Two European qualifying performances were set at the Galway Senior, Masters and Junior Track and Field Championships in Dangan last Thursday.
A superb display of 400m running saw Robert McDonnell of Galway City Harriers clock a European Youth Olympics qualifying time in perfect conditions in Dangan. The hugely talented McDonnell ran a fast time of 48.80 to beat the 48.95 standard needed and also claimed the junior men's title.
Sarah Quinn of NUI Galway AC also produced a super display of athletics, setting a European U23 qualifying standard of 14.10 when winning the 100m hurdles, and also running a very fast 100m to win the women's event in 11.87.
Guest athlete Paul Costello of Emerald AC returned to action after a long layoff to win the men’s 100m in 10.96, with Galway's first athlete home, Craughwell AC’s Conor Duggan, showing a strong return to form. Lydia Doyle and Richard Kamsen, both of GCH, won the junior titles, with Masters victories for Keith Horan of South Galway and GCH athlete Majella Loftus. Justin Lane of Tuam AC took the men’s sprint hurdles, with Mary Barrett of Loughrea AC winning the Masters hurdles.
Rob Meagher took the senior men’s 400m title behind McDonnell with a fast 49.7. Eimear Rowe of GCH was the fastest women over 400m when taking the junior gold, with Masters gold for Majella Loftus and Keith Horan again, and a senior win for Ailbhe Coyle of Castlegar,
David Carter of GCH pipped Gavin Cooney of Craughwell AC to win the men’s 1500m in a time of 4.24, while Sinead Gaffney of Craughwell had a good battle with Sinead Foran of Galway City Harriers, before eventually pulling away to victory on the last lap.
Conor Cusack of Lake District AC in Mayo was another guest athlete seeking a European standard, competing in the U18 javelin, and he eventually threw out to 59.22 metres, just off the qualifying mark required.
Multi eventer Michael Breathnach of GCH won the senior men’s competition with 46.31 metres and also claimed shot put gold. In the women's throws, Sinead Keon of Loughrea AC won senior javelin gold, with Freya Bohan of Craughwell AC taking the javelin and shot junior titles. Mary Barrett took shot put and javelin gold at master's level. Aisling Keady of Craughwell won the senior shot put and long jump titles. Michael Breathnach continued his great evening to win his third title in the men’s long jump, while Frank Gilmore of Castlegar won the race walk.
The events this evening (Thursday ) include the 3000m women, 5000m men, 200m, 800m, and 400m hurdles and relays on the track, with the high jump, triple jump, discus, and weight for distance down for decision in the field. Day three takes place on June 6 with the 10,000m, mile, plus two sprints events on the track.
Galway 5km Series
The 2019 Galway 5km Series continued in Athenry, with more then 650 athletes finishing the fourth leg of the event on a fast course.
Cathal O'Reilly of Loughrea AC was first man home in the fastest time in the series this year, 16.23, to take his second win, while Kevin Moore came home next in a solid 16.39, and John Whiriskey of South Galway AC placed third in 16.51.
The first woman home was Regina Casey of GCH in time of 17.35, again winning her second race of the series. Grainne Ni Uallachain took second for GCH in 18.21, and Sinead Foran also of GCH placed next in 19.04. Shauna Bocquet of Craughwell AC was first wheelchair athlete in a flying time of 15.19.
GCH will host the grand finale in Kilcornan on Tuesday June 4.
Irish Universities match
Several Galway athletes competed on the Irish Universities team at the Celtic International versus Scottish Universities in Antrim recently. There were wins from Galway athletes Orna Murray in the women's 3000m, Brendan Lynch over hurdles and Aoife O'Brien in the steeplechase, a second for Laura Nally over 400m, third in the 1500 metres for Jack Miskella, and a fourth place for John Moroney over 5000m.
Sarah Quinn of NUI Galway set a second European qualifying 100m standard at an international meeting in Belgium on Saturday, along with another 100m hurdles standard set at the Galway track and field competition. Brendan Glynn, GCH sprint coach, managed the Irish Junior women’s team to achieve a European qualifying time in the 4x100m relay race at the same event
Irish Schools Track and Field Juvenile Championships: The All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships will be held on Saturday in Tullamore, and there will be plenty of Galway athletes chasing national honours at this prestigious event. Those to watch include the in-form Robert McDonnell of Colaiste Na Coiribe and Emma Moore of Presentation Athenry in the track events, Liam Shaw of Presentation Athenry, Daragh Jennings and Ailbhe Ni Mhaille of SCC Carraroe in the throws, and Evan Hallinan of Athenry also in the field events
At minor level contenders include Mathieu Madden of Merlin College in high jump and his schoolmate Christian Ogbemitu over 100m, Evan Moran of Presentation College Athenry in 75m hurdles, and Caoimhe Farrell of Mercy Woodford.
At junior level some of the top Galway girls competing are Ava McKeon of AM Ballinasloe in the 75m hurdles, Leah Toher of PC Headford over 1500m and Fauve Aylmer over 800m for St Raphael’s Loughrea.
In the junior boys’ events, Calum Healy of Presentation Athenry in the hurdles, John Usifo of St Mary’s College in the 100m sprint, and distance runner David Mannion of Seamount Kinvara will battle for honours, while in the intermediate events, Aoibheann Farrell of Mercy Woodford, and Presentation Athenry athletes Conor Hoade, Conor Trehy and Kyle Moorhead, will expect a good outing. Sean Cotter of Calasanctius Oranmore will target a medal in what may well be an exciting 3000m.
At senior level Jack Maher of Clifden CS and Aaron Brennan of Claregalway will target the 1500 metres, while Richard Kamsen for Merlin College, Sam Ukaga of St Brigid's Loughrea in the long jump, and Ryan McNellis of Presentation Athenry in the 400 hurdles will all look to impress
Tribal Games Castlegar
The annual Tribal Games track and field event hosted by Castlegar AC will take place next weekend over two days of the Bank Holiday.
On Saturday, from 3pm, a series of events is being held at the grass track in Merlin Woods Park, Doughiska. Children's events include sprints and distance races, shot, javelin, and long jump, for U8s to U16 age groups.
Adult events are: 100m, 400m, graded mile races for all abilities (run/walk a mile ) and elite senior and masters miles, while in the field programme, there will be a shot putt, long jump, and weight for distance throw
Sunday June 2 sees the action shift to Galway Racecourse where a 5k will take place at 3pm along with a children's mile race.