Galway athletes shine at national track and field finals

Galway’s Presentation Athenry has become the first Galway school to claim an overall title at the Irish Schools Track & Fields finals.

The Pres won the Junior Girls trophy - only the second time a Connacht school has earned this distinction and a first for a Galway school.

Strong performances from Craughwell AC's Claire Ryder, Jessica Heneghan, Maria McNamara and Sinead Gaffney combined with Galway City Harrier Alanna Lally to lift the coveted award.

Alanna Lally produced the oustanding performance of the day, winning the junior girls 800m in 2mins 16.24 secs. Lally, who has moved up from the minor age group and will be eligible for the junior event again next year, recorded a personal best time by four seconds.

She joined her fellow Presentation Athenry schoolmates Claire Ryder, Maria McNamara and Jessica Heneghan for the 4x100m relay, running the third leg, and the team powered to a silver medal with a time of 52.48.

Dominican Convent Taylor's Hill defended their intermediate girls’ 4x100m relay title in fine style, winning in a time of 51.29 secs.The team is an all-GCH formation, Amy Rohan, Georgina Healy, Emma Carter and Tara Hession.

Keith Fallon set a PB in the senior boys’ 800m in 1min 59. Michele Maher also set a PB in the intermediate 1500m with a time of 4mins 58.56 secs

In the junior girls high jump, Maria McNamara cleared 1.40, 1.45 and 1.50 to place herself in the top four. Knocking 1.55m on her first attempt, Maria cleared it on her second attempt to claim third place.

Maria Cooney of Athenry AC, represenying Loughrea VS, had a great win in the junior girls’ long jump with a huge PB of 5m 44 cm. Claire Ryder, Craughwell AC and Pres Athenry, also had a huge jump, finishing third in the same competition with 5m 22cm. Linda Porter Craughwell,AC & Loughrea VS, also had a great win in the u-16 mile race, producing a superb sprint finish.

Maeve Curley (Pres Thurles ) put in an excellent performance in the 3000m walk to take the silver medal in an excellent time of 14:43.32, while Rachel Finnegan (Loughrea VS ) took fourth place in the senior girls’ 400m hurdles in a time of 69.59.

In senior road running, the Galway 5k series finished in ideal conditions in Dangan on Tuesday with more than 420 runners taking part. The new one-lap course received the stamp of approval from the competitors. In total more than 600 people took part in the phenomenally popular series. The winners on the night were Peter O'Sullivan of Craughwell AC and Eimear Butler of Athenry AC.

Also in road running, Paul McNamara of Athenry AC finished second in the Cork City Marathon in a time of 2:30:15.

Sean Breathnach of GCH has been selected for the Irish team at both shot putt and discus for the upcoming European championships.


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