Galway athletics report

Galway 5km Series

The 2019 Galway 5km Series finished last Tuesday in Kilcornan, with 600 athletes completing the final race of the series despite the unseasonal conditions. Visitor Matt Coffey competing with Castlegar AC was first home, in 16.31, ahead of Cathal O Reilly of Loughrea AC in second in 16.43, and Kevin Moore third home in 16.47.

First lady with her debut win in the series, was Edel Kelly of Athenry AC in a time of 19.38, with second home Yvonne Fehily, also of Athenry and third Aine O Farrell, thus making it a clean sweep for the Athenry ladies.

Galway Athletics thanks sponsor Windsor Motors, all the clubs which hosted the six events, and those 1,000 athletes who took part over the last six weeks of racing.

Galway Senior, Masters and Junior Track and Field championships

The final day of The Galway Senior, Masters and Junior Track and Field championships was held last Thursday with another full programme of events, and it featured two incredible performances from Claire Fagan over 10,000m and Tommy Farragher in the hammer.

Claire Fagan of Mullingar Harriers put on a superb display of distance running to win the ladies' 10,000m at the Galway Track and Field championships, and in doing so she clocked a superb European U23 qualifying standard of 36.01, with a gritty and determined performance in front of an enthralled crowd. Fagan will now look forward to the European U23 Championships in Sweden this summer.

The hugely talented Gerry Ryan of Craughwell AC made an amazing comeback to the sport winning the men’s 10,000m, beating all comers to clock 33.25 for victory, in a new national masters' record, with Mark Davis also Craughwell in second and Shane Begley of Castlegar AC third. Tommy Farragher of Corofin AC also starred on the night, setting a new Irish hammer record of 43.87 metres at over 70 level, and his prior throw also broke the previous record. Brendan Staunton won the men’s senior competition, with Leone Hegarty of Tuam AC taking gold in the ladies' section.

Gavin Cooney of Craughwell AC won the mile championships in 4.52, with a front running performance, while Ailbhe Miskella, also Craughwell AC, was first lady home. The Craughwell AC team won the League element of the three-day competition, led by manager Michael Tobin. Sarah Quinn of NUIG and GCH junior athlete Robert McDonnell won the 120m sprint time trials, with Robert Meagher and Nicole Walsh both GCH, winning the 300m event

Connacht Juvenile Track and Field championships

The Connacht Juvenile Track and Field championships were held last Saturday in a packed Dangan, at the Regional Sports Centre track. The events featured the U9 to 11 pairs competitions, and the U12 and U13 individual events.

Galway had several medal winners on the day, firstly in the U9 Pairs competition, as Rhys Costello and Dean Garvey of Tuam AC won the U9 boys' 60m title. The Craughwell pair of Darragh O Donnell and James Niland won the 300m distance race at U9 level. In the U10 events, Cian McGinn and Eanna Mc Grath of Tuam AC took gold in the 500m track race. At U11 level, the Craughwell pairing of Kai Watters and Jack Cahill won the 60m sprint gold. Cahill also starred for Craughwell in the 600m race, winning gold with clubmate Stephen Joyce. In the U11 girls' events, Hazel Fahy and Hannah McGrath of Loughrea AC won gold medals in the 500m distance event.

In the relays, Tuam AC won double gold in the younger age groups, taking Connacht titles in the U10 boys' and U11 girls' events, while Craughwell AC took gold in the U11 boys' relay. At U12 level, Angela Cielecka of GCH won the girls' 60m sprint with a fast 8.94, while JJ Oifoh of Tuam AC made it a Galway double in claiming the boys' 60m title. In the field, Keevagh Bary of Craughwell AC won the long jump with a best of 4.27 metres, with clubmate Sean Hoade claiming the U12 boys' title.

Emma O Donovan of Craughwell AC and Ciaran O Donnell of Tuam were victorious in the high jump, while Ruby Casey of East Galway powered to victory with a big throw of 7.67 metres to win the girls' shot putt. In the U12 relays, Craughwell AC girls and Tuam AC Boys teams won Connacht gold. In the U13 events, Darragh Fahy of Loughrea AC continues to stand out, winning an incredible triple individual gold in the boys events' in the 80m sprint, hurdles, and long jump. Fahy also won a relay gold medal, is having a great season and will look forward now to the upcoming All Irelands. There were strong medal winning performances behind him for Galway athletes such as Ronan Duggan and Richard McGrath of GCH, on the track.

