Outstanding performances from club athletes
Karl Griffin travelled to the Catalonian capital Barcelona last week for the World Junior - U20 - Track and Field championships. This biannual event attracted the cream of the Worlds young athletes from 140 countries to the week long festival of athletics competition. The standards achieved by many of the medal winners during the period equalled if not surpassed the upcoming bests in the upcoming London Olympics.
The 17 year old Tir Chonaill man was drawn in the final heat seven of the 800m. Karl ran an excellent race and time of 1min 51.98secs but did not progress to the semi finals. Karl one of the youngest competitors at the championships, ended up following the first round times in 39th position from a start field 61 competitors - a top 40 position in the World and giving most of the opposition over two years of maturity and experience. Well done Karl - you should be proud of your achievement and no doubt will put the experience gained to best use in the years ahead.
Tir Chonaill AC would like to congratulate all the Irish team of fifteen on their performances in Barcelona and to give a special mention to Mark English who ran three magnificent races in as many days to finish 5th in the 800m final - without doubt the top sports/athletics performance by a Donegal sportsperson on the World stage since the 1996 Olympic Gold winning performance of Bridie Lynch in Atlanta and the unforgetable World silver silver medal performance at the World Cross of Danny McDaid so many years ago. Mark, now a 3rd level student in DCU, has progressed a long way since his introduction to the sport in Letterkenny AC and the numerous local North West squad days he participated in as a young teenager.
While Karl Griffin, was contesting at World level, many of his club mates were focusing on Part 1 of the All Ireland club finals in Tullamore. The results from the two day event in Tullamore , podium positions and PB's achieved is testimony and reward for the clubs athletes and coaches who have prepared and trained so effectively during the last year. Well done to all -
Summary - On Saturday Kate McGowan wins the U16 80m Hurdles -into a - 2.9wind - time 11.96secs and the following day Long Jumps a new PB of 5.59m to add a second gold. Kate also ran a PB of 12.89secs for 7th in the 100m finals.Kelly McGrory continues to improve her times/PBs' and on Saturday moved up a distance to the 100m Hurdles and finishes 2nd in a closely fought final -time 15.54secs. In a vey close 100m final -.04secs -seperated Kelly in 2nd plce from winner Harrison, Emerald. Kelly's time 12.48secs.
Hannah Campbell rqualled her PB of 2.50m when winning the U17 Pole Vault and newcomer ot the evnt Katie Hoad was delighted with a silver medal winning position in the U16 PV. Mark McGuinness, moved up a distance to the 3,000m and the Dunkineely lad with a PB time of 9mins 8.68secs secured silver.Clara Herron from North Sligo, journeys weekly to train with the Tir Chonaill throws group and on Sunday evening threw a PB of 11.73m for silver in the U14 age group.
Caolan O'Callaghan, another new comer to Tir Chonaill high jumped 1.65m for 5th in the U15 age group;Chloe Masterson, had a PB of 27m in the U15 Hammer for a 5th place finish; Mark Campbell had a new best putt of 10.70m in the U14 age group for 7th place finish. Mark Boyle in the very competitive U16 Boys 800m final finished 8th in a good time of 2mins8.09secs while Ruth Gillespie filled 8th place in the U16 80m hurdles final.
Finally a word of congrats to neighbouring club athletes and coaches from across the North West on an unprecedented number of podium finishes at an All Irelands.
With the juvenile track and field season coming to a climax two club/Abbey Voc School athletes travel to London this weekend as part of the Irish schools team for the annual U17 four countries International. Best wishes to Kelly Mc Grory, 80mH/300m Hurdles and 4 x 300m relay sqaud and to Kate McGowan, 80m Hurdles and 4 x 100m relay squad as they toe the line against the best young athletes from England, Scotland and Wales. The following weekend Part 2 of the Irish c/ships takes place in Tullamore when again the club have numerous finalists and relay teams participating