A busy weekend produced two National Juvenile 1,500m bronze medals in Tullamore for Spartans duo, Amy Jackson and Shane McGowan.
And it also featured a welcome Celtic Games call-up for triple jumper, Claire Dougherty, Foyle Valley “Out the Line” 3k wins for Scott Rankin and Catherine Lilburn and top six finishes in the Ballymoney five miler for Richard Johnston and Allan Bogle.
Tullamore once again saw local athletes in podium spots as Saturday’s National Juvenile track & field championships saw the teenage Spartans duo, Amy Jackson and Shane McGowan, both come away with well deserved 1,500m bronze medals.
Amy clocked an excellent 4m 48.93secs for third place in a competitive Girls U18 race and in an equally hot Boys U17 race, Shane posted 4m 11.46secs to do just enough to grab the bronze medal.
Gritty runs from both young talents as a long, hard track season draws to a close.
Amy still has the National League Division One final at the same venue, to come in a few weeks time and hopefully will end her season on a high by helping the red vests women’s squad win promotion to the Premier Division.
Two other local juveniles did well at the Midlands venue, Olympian’s Christine Logue was sixth in the Girl’s U17 200m with 26.44secs and in the Boy’s U17 1,500m, Diarmuid Doherty ran 4m 32.62secs to indicate he is an athlete on the up.
Out the line Series
Scott Rankin and Catherine Lilburn took the honours at Saturday’s 3K opener of the Foyle Valley “Out the Line” series.
In tough conditions Scott took the male win for the host club in 9m 27secs, ahead of Pius McIntyre and Keith Shields while Catherine’s 11m 02secs gave her the female win with fellow Spartan, Miriam Bridge in the runners-up spot. Next up is the 5k, this Saturday, August 4th, on the same course at 11 a.m.
Friday night last saw a good turn-out at the annual Ballymoney five miler, won by the prolific St Malachy’s man, Joe McAlister in 25m 21secs.
Ballymena athlete Jarlath Falls was second on 25m 41secs with the Spartans’ Richard Johnston a clear third with 26m 34secs.
Allan Bogle dropped down from his usual longer racing distance these days to finish a creditable sixth on 27m 07secs.
Also on Friday night, Letterkenny’s Chris Johnston decisively won the Drumhalla, Rathmullan 5k with a 15m 34secs clocking while Sheila Regan of the same club ran 19m 48secs for the women’s victory.
Claire set for Celtics
Claire Dougherty was confirmed on the Irish squad for next Saturday’s annual Celtic Games in Aberdeen and will wear the green vest in the girls Triple Jump.
Her selection comes on the back of a good recent series of performances and her National Juvenile title a few weeks ago clinched her selection.
She has been threatening the 11 metre mark recently and may just need the higher level opposition in Scotland to get out to a season’s best.
Road races continue
The Dungloe Festival 5K is tonight, Tuesday, at 7.30 p.m. and is followed by the Ramelton Festival 5k on Friday evening, also at 7.30 p.m.
The Sperrin Harriers five miler is another Friday night option, it’s in Cookstown at 7.30 p.m. as well.
Back home on Saturday and the Foyle valley 5K “Out the Line” series race at 11 a.m. and the Cranford 5K at 6.30 p.m. as yet another week offers multi choices for road runners.
Looking ahead there’s the Colm Quigley ‘Jog in the Bog’ on Wednesday, August 8th and on then to Dessie’s Run, in Gransha on Tuesday evening, August 28th before the Waterside Half Marathon on Sunday, September 9th, the big one around these parts.