Track star McDonnell takes gold again

Pride of place on the podium was taken by Galway's Robert McDonnell on the first day of the National Junior Track and Field Championships in Santry, Dublin on Saturday.

The talented McDonnell, who won gold in the U18 400m final last year, again took the field by storm with a comprehensive win in the same event. And this year, he improved his time from 49.9 to 48.66 for a clear victory in wet conditions.

Sarah Gilhooley of GCH was also on the podium, taking silver in the 3000m steeplechase when clocking 12.34.41 behind Cara McNally of Lusk.

There were also strong sprint performances from GCH stars, notably Andrew Egan, who placed an excellent sixth place in the 200m final in 23.42, and also by Aisling Healy, Nicole Quirke, and Richard Kamsen over 200m, while Robert Urquhart and Paschal Walsh and Ella O Connor competed well over 400m.

Craughwell AC had strong representation in the junior men’s 1500m, with four finishing in the top 10. Kyle Moorhead ran a superb race to place fourth overall, Oisin Davis won his heat and placed seventh overall, just ahead of Paddy Noonan in eighth and Sean Cotter in 10th, while Barry Murphy of GCH was 11th in his heat.

Emily Miskella of Craughwell ran a personal best of 4.56 for third in her heat in the 1500m; Craughwell's Leanagh Gilligan and Alicia Larkin performed well in the long jump, leaping to 4.97 and 4.77 to finish 10th and 11th respectively in an exceptional field, while clubmate Freya Bohan was fourth in her 200m heat.

Masters Track and Field

There was more Galway medal success in Morton Stadium at the weekend with the Masters bringing home four gold and three bronze medals.

Kathryn Casserly had a storming run in the 1500m taking gold in the M40 category in 4.58.8, and Linda Nally put in a tremendous performance in the M45 80m hurdles to claim victory in 15.93 seconds.

Richard O'Hanlon was winner of the M65 shot put with a superb throw of 10.24m, while Sean Breathnach was back in action after his recent success at the senior championships, winning the weight for distance M40 category with a throw of 8.39m.

Gerry Carty enjoyed an excellent run in the M50 5000m, earning a bronze medal in a time of 17.10, while Seamus Lynch successfully jumped to bronze with a leap of 1.40m in the M45 high jump. David Niland claimed a fine bronze in the M60 1500m.

There were more gold medals with John Whiriskey of South Galway AC in the M40 800m in a time of 2.09, while veteran Tommy Farragher continued his medal winning run in the hammer at M70 level for Corofin AC. Mary Barrett of Loughrea AC won the M60 shot put for another national title for Craughwell AC, while the sprint squad excelled - David Mulligan and John Walkin taking silver in the M35 100m and M40 200m respectively, while newcomer Brian Malone won gold in his first 400m race in M40,and Ronnie Warde won bronze in M40 100m.

Tuam AC welcomed a new All Ireland champion in Leonie Hegarty, who won gold in the weight for distance, while silver medal winners were Belinda McGreal in the M45 hammer throw and Justin Lane also in the M45 weight for distance.


The National Junior Championships continue on Sunday in Dublin, with the 3000m, 800m, 400m hurdles, 100m and 110m hurdles, high jump, pole vault and triple jump on the schedule, while the National Combined Events are also still scheduled for September 12 and 13.


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