Fifty of Galway’s top athletes returned from Sunday's National Masters Indoors Championships in Athlone with a huge medal haul.
Top of the medal table was Mary Barrett of Loughrea AC who won four golds at Over 60 level. She claimed gold in both jumps, firstly the high jump with a clearance of 1.15n. before setting a championship best performance of 3.21m to win the long jump. She then went on to win both the shot putt and weight for distance throws.
Evergreen Martin McEvilly of GCH was also on top form. In an amazing display of stamina, he claimed triple gold at O70 level in the 800m, 1500m, and 3000m races.
Majella Loftus of GCH continued her good run, winning the 60m sprint and taking silver in the 200m, before leading the GCH women's team to relay bronze.
Niamh Hennelly of Galway City Harriers stormed to gold in the 1500m and took home bronze in the 800m at O35 level, while clubmate Sinéad Foran won silver in 1500m and bronze at 800m in the O40 section. Jean O'Connor, also of GCH took silver in the O35 800m behind Hennelly.
Jim Phelan of GCH surged to victory in the 400m, running a personal best of 55.21 when winning the O45 category. Also in the O45 section, Mark Davis of Craughwell stormed home on the final lap to claim bronze medal in the 3000m with a fast time of 9.30.
Ronnie Warde of Castlegar AC won sprint gold in the 60m with a flying 7.30 time to retain his title, while John Whiriskey of South Galway won silver in the 800m in the O40 section with a strong run of 2.06.
In the field, Brendan Staunton, Sean Breathnach and Linas Mitkas won triple shot putt gold for Galway City Harriers in the over 35, 40 and 45 categories respectively. Breathnach was the top thrower on the day with a best throw of 16.74 metres, and later added gold in the senior weight for distance event held alongside the Masters. Staunton and Mitkas also picked up silver medals in their categories.
Richard O'Hanlon of GCH won shot putt silver and sprint bronze in the 60m at 060 level, while Tommy Farragher of Corofin AC won silver in the shot putt and weight throw in the 065 competition. Clubmate Margaret Higgins won gold in the 60m, and also took the weight throw and shot putt silver, while Mairead Welby of Corrib AC made a strong debut, winning shot and weight for distance silver in the O55 section.
Cross Country success
Many of Ireland's most talented young athletes contested the All Ireland Schools Cross Country Championships in Clongowes College in Kildare, and the run of the day for Galway was produced by Sean Cotter of Calasanctius College.
The Oranmore pupil claimed a superb seventh place in the intermediate boys' event, and secured a place on the Irish Schools Cross Country team for the upcoming SIAB schools' international in Dublin.
At senior level, Aaron Brennan of Claregalway was best for Galway in 26th place, with Patrick Noonan in 34th spot. Ailbhe Miskella, competing in the senior girls for Presentation Athenry, had a strong run to finish 21st overall, while sister Emily was another who impressed with a great 18th place finish in the intermediate event, again for Pres Athenry.
There were solid runs for Oisin Davis for Pres Athenry, and Barry Murphy for St Enda’s in the intermediate run, with the Presentation Athenry team placing sixth overall, with Carraroe in 11th, led home by Eoghan Jennings.
Daragh Jennings, competing in the junior boys, secured an excellent 13th place for Carraroe, and William McDonnell of St Josephs Galway was 29th. St Mary’s College placed 10th team in the junior race, led home by Luke Flaherty.
Leah Toher of Presentation College Headford secured 15th place in the junior girls with an excellent run, while An Spideal and Carraroe also fielded teams at minor and junior level, with An Spideal 11th in the minior boys, and 12th in the junior boys, and Carraroe 10th in the junior girls race.
Jane Ann Meehan of GCH placed third in the Bohermeen half marathon held in Meath on Sunday in windy conditions. Meehan clocked 1 hour 22 minutes, a solid run as she continues her marathon build up. Regina Casey also of GCH took an easy win in Mayo at the Carra Classic over 8km running 29.26.