Galway athletes tipped for Connacht gold

Galway athletes are gearing up for the Connacht Indoor Track and Field Championships which take place at the Athlone IT Arena this weekend.

At senior level one of the highlights is the women's 1500m which will feature Aisling Joyce of NUIG and Claremorris, Eimear O'Brien of Sligo, and Kathryn Casserly of GCH.

The men’s 3000m will see GCH athlete Brian O'Connor looking to add Connacht gold to his Galway indoor victory, but he will face a stiff challenge from Stephen Casserly of Castlegar, Adrian Smith of Roscommon Harriers, and Ian Egan of Tuam.

The men’s 1500m will see Eamon Hornibrook and Jim Phelan of GCH both compete, but returning Peter O'Sullivan of Craughwell AC could be the man to watch over the metric mile.

At juvenile level, James Frizzell and Eanna Folan will look to secure honours over 1500 and 3000m.

Held over two days, Saturday will features the U12s and U13s, followed by the U14s through to seniors on Sunday.

Podium places at Nationals

Galway athletes secured three medals at the National Senior Indoor Track and Field Championships at the new National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown.

Alanna Lally, now with UCD AC, and a graduate of Galway City Harriers' juvenile programme, took silver in the women's 800m. In an exciting finish, she was just pipped by Fiona Kehoe of Kilmore AC, who took victory in 2.08.17, with Lally clocking 2.08.37.

There was a well-earned bronze for Maeve Curley of Craughwell in the 3k walk, coming in behind winner, former World youth champion Kate Veale of West Waterford AC.

Solange Diogo of GCH, who is having a great season, leapt 11.24 metres to secure bronze in the triple jump .

There were also great performances from Veronica Burke of Ballinasloe, fourth in the walk, and Michael Breathnach of GCH with fourth place in the shot putt with a new personal best throw of 14.28m. Brendan Staunton of GCH was sixth in the shot despite injury, with 12.41m.

On the track, Aisling Joyce of NUIG ran 10 minutes dead in a hugely competitive 3000m for 10th place, won by Ciara Mageean - one of three Rio Olympians in the field - while Kathryn Casserly of GCH ran 10.16 for 13th spot.

NUIG’s Damien Landers placed a fine seventh in the men’s 1500m final, while GCH’s Niamh Hennelly made it to the 1500m final and was 12th overall, in a race won by Olympian Kerry O'Flaherty. Oisin Lyons of Craughwell placed second in his heat in 54.27, but missed out on a final spot which was decided solely on times ran.

Kilconieron 5 Mile

The annual Kilconieron five-mile road race takes place Sunday (February 26 ) at 12 noon. Race headquarters are at the Gate Lodge Carrabane. Entry fee for runners is €15/walkers €10. All proceeds go direct to Athenry Cancer Care and Carrabane Community Hall.

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