Galway athletes bagged silver team medals after superb all-round performances in the National Track and Field League final in Tullamore on Sunday.
Galway City Harriers men’s team, under the guidance of team manager Cliff Jennings and Brendan Glynn, placed a superb second in the premier division final with 98 points, behind winners Clonliffe Harriers of Dublin.
GCH were spurred on by captain Sean Breathnach in the field, who won on the double in both the shot putt and weight throw, and Irish international Cillin Greene, who was supreme in the sprints with victory in the 200m and an incredible last leg in the 4x400m relay to bring the GCH team home first. GCH also tasted victory via Robert Meagher with a PB of 49.55 in the 400m, and secured third places from Brendan Staunton in the discus, and Henrique Nkolovata in the triple jump. The squad also tallied up valuable points from Seamus Leddy in the 3k Walk, Neill Keane over 800m, James Frizzell, who doubled up at 1500 and 5000m, Talon Thompson in the steeplechase, Jonah Erugo in the high jump and relays, Eoghan Jennings in the pole vault and javelin, and sprint duo Darren Costello and Luke Shaughnessy in the relays.
Galway County Ladies also won silver with an outstanding team performance under manager Sarah Finnegan, only losing out by six points to St Abbans AC, who won for a second year in a row.
Galway Ladies had wins from walker Maeve Curley of Craughwell, Nicole Walsh of GCH in the 400m, Emma O'Hara of GCH in the hammer, and a superb debut win in the steeplechase via Aisling Joyce of GCH.
Galway also scored heavily via second places from Chloe Casey in the shot, Emma O Hara scoring again in the discus, Aoife Sheehy over 400 hurdles and Sinead Treacy in the 200m. The team also gained vital points from Sarah Finnegan over hurdles and in the triple jump, Arlene Earls over 800m, Lydia Doyle in the 100m, Aine O Farrell in the 3000m, Seren O Toole in the long jump and Katie O Donoghue in the high jump
Galway County men’s squad placed seventh with a depleted squad, with some heroic performances, notably from Loughrea’s Brendan Lynch who won the 400m hurdles and triple jump, and placed second in the long jump, as well as solid points from Ryan McNelis over 400m and high jump, Luke Evans in the steeple, Justin Lane in the pole vault and weight throw, manager Sean McDermott who ran the 5k, throwers Tommy Farragher and Keith Horan, sprinter Abdul Wahab, Jack Miskella over 800m, and John Cormican over 1500m
There were multiple medal wins for Galway’s top Masters athletes at the National Masters Track and Field Championships held on Saturday in Tullamore.
In the distance events, Ian Egan of Tuam won bronze in the 5000m at V50 level with an impressive 17.25. Stephen Casserly of Castlegar AC won bronze in the V35 1500m in a time of 4.22. The evergreen Martin McEvilly of GCH won double gold at V70 level in the 800m and 1500m events, while Niamh Hennelly won bronze in the women's V35 3000m
In the sprints Majella Loftus of GCH won silver despite a torn hamstring in the V45 Ladies 100m. The GCH relay squad of Neil O'Leary, Ronan O'Conghaile, Jason Cafferkey and Jim Phelan won silver in the 4x100m relay and bronze in the 4x400m event. Castlegar AC’s Ronnie Warde won bronze in both 100m and 400m events at Over 35 level.
Keith Horan of South Galway AC won bronze in both 200m and javelin at V35 level. Athenry’s Peadar Nugent won 400m gold, 200m silver and 100m bronze at O75 level
In the field events, Sean Breathnach of GCH won triple gold at V35 level in the shot putt, weight for distance and discus, as well as bronze in the hammer. Linas Mitkas also of GCH won double gold via shot putt and discus gold at V45 level, while Brendan Staunton won silver in the shot and discus V35, Richard O'Hanlon, also GCH, competing at over 65 level, won the long jump, took silver in the shot putt, and bronze in the weight throw, as well as third in the 100m sprint. Tommy Farragher of Corofin won double gold in the hammer and discus, and silver in the shot and weight throws.
Mary Barrett of Loughrea AC won gold in the shot, discus and weight throws at V55 level, as well as silver in the javelin. Margaret Higgins of Corofin AC cleaned up in the throws at V70 level, winning all five events including the shot putt, discus, weight throw, javelin and hammer