Galway athletes will be in action at the National Juvenile Cross Country Relays and Intermediate Cross Country Championships that will be held in the Palace Grounds in Tuam on Sunday.
The juvenile relays will see clubs from across the country run 4X500 metre legs around the undulating Tuam course, while the intermediate races see the ladies run over 5km and the men a testing 8km circuit. The Tuam venue is now renowned as one of the best natural cross country courses in the country and an exciting day of racing is in prospect,
Galway are fielding both mens and women’s squads, as will many local clubs, and team manager Ian Egan is confident of winning some silverware on home turf.
Siobhan Egan and Barbara Dunne of GCH are tipped to place highly in the ladies' race, ably backed by Jean O'Connor, also GCH and Clonliffe’s Tara Whyte, while in the men’s race Galway have a potential medallist in Andrew O Donnghaile of GCH. Clubmates Sean Hanley and Brian O'Connor and a strong Castlegar AC contingent led by Rob Lennon will form the backbone of a solid men’s team.
Galway Indoor Track and Field Championships
Some 700 athletes from all Galway clubs competed at both juvenile and adult level at the 2017 Galway Indoor Championships in Athlone IT arena on Sunday.
At senior level, Brian O'Connor of GCH won a tactical men’s 3000m in 10 minutes dead from Jim Phelan of GCH in second and Stephen Casserly of Castlegar AC in third. The resurgent Kathryn Casserly of GCH clocked an excellent 10.15 for a clear victory in the ladies’ race, with Aoife King also GCH in second. Seamus Leddy of GCH took the senior men’s walk.
At 800m, Peadar Harvey of Craughwell ran 2.04 to claim the men’s title and Maebh Brannigan of GCH won the ladies' gold. In the sprints, Darren Costello and Rita Lahue, both of GCH, took the honours, while Brendan Lynch of Loughrea won the sprint hurdles. Nicole King of GCH won gold in the ladies' 200m, and Robert Meagher of GCH took the men’s 200m. GCH won both senior mens and ladies' relays
At juvenile level, GCH had impressive wins on the track, including a triple gold medal haul for both Emma Moore and Ava McKeon. McKeon won the U13 hurdles and 60m sprint, as well at the 600m distance race, while Emma Moore won the U14 hurdles and 60m sprint, and ran a superb 2.25 in the 800m. Seren O'Toole, who won 200m gold and U16/17 hurdles took double gold. GCH also took wins via Shane Meagher in the U11 60m, Aaron Brennan in the U16/17 800m, Eimear Rowe in the U15 800m, and Juno Hayes in the U10 60m.
Craughwell AC winners on the track were Ben Moran in the U10 60m, Tara Keane in the U11 600m, Evan Moran in the U12 600m and hurdles, U14 walk winners Farrah Hynes and Eamonn Fleetwood, Oisin Shannon, who won the U16/17 200m, Jack Farrell in the U15 hurdles, as well as Conor Hoade in the U14 hurdles, Chloe Farragher U15 60m, Paschal Walsh 60m sprint and Gavin Lee in the U15 800m.
Loughrea AC winners were Hazel Fahy in the U10 400m, Darragh Fahy in the U11 60m, and U15 hurdles winner Aoibhin Farrell.
Athenry AC were also title winners with Callum Healy taking the U14 60m title, Darragh McNelis the U14 800m, Sarah Gilhooley the U16/17 800m, Brandon Lee the U16/17 hurdles and 60m, and Aoibhe Deeley the 60m U16/17.
Ballinasloe and District gold medallists included Cillian O Tuairisg in the U10 60m, Aoibheann Fitzpatrick in the U12 600m, and Caoimhe Kilkenny in the U12 60m, while Oisin Maher took gold in the U10 Boys 400m for Connemara AC. South Galway AC's David Mannion won a double victory in the U13 hurdles, and 600m.
Tuam AC fielded a huge contingent of athletes, with Danielle Moynihan winning gold in the U11 60m and Daragh Mannion in the U12 60m, while Ross Cosgrove took the U13 60m.