Ella Farrelly of Craughwell AC was another who hugely impressed, also winning a hat trick of golds at U13 level, emerging victorious in the U13 girls' 80m sprint, the 60m hurdles, and the long jump. Darragh Kelly of Craughwell won gold in the high jump and a silver in long jump, while Danielle Moynihan of Tuam AC won U13 girls' gold in the high jump. In the throws, Caltra’s Jack O Shaughnessy claimed gold in the U13 boys' shot putt with a best of 8.74 metres. In the relays, Tuam AC girls' and the Loughrea AC boys' teams stormed home to win their respective Connacht titles at U13 level.

Day two of the Connacht championships will be held on this Saturday in Sligo IT with the U14-19 juvenile events and the adult championships taking place.

Irish Milers Club

Several Galway athletes competed Saturday at the Le Cheile International in Leixlip, where Irish athletes took on a team of athletes from Great Britain in a series of graded races. Nicole Walsh of GCH ran a season's best of 55.63 to claim silver in the ladies' A' 400m and clubmate Laura Nally ran a 57. 76 personal best to take bronze in the same race. Jack Dempsey of the city club clocked an impressive 10.89 in the 100m in a great return to form, as did GCH’s Rob Meagher who clocked 11.05 for 100m to take second in his race. Maebh Brannigan continued her good form and took silver in the 800m in 2.20. Keith Fallon also of GCH continues to impress over 800m this year with a fourth place finish in 1.55, just ahead of Craughwell's Jack Miskella who set a new best of 1.57.5.

Clifden 10k

The Clifden 10k was held last Sunday on a testing circuit around the west Galway town, and first home was Michael Canty of Moy Valley AC, ahead of Malachy Wolohan and Niall Murphy, both of GCH.

Portumna Forest marathon races

The annual Portumna Forest 10k, half marathon, full marathon, 50k and 100k series of races were held last Saturday, in the scenic surrounds of Portumna Forest park.

David Murray clocked a fast time of one hour 14 minutes to take first place in the Portumna Forest half marathon, while Linda Grogan was first lady home in the half in 1.26. The full marathon over 26.2 miles was won by Gary Byrne in 2.55, with Helen Hartnett first lady in 3.30.

The 50k victory went to Stephen Connon in three hours 32 minutes, with Colette O' Donoghue first lady home, while the gruelling 100k event was won by Laszlo Barcokski in eight hours 51 minutes, with Deirdre Lynn first lady home. Ed Maher won the 10k in 36.45, with Madeleine Doyle first woman home.

Masters' records

Loughrea AC athlete Mary Barrett was in record breaking form last weekend, competing in the Leinster Masters last weekend in Tullamore she set a new Irish over 60 shot putt and discus record. Barrett smashed both of those marks again on last Sunday at the Munster Masters in Templemore throwing the shot out to 9.87m, a new record, and set a new discus record of 23.74m, and a high jump record for good measure.

Fixtures

Killeeneen NS 5k

A busy week of road races kicks off with the annual Killeeneen National School 5k race, which will be held today at 7pm. The 5km race will route onto a looped flat surface in Killeeneen near Craughwell. This event has something for everyone with a 5km run, 2.5km walk, and junior 1km challenge. The event is AAI measured and permit approved and entry is €18, while race headquarters is at Killeeneen National School.

Bullaun NS 8k

The Bullaun 8k is an AAI approved race and will take place for the fifth consecutive year tomorrow evening at 7.30pm. The course is a fast loop, on closed roads in the countryside. The event will also include a 5k walk and 1k children's run. Registration will open at 5pm tomorrow at Bullaun National School, with the start 500 metres away at Turoe Pet Farm. Registration is €15 at active.com

Ballinderry NS 5k

The Ballinderry NS 5k race takes place on Sunday at 1pm. Race registration will take place in Ballinderry National School from 11am on the day of the race. The race starts at Gills Pub, Ballinastack, Ballyglunin, at 1pm, and is AAI permitted and timed. Prize giving and the local refreshments will be available in Ballinderry National School. All proceeds go to the extending of Ballinderry National school.

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