Galway athletes enjoyed great success across a host of events at the National Junior and U23 Indoor Championships in Athlone IT at the weekend.
Craughwell AC secured a superb seven medals, led by an exceptional performance by Patrick Noonan in the U23 1500m to win his first national title, with Galway City Harriers' Aaron Brennan making it a Galway 1-2, taking silver behind Noonan.
Star of the jumps was Craughwell's Evan Hallinan with the unique achievement of winning three national individual medals on the same day. His first came in the U20 men’s triple jump at 10am where he took the bronze medal with a best of 13.02m. Back in action in the U20 men’s high jump, he leaped an impressive 1.90m to win the silver medal on countback. Less than two hours later, Hallinan was back for his final event of the day, the U20 men’s long jump and produced another top-drawer performance with a best of 6.47m on his fifth jump to take the silver medal.
Jade Moorhead was also in super form in the U20 women’s high jump of 1.60m to take the bronze medal on countback – a super achievement to add to the National U20 Scottish title she won recently, while Laura Cunningham was also in great form in the U23 women’s triple jump, leaping 10.33 metres on her sixth and final attempt to take silver. Kyle Moorhead took bronze in the 800m to cap a great day for the Craughwell club.
Galway City Harriers secured five medals - with an individual gold, three silvers, and a team relay bronze.
Richard Kamson secured top billing for the city club winning the triple jump with a leap of 12.99m which was enough to comfortably take the title.
Star sprinter Robert McDonnell competed over 60m, and finished second behind national record holder Israel Olatunde in 6.81 seconds, while Emma Moore is returning to her best with a fine silver in the junior women's 800m.
GCH junior women's 4x200m team claimed a brilliant bronze in the relay via Ciara Dolan, Aisling Healy, Roisin Dalton and Lianna Colleran in a fast time of 1:49.73.
South Galway AC athlete David Mannion was another medallist, winning a silver and clocking 49.88 second in the junior men’s 400m
Irish Schools Cross Country
All roads led to County Antrim on Saturday for one of the biggest days on the Irish Athletics calendar – the Irish Secondary Schools' Cross Country finals at Mallusk.
A large contingent of Galway athletes competed, with several top ten performances, led by Declan O’Connell, representing Clarin College. He stole the headlines when winning his first Irish cap by finishing in seventh place in the junior boys' 3500m. O'Connell will now travel to Wales with the Irish Schools squad.
Craughwell athlete Stephen Ruane cracked the top six in the minor boys' 2500m with a gutsy display, while Presentation College Athenry team placed sixth overall with Craughwell AC Athletes. The squad was led home by Oisín Davis in eighth, followed by Ross McGuinness who held a solid pace to finish in 35th, Anthony Boyle in 54th place, and Luke Forde was the anchor man who secured the sixth spot for the team.
Craughwell 10 Mile and 10km
The Craughwell 10 Mile and 10km races take place Sunday, hosted by Craughwell AC. This year there will be some on the day entries at race headquarters at St. Michael’s Hall Craughwell.