenny AC athlete Brendan Boyce was a 19th place finish in the 50k walk at the Rio Olympics.

Kelly McGrory ended 2016 as the Irish Senior and U-23 400 metres hurdles champion.

Sommer Lecky, Finn Valley was named the junior female athlete of the year and Brendan O’Donnell, Lifford/Strabane AC, was named the junior male athlete for 2016.

There were master athletes of the year awards for Catriona Devine (McGranaghan), Finn Valley AC, and Pauric McKinney, Inishowen AC.

And there was a special recognition award for the Donegal U-15 team who won the British Sportshall championship.

The team of Liam Keane, John Boyle, Pauric Harrold, Thomas Mullen, Lughan Devenney, Aaron McGrath and Joe Sharkey swept before to beat the best in the British Isles, in what team manager Gerry Davenport described as a ‘fantastic’ achievement.

The highlight of the night was the induction of Donegal’s most decorated national champion Hugo Duggan from Milford into the Hall of Fame.

Hugo competed for four different clubs, Cranford, Clonliffe Harriers, Lifford and Finn Valley and is a seven time long jump Irish champion and also a World Masters champion.

Hugo thanked his many club colleagues, coaches that had supported him and encouraged him in the course of his career and he paid tribute to his family with a special mention for his wife, Brid.

Individual juvenile club awards were also presented to the county’s many high achievers in 2016.

Tom Thompson, Finn Valley AC, was the master of ceremonies and Bernie O’Callaghan, chairman of the Donegal Athletics Board, presented all the awards.