Galway youngsters qualify in track and field
Galway competitors were to the fore in most events at the Connacht Track and Field u-12 qualifiers in Dangan.
Laoise Geraghty of GCH won the u-12 600m in 1:55, while clubmate Niamh Heffernan won the ball throw in 24.36.
Shane Jennings of Ballinasloe & District won the u-12 600m in a fine 1:48, Michael McFadden (Craughwell AC) won the u-12 long jump with a leap of 4.17m, and Dean Treacy won the high jump with a leap of 1.20m to lead an Athenry top three in the event. The girls’ u-12 relays were won by Craughwell AC ahead of Claremorris, while the boys’ u-12 relays were won by Ballinasloe & District.
The u-9 60m sprints were won by GCH’s Aoibinn Costello and Emma Moore, the 300m by Ballinasloe sisters Shauna and Emma Mitchell, and the long jump by Emily Miskella and Rebekah Flynn of Craughwell AC. Amy Coffey and Saoirse Monaghan of Athenry won the ball throw, while Shane Fitzpatrick and Conor Hanley of Ballinasloe were victorious in the u-9 60m sprint and 300m. Darragh Gilhooley and Feargus Deely won the long jump for Athenry with a combined 6.05m.
Sinead Duggan and Charlene Trill made it a double, winning the u-10 50m and 500m. The u-11 60m was won by GCH’s Debbi Taiwo and Zoe Moore. There was also a Galway victory in the u-11 long jump with Mia Waters and Leanagh Gilligan jumping a combined 6.83m. Finbar McFadden and Alex Evans of Craughwell successfully paired up to win the u-11 600m, while the sprints were won by Robert McDonnell and Kristan Flaherty of GCH. Johnathan McGrath and Riain Kelly of GCH won the long jump.
Sunday also saw the first leg of the National League Track and Field, with the Galway ladies’ team competing in all 19 events and scoring 80 combined points which they will take into round two on July 22. Dublin has a commanding lead with 112 points, but only 10 points separate the next five teams. Competing for Galway on the day were Sarah Finnegan (triple jump and 100m hurdles), Irene Gorman (1500m and 4x400m), Mairead McCann (long jump and 4x100m), Rachel Finnegan (400m hurdles and 4x400m), Linda Porter (800m), Laura Shaughnessy (3000m), Orla Ryan (200m), Katie O'Donaghue (100m, shot putt and 4x100m), Jane Lydon (4x100m), Maria McNamara (pole vault and javelin), Emma Carter (400m), Caitriona Farrell (high jump), Nicola Monaghan (discus and hammer), Maeve Curley (1500m Walk), Sinead Gaffney (4x400m), Claire Ryder (4x100m), Caoimhe Daniels (4x400m).
One of the highlight of the day was the men’s 5k which was led from the gun by Galway City Harrier Gary Thornton, coming home in an unofficial 14:51 to win the premier division. Craughwell AC Athlete Gerry Ryan pushed a hard pace to shake off all challengers and finish close behind Thornton in 15:02, winning the first division by a solid margin.
Christopher O’Connor of Craughwell AC was in excellent form in the 3000m race walk to win the division one race in his first time competing over this distance, while in the 1500m, Keith Fallon of GCH was second in the premier division with 4:03.