ATHLETICS: Derry athletes make tracks to Santry

Conor Bradley, City of Derry Spartans
Conor Bradley, City of Derry Spartans
  • There is plenty of local interest at the National track & field championships in Santry
  • Spartans’ Naomi Morgan is the only female Derry athlete listed for action
  • The Sperrin Harriers 5 miler takes place on Friday

Athletes from local clubs City of Derry Spartans, Derry City Track Club and Foyle Valley will be in Dublin this weekend for the National Senior Track & Field championships at Santry’s Morton Stadium.

And while podium places may well be at a premium, big performances from all nine athletes are expected.

The Spartans’ JP Williamson and Connor Bradley are joined in the Men’s 5,000m line up by Foyle Valley’s Scott Rankin and this talented trio will hope to make an impression in what looks like a high quality line up.

Given the big entry, there are two races scheduled for the Sunday showdown and if all three are drawn together, the battle for local bragging rights will be all the more intense.

DCTC star Master, Cathal McLaughlin is in the 800m heats on Saturday alongside the teenage Spartan Shane McGowan. Getting out of the heats will be a big ask, the classy Mark English from Letterkenny heads a formidable line up, but seasonal if not PB’s, will be the local boys targets.

Another red vest Connor Doherty runs in the 1,500m heats on Saturday and here again a strong run with a PB target will be sought.

DCTC 400m specialist Aaron Carlyle has the pedigree to produce a big one in his heats, also on Saturday and the Spartans’ Declan Reed takes on a strong field over 10,000m mid afternoon as part of his build up for September’s Berlin Marathon.

Inishowen AC stalwart Pauric McKinney is also in the 10,000m start list and is a Berlin Marathon hopeful as well - it’ll be interesting to see how he goes tomorrow just six days after his M50 National Half Marathon gold medal run.

The only local female athlete listed for action is the Spartans’ Naomi Morgan who will go in the straight final of the 100m Hurdles on Sunday afternoon. She will target a possible podium finish.

Back on the roads there is tonight’s (Friday) Sperrin Harriers 5 Miler out of the Loughrey College Campus with a 7.30pm start and on Sunday at 10 a.m. closer to home is the Riverine 10K in Lifford, a popular race set to pull a big entry.

Wednesday next, August 12th brings the Nissan Coleraine 5 mile Classic out of the Coleraine Leisure Centre at 7.30pm while on Tuesday, August 11th the North Down Open T&F meeting will cater for that clientele at the Bangor track.