Strong Spartan squad off to Glasgow

editorial image

Lots more competitive action this weekend with Glasgow, Belfast, Cookstown and Ballybofey the venues likely to see local athletes in the line-ups.

A 30 strong plus group of City of Derry Juveniles and coaches will depart for Glasgow’s Emirates Arena today for the Scottish Indoor championships over the weekend, with personal bests and possibly medals the clear targets.

The road runners can show their paces at the Albertville five miler in Belfast on Saturday or at Sunday’s second round race in the Finn Valley 5K series in Ballybofey.

Saturday also offers the final race in the Sperrin Harriers Winter Trail series, a testing 10 miler at Lough Fea in Cookstown and Jordanstown hosts the 60m and 60m Hurdles Ulster Juvenile Indoor championships tomorrow as a very busy weekend beckons.

To Glasgow first and a raiding party of 29 young Spartans will travel expecting results on the boards of the Emirates Arena.

Sprinters, Hurdlers, Jumpers and middle distance athletes make up the large group, many of whom have already tasted Indoor success since the turn of the year at Magherafelt and Athlone.

That experience will stand them in good stead in Scotland and the club coaches are confident of big performances all round.

Shane McGowan in the 800m, 400m runners Anna Barr, Martin McGeady and Jenny O’Brien, Long jumper Naomi Morgan and Long/Triple jumper Claire Dougherty should all go well.

Add sprinters Megan Devine, Jack McCloskey, Stephen McGahey, Ciara Armstrong and Ryan McParland and sprint hurdler Mark McGarvey and there’s a wealth of talent on the Glasgow flight this morning.

The Albertville 5 in the Duncrue Estate Belfast tomorrow at 2pm could draw some local interest and Ballybofey on Sunday is certain to see some Derry runners make the short trip for the 5K which has an 11 a.m. start time.

Lough Fea in Cookstown hosts the last in the popular Sperrin Harriers Winter Trail race series and has a 12 noon start.

Pius McIntyre has a great record in the Sperrin races and could be the man to watch there again tomorrow.

Anne Paul is another who could line up, the 10 mile distance probably suiting her marathon preparations.

Finally it’s Jordanstown tomorrow for the final round of the Ulster Juvenile Indoor championships.

The 60m and 60m Hurdles are the events down or decision with age groups of U12 (60m only) up to U19 for the Hurdles.

Given the numbers away in Glasgow the local input in Jordanstown is unknown.

An update from the Athletics report earlier in the week. Connor Bradley’s actual time at last weekend’s Invitation Indoor Mile at Athlone was an eye catching 4m 02.67s, leaving him only a few strides behind the 4m 02.55s of winner John Coghlan and confirming that the City of Derry man will be one to watch this summer and beyond.