Teenager McDonnell takes bronze at senior championships

Gort 5km  top three:  Winner Rory Chesser, second Liam Naughton, and third David Bohan.

Gort 5km top three: Winner Rory Chesser, second Liam Naughton, and third David Bohan.

It was a weekend of great success for many of Galway’s top track and field athletes, with three individual and one team medal at the Irish Life Health National Indoor Senior Championships in the National Indoor Arena in Dublin.

Saturday’s action saw a phenomenal performance from the hugely talented GCH sprinter Robert McDonnell. At just 17 years of age McDonnell ran superbly to claim bronze in the senior men’s 200m, clocking 22.06 in the final, after qualifying via the heats earlier in 21.9 seconds.

Veronica Burke of Ballinasloe and District AC won silver in the women's 3000m walk with a superb performance, clocking 14.54 for silver behind Kate Veale.

Nicole Walsh of Galway City Harriers continued her excellent form to claim bronze in the 400m final at Abbottstown on Sunday. In a highly competitive final won by Sophie Becker in 53.75, Walsh sprinted strongly to finish in the medals in a season's best time of 55.2.

There was a great finish for GCH’s relay squad under the guidance of coach Brendan Glynn. The team claimed bronze in the men's 4 x 200m relay event after a thrilling battle with Emerald and Tallaght. The squad comprised Robert Meagher, Robert McDonnell, Jack Dempsey and Owen Scully.

Also of note was the performance of NUIG athlete Sarah Quinn. Competing with her club of St Colman’s South Mayo AC, Quinn stormed to victory on Sunday in the senior women's 60m hurdles.

Gort 5km: First over the line in Sunday's Gort 5km race was Rory Chesser of Ennis Track in a time of 15.30. He finished ahead of clubmate Liam Naughton who was second in 16.10, and GCH athlete David Bohan was third in 16.23. Alma Walsh was the first woman home in 20.08, ahead of Athenry's Edel Kelly and Linda Porter of Craughwell AC.

Fixtures

Kinvara Rock and Road races: The Kinvara Rock and Road series of distance races will be held on Saturday in Kinvara, Co Galway. The full marathon starts at 10am, the half marathon walkers start at 11am, the 10k runners and walkers start at 12 noon, and the half marathon runners start at 12:10pm. Registration is still open on the Kinvara race website.

Irish Schools Cross Country: The Irish Schools Cross Country Championships take place next Saturday in Santry in Dublin with many Galway’s schools represented across the hugely competitive series of eight races.

Irish Universities Cross Country: NUI Galway athletes will chase national silverware this weekend in Cork Institute of Technology at the Intervarsities Cross Country. NUIG men’s team will feature Pierre Murchan, Thomas McStay and Aaron Brennan, and the women's team boasts the talented Rhona Pierce, Aoife O'Brien and Eibhlin McCarthy. Both squads will be in medal contention for Saturday’s races and are among the strongest fielded by the college.

National Masters Indoors Championships: This weekend sees the top masters athletes compete in the National Masters Indoors Championships in Athlone. Many of Galway’s most famous athletes will compete for honours, including Martin McEvilly for GCH, Ian Egan of Castlegar, Kathryn Casserly, Majella Loftus and Sinead Foran of GCH.

 

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