Alanna Lally was the toast of Galway athletics on Saturday when she claimed the 800m title at the Irish Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore.
On a day when Galway athletes produced some magnificent performances, the Presentation Athenry and GCH athlete took the 800m gold in a sprint finish - just holding off Aislinn Crossey of Sacred Heart School, Newry. Lally ran an excellent time of 2.08.28 (a B standard for the World Junior championships ) to claim her fifth schools' championship victory.
Sinead Treacy of St Raphael’s Loughrea and Craughwell won silver in the intermediate 200m in 25.23, while Ballinasloe's Veronica Burke also took silver in the senior 3000m walk, competing for Bower Athlone. Ciara Sheehy of Dunmore CS won silver in the junior 800m in a time of 2.23.22 which was a huge personal best.
Galway athletes took a number of bronze medals. Jamie Fallon of Calasanctius Oranmore claimed third place in the senior 5000m in 15.26, as did the ever improving Maebh Brannigan of Colaiste Iognaid/GCH in the senior girls 1500m in 4.40. Sam Samson of St Mary's came third in the intermediate 400m, as did Laura Ann Costello in the 200m event. Michelle Duggan of Pres Athenry also took third in the junior 200m in 26.33.
In the field events, Daniel Johnson of The Bish threw 37.86m in the junior javelin for bronze and Caomhan Conaghan of Loughrea VS also came home with a bronze in the senior high jump with a leap of 1.90m.
Galway 5km Series
The fifth race in the annual County Galway 5km series race was held over a two lap course at Ballybrit Racecourse. Once again there was a turnout of almost 600 athletes on the Galway City Harriers’ leg of the 5k. GCH athlete Conor Dolan turned the tables on his clubmate Owen Byrne, last week’s winner, taking an excellent victory in 16.01. Byrne ran strongly to finish in 16.32, with Spiddal man Tom O Dowd third in 17.20.
Sinead Brody of Galway City Harriers was first woman over the line in 19.09, with Grainne Ni Uallachain also GCH close behind in second in 19.23 and Colette Glennon third.
The final leg of the series takes place in Tuam from the Ard Ri Hotel this week, along with a social event after in the hotel from 8.30pm.
Athenry AC athletes Jane Ann Healy and Lyall Guiney put in fine performances at the Cork City Marathon, with Healy taking fourth in the ladies' race in a personal best of 3 hours and 45 seconds, while Cork native Guiney ran a very strong race to finish in 2.47 and in the top 20 overall.
This weekend sees a number of races in Galway as the summer road race season commences. The renowned Tonabrucky Challenge takes place Saturday evening at 6pm next from Rahoon Newcastle's grounds on a 6km circuit that includes the famous hill of Tonabrucky.
Monivea hosts a 5km and half marathon on Saturday morning, with record crowds expected by race director Tony Killarney of Athenry AC for both distances. The 5km kicks off at 11.10am, and is preceded by the half at 11am.