In the field events, Brendan Staunton of GCH and Loughrea’s Mary Barrett claimed the senior shot putt titles. At juvenile level, Darragh Kearney of Craughwell (U12 ), Liam Shaw of Athenry (U13 ), Rian Kearney of Craughwell (U14 ), Cian Davis King of Craughwell (U15 ) and Eoghan Jennings GCH (U16/17 ) were victors in the boys, while Niamh Duffy of Craughwell (U12 ), Caitlin Griffin of Loughrea (U13 ) Ella Rafferty, Tuam AC, (U14 ), Maebh Ford, Corrib, (U15 ) and Chloe Casey of Loughrea (U16/17 ) were victorious in the girls' events
Brendan Lynch of Loughrea and Lorraine Delaney of Craughwell claimed the senior long jump titles. At juvenile level, Dara Zimmer, Craughwell (U10 ), Darragh Fahy, Loughrea AC (U11 ), Oisin Phelan, Tuam (U12 ), Evan Hallinan, Craughwell (U13 ), Jack Hession, Tuam AC (U14 ), Conor Trehy, Craughwell (U15 ) and Conor Leahy, Loughrea (16/17 ) were victors in the boys, while Craughwell took a huge haul of medals in the girls' long jumps via Emma O Donovan (U10 ), Ella Farrelly (U11 ), Isabelle Boland (U12 ), Katie Scully (U13 ), Rebekah Flynn (U14 ), and Leanagh Gilligan (U16/17 ), while at U15 level Aoibhin Farrell won for Loughrea AC.
Jerry Keary of Craughwell took the senior men’s high jump, leaping 1.90m, while Ciana Reidy, also of Craughwell, won the ladies' event. At juvenile level Adam Jordan (Craughwell ) at U12, Evan Hallinan of Craughwell (U13 ), Lukas Schukat of Craughwell (U14 ), and Jack Mannion of Tuam AC (U15 ) were victors in the boys, while Ellen Bermingham of SGAC (U12 ), Jade Moorehead (U13 ), and Rebekah Flynn (U14 ), both Craughwell, Saoirse Healy, Athenry (U15 ), and Leanagh Gilligan (U16/17 ) were girls' winners.
There were also series of very exciting relays on the programme, which saw multiple wins for Craughwell and GCH, as well as wins for South Galway, Ballinasloe, and Loughrea
Tuam AC 8k
Lithuanian international marathon runner Voldas Dopolskas stormed to an impressive victory in the 15th edition of the Tuam AC 8k road race held on Sunday.
Dopolskas, who ran the Rio Olympic marathon, now competes for Balbriggan and District AC in Dublin, and clocked a fast 24.44 for a clear win over Peter Arthur of Liffey Valley AC, with GCH athlete Matt Bidwell third in 26.09.
First lady home was Zola Flynn of Sligo AC in 31.58, with Yvonne Fehily of Athenry AC second and Mary Kealy, also Athenry, in third. Some 300 athletes competed in the event hosted by the local club and led by race director Padraic Burke.
National Track and Field Indoor League
GCH and Craughwell AC fielded teams in the first round of the National Indoor league which also took place in Athlone IT at the weekend
GCH men’s team lies in second place after the first round, with 39 points. Competing on the day were Jack Dempsey in the 60m, who clocked 7.18, Simon Callaghan in the long jump and hurdles who secured 10 points across the two events, Robert Meagher who ran over 800m for the first time with a debut of 2.02, while Brendan Staunton placed second in the shot and Cliff Jennings scored well in the pole vault with eight points.
Craughwell ladies had an excellent start with a fourth place finish. Led by captain Sarah Finnegan, the squad racked up 36 points, with Sinead Treacy getting points in the 60m and long jump, Sinead Gaffney over 800m, Laura Cunningham in the shot, and Ciana Reidy in the pole vault.
GCH ladies made their debut at this level with Nicole King who ran a PB in the 60m in 7.82, placing third overall, Majella Loftus, who scored in both 800m and shot putt, and Solange Carla had a good return to competition in long jump, securing a valuable five points for the team who placed eighth overall.
Galway athletes Damien O'Boyle and Keith Fallon continue to impress in their US collegiate careers. O'Boyle, now with McNeese College, tops the Southland Conference Indoor Mile rankings with 4.13, while Fallon of Lamar College ranks second with 4.16.
Loughrea native Laura Shaughnessy ran on the Irish team at the Antrim International cross country event in Stormont at the weekend, placing 13th overall in a top-class field.