Golden year for local Masters athletes at AAI National Championships!

GOLDEN YEAR FOR NI & ULSTER MASTERS AT AAI CHAMPIONSHIPS (report compiled for use by Athletics NI)

Damian Crawford (Lifford Strabane AC), Robert Bigger (Derry Track Club), Danea Herron (City of Derry AC), Bosco Reid (Finn Valley AC), Michael Duggan (Annalee AC), Bill McMullen (North Belfast Harriers) and Frank Stewart (City of Derry AC) celebrated double gold medal winning performances at this weekend’s Irish Life AAI National Masters Track & Field Championships in Tullamore, Ireland (Saturday 18th August 2018).

In total, local athletes collected no less than twenty-nine gold medals, with many more picking up silver and bronze medals.

For many of the Masters, the event will be their last outing before the World Masters Championships in Malaga (Spain) next month.

Field athlete Damian Crawford won the Vet45 Hammer (26.74m) and Javelin (48.10m), whilst also taking a silver medal in the Weight for Distance (5.37m) competition and a bronze medal in the Discus (31.05m).

Robert Bigger completed an excellent 800m / 1500m double, winning the two-lap event in 2:25.13 and the metric mile in 5:10.15.  In both races, Robert was joined on the podium by Springwell RC’s Gerry O’Doherty – Gerry picked up a bronze medal in both events (800m – 2:31.25 / 1500m – 5:13.37).

Spartan athlete Danea Herron topped the podium in the Vet55 Long Jump with 3.57m and the Javelin, after landing a 23.34m effort.  Her City of Derry AC club mate Frank Stewart won the Vet80 100m in 16.43, before taking the Javelin title with 22.31m.

Michael Duggan took the Vet75 800m title after crossing the line in 3:19.42 and then went on to add the 5,000m gold after winning in 24:13.07.  Denise Toner scooped gold in the Vet40 1500m after breaking the beam in 4:52.42.

Finn Valley AC’s Bosco Reid (Vet55) led the way in the Shot Putt (10.71m) and the Hammer (32.87m); he also took silver in the Javelin (30.40m).  North Belfast Harriers’ Bill McMullen also ended the day with three medals – his double gold came in the Weight for Distance competition (4.20m) and the Javelin (22.31m).  Bill finished in the silver medal position in the Discus with 21.02m.

Vet50 athlete Cathal McLaughlin (Derry Track Club) produced one of the stand-out local performances of the day when he won the 800m in 2:10.97, just edging out fellow NI man Francis Marsh (North Down AC).  Francis claimed the silver medal in 2:12.77 and added to this with a 4:39.07 for silver in the 1500m.

David Clarke of North Belfast Harriers also impressed with a gold in the 1500m (4:47.94) and a silver in the 800m, where he finished in 2:23.07.

Finn Valley AC celebrated success in the Race Walk events, with the always impressive Brian O’Domhnaill winning the Vet35 5,000m in 24:23.44. His team mates Margaret Reid and Sinead McConnell recorded emphatic wins in the 3,000m, with Margaret winning the Vet45 category in 16:47.29 and Sinead taking the Vet50 title in 15:06.05.

Lagan Valley AC’s Joe Frey won the Vet60 200m in 29.55, adding to his earlier 100m silver; he clocked 14.34 for the 100m.  Joe then collected another silver medal after reaching 4.05m in the Long Jump.

Patrick Crossan (St Anne’s AC) won the Vet55 200m in 26.28 before going on to claim the runners up spot over 400, running 59.77.  Patrick Galvin (Finn Valley AC) leaped to 1.60m to win the Vet40 High Jump – he also ran 20.70 for second place in the 110m hurdles.  Finn Valley AC’s Kay Byrne was another athlete who went home with more than one medal, after winning the Vet55 1500m in 5:27.65 and claiming silver in the 3,000m (11:26.41).

Orangegrove AC’s Gerry Ward won the Vet85 400m in 2:17.52.  Joanne McCauley (Newry AC) and Peter Fryer (City of Derry AC) sealed gold in the High Jump, with Vet40 athlete Joanne jumping to 1.30m and Vet35 athlete Peter reaching 1.73m.

Michelle O’Donnell (Olympian Youth AC) took the Vet35 Javelin title with 27.11m, while in the Vet75 Weight for Distance, Joseph Joyce of Rosses AC won with 6.17m.

Other athletes who produced notable performances on an excellent day of competition included Catherine Diver (Beechmount Harriers), Glen Scullion (Mid Ulster AC), Karen O’Donnell (Olympian Youth AC) and Elaine Connor (Derry Track Club).

Full results for the event are available HERE.

Elsewhere this weekend…

Several familiar faces impressed at the latest British Milers Club (BMC) Meeting in Stretford, Manchester (Saturday 18th August 2018).

Newcastle AC’s Eoghan Totten (Richard Rodgers) recorded a season’s best of 14:58.84 in the 5,000m ‘B’ race.

Conall Kirk (Annadale Striders / Mark Kirk), Callum Crawford-Walker (Annadale Striders / Mark Kirk) and Rachel Gibson (North Down AC / Francis Marsh) were all in action over 800m.  Conall ran 1:53.97, Callum 1:53:43 and Rachel 2:12.48.

Full results for the event are available HERE.