ATHLETICS: Masters’ Medal Rush In Athlone

IMPRESSIVE . . .City of Derry Spartans' Declan Reed
IMPRESSIVE . . .City of Derry Spartans' Declan Reed
  • Danea Herron sets new National F55 long Jump record of 3m 90cm
  • Shiels does the 400m/800m ‘gold’ double
  • Reed impressive at Antrim IAAF race

The Athlone Arena hosted the National Masters Indoor championships on Sunday and yielded an excellent medal haul for athletes from Derry City Track Club and City of Derry Spartans.

Six gold medals came from Tim Shiels (M35 400m/800m), Cathal McLaughlin (M45 1500m), Robert Biggar (M55 1500m), Danea Herron (F55 long Jump) and Frank Stewart (M75 60m).

A further four medals also came to Foyleside with a 800m silver from Robert Biggar, M35 bronze 1500m from Adrian Boyle and two bronzes from Danea Herron in the 60m and 200m.

A brilliant return for the athletes involved, Tim Shiels doing the 400m/800m golden double and Herron’s three medals were impressive achievements. Danea in fact set a new National F55 long Jump record of 3m 90cm and her 34.14s 200m clocking was very close to her outdoor best of 34,03s.

Robert Biggar, as ever, saw his battling qualities rewarded and M75 Frank Stewart notched another national medal as he continues his return to competition after several decades out of athletics!


Declan Reed, Scott Rankin and Connor Bradley ran in the Senior Mens 10,00m race in Antrim on Saturday and Michael Melarkey went in the Mens U20 race. The local senior trio went head to head against a group of talented Africans and some of the top cross channel talents in the big IAAF race, Reed and Rankin wearing the green NI vest and Connor Bradley in Irish colours .

Not surprisingly the up front action was dominated by the leading Africans who finished in the top four places with two quality English athletes completing the top six. Ugandan Thomas Ayeko repeated his 2014 win ahead of three Kenyans.

Declan Reed had a superb run for 19th place, just 20 seconds and five places behind the first Irishman to finish, Tullamore Harrier Liam Brady. The very strong performance will boost his confidence considerably as he finalises his Omagh Half Marathon preparations.

Scott Rankin made his representative debut on Saturday for a 35th place finish, a decent effort for a man who favours the roads and who has, like Reed, extended his cross country season to fit in the Antrim race. Connor Bradley was something of a surprise starter after putting all his eggs into the Indoor season and finished just behind Rankin in 36th.

Michael Melarkey yet another who has had a very long season, made his representative debut in the U20 race and was the fourth scorer in the NI team which found the opposition squads very hot to handle.