Galway City Harriers’ athletes secured an 11-medal haul, including six golds, at the National Juvenile Outdoor Track and Field Championships U13-19 in Tullamore at the weekend.
The hugely talented Robert McDonnell won gold in the U18 400m final in a time 49.9. His clear winning margin is a sign of his strong form ahead of his international stage appearance this week in Baku in the EYOF Games.
On day one, the club secured a hat-trick of golds, which began when U17 athlete Eimear Rowe followed up a solid win in her heat, to storm to victory in the final with a blistering 57.96 second clocking to secure victory over 400m.
The third GCH gold medal came at the end of the day when Darragh Jennings defended his discus title with a sensational 42.95m throw to win the U16 event.
In the field, Conor Hoade was again a medal winner, jumping a massive 6.15m to claim silver in the U16 long jump, while Matthieu Madden, in his first outdoor nationals, won bronze in the U15 high jump with a leap of 1.60m.
GCH claimed an additional six medals on Sunday, with three more victories. Chloe Casey struck gold in the U18 long jump with a huge leap of 5.46 metres; Seren O'Toole won gold over the 400m hurdles at U18 level; and Conor Hoade continued his amazing season, winning the U16 250m hurdles just ahead of clubmate Callum Healy who took the silver medal.
Eimear Rowe won her second medal of the weekend with a silver in the U17 200m, while in the field events, Eoghan Jennings won bronze in the pole vault in the U18 competition.
Liam Shaw of Athenry AC produced one of the performances of the weekend, winning the National shot put title at U15 level, setting a huge new national record of 16 metres 95cm. The previous day Shaw had also already claimed silver in the discus with a best throw of 38.20 metres.
There was great success for South Galway AC with a gold medal win for sprinter David Mannion in the U15 200m, and Saturday’s action saw Sinead Maher win silver in the U14 2km walk.
Evan Hallinan of Craughwell AC impressed when winning the U15 triple jump title, as did clubmate Sean Cotter, who won silver in the U17 1500m to top off a superb championship for Galway athletes
Some of Galway’s top
young athletes are competing on the international stage this week as the summer track and field season continues at European level.
Sarah Quinn of NUIG AC had amazing few days at the at the European U23 Championships in Gavle, Sweden, making the semi-finals of the 100m hurdles and setting one of the fastest times by an Irish woman in the process.
Quinn made it through her heats in a personal best of 13.73, and ran the race of her life in claiming fourth place in her semi -final, duly setting the fourth fastest time by an Irish women with a superb time of 13.57. The talented Ballinrobe native also competed on the Irish 4x100m relay team which placed fourth in the final on Sunday.
Robert McDonnell of Galway City Harriers will compete on the Irish team for the 400m and 4 x 400m relay for the European Youth Olympics in Baku Azerbaijan, which starts on Saturday.
Kyle Moorhead of Presentation College Athenry competes on the Irish team in the 1500m steeplechase at the Schools' International Track and Field meeting which will be held in Swansea, Wales, on Saturday.
Galway athlete Alanna Lally of UCD competed for Ireland at the World University Games last week in Naples in Italy. Lally made it through her first 800m heat, clocking 2.06, and made it into the semi-finals where she placed a creditable sixth overall
National Track and Field League Final
Galway County and GCH teams compete in the finals of the National Track and Field League on Saturday in Tullamore.
Galway women's team under the management of Sarah Finnegan, impressed in qualifying, while the Galway City Harriers men’s team, under the guidance of Cliff Jennings, will be looking to go one better than last year when both teams place second overall in the premier division. Cillin Greene and Sean Breathnach will compete for GCH, with Nicole Walsh, Regina Casey and Aisling Joyce all likely to feature for the Galway women.
Galway County men’s team, led by Sean McDermott and Michael Tobin, will be aiming for promotion from division one
National 10 mile championships: Martin Keane of Athenry AC picked up another national title, this time at the 10 mile championships held in Dublin on Sunday. He won the O75 category by a clear margin. Tim Jones of GCH captured national bronze at O40 level.
Northern Irish Masters: At the Northern Irish Masters held recently in Mary Peters Track Belfast, Corofin athlete Tommy Farragher set a new irish record in hammer at O70 level, throwing 44.39m. Farragher also collected three other gold medals.
Mary Barrett of Loughrea AC won a whopping six gold medals in discus, javelin, 80m hurdles, 300m hurdles, high jump and shot putt, with the last three all new Irish records. Corofin's Margaret Higgins also impressed, winning an incredible seven golds at W65 level. Barrett also won three golds at the British Masters last weekend, breaking her own shot record in the process.
East Galway AC hosts a 5k road race in Skehana Saturday at 7pm. Race headquarters is at Skehana Community Development pitch, with registration from 6pm, €15.
National Championships: This weekend sees more national championships action taking place, with the juvenile B championships, and the club relays taking centre stage on the final day of the Juvenile Track and Field Championship programme in Tullamore on Sunday next.