High Flyers

20 August 2011; Mary Devlin, City of Derry, Co. Derry, in action during the Women's Division 1 Long Jump at the Woodie's DIY National Track and Field League Final. Tullamore Harriers, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***
20 August 2011; Mary Devlin, City of Derry, Co. Derry, in action during the Women's Division 1 Long Jump at the Woodie's DIY National Track and Field League Final. Tullamore Harriers, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

A PACKED weekend of competitive action was highlighted by a new Irish F50 Masters Javelin record by City of Derry Spartan, Danea Herron, at Sunday’s National Masters Championships in Tullamore.

Indeed, a clutch of medals came to Foyleside from that event while locals were also to the fore at the same venue for Saturday’s National League Finals; on the Antrim Track and at road races in Ballyare, Letterkenny and Moville.

Danea Herron threw 26m 68cm to win the F50 Javelin and set new Irish Age Group figures in the processs and made it double gold with victory in the long jump to cap an excellent weekend.

New M35, Eoghan Furey, made his Masters track debut a memorable one by running 2m 04 secs. for age group 800m gold and he followed that up with a 56.2secs. effort for 400m silver.

In the M40 category, Philip Donaghy did very well for 800m bronze in his age group clocking 2mins. 08secs.,in his track debut at this level.

Jackie McGinley was also busy and was rewarded with F40 3000m silver and 1500m bronze, an excellent double performance on the day and a brave effort considering she ran a 1500m PB of 5m 21.95s the day before in the National League Club final. Not a bad return for the Spartans Masters and more silverware is expected at this weekends N.I/Ulster Masters in Belfast.

Moving to road races and Emmet McGinty was a comfortable winner of Saturday afternoon’s Moville 10K with a 34m 08s clocking over a testing course in hot conditions. The experienced Spartan was nearly two minutes clear of runner-up, Neil Faulkner’s 35m 55s with another red vest, Gerry Duddy, showing he is getting back to form by finishing third with 36m 45s, not bd for an M45.

Foyle Valley’s Barry Smyth was sixth on 38m 19s and Josephine Cunningham of Inishowen AC ran 46m 44s to take the women’s honours.

The Friday night Ballyare 10K was won in 33m 25s by Letterkenny’s peerless Pauric McKinney, ahead of clubmate Jonny Patton on 34m 25s with a strong effort from the Spartans Gary Slevin chasing the Letterkenny man home in 34m 35s. Sheila Regan of Letterkenny emerged the female winner with a 41m 27s time for yet another testing 10K circuit.

National League

As expected, there was no joy for the local clubs City of Derry Spartans and Olympian at Saturdays National League finals in Tullamore, but both squads gave it their best shot and produced some good individual performances in the day long Division1 deciders.

The female Spartans did better than expected for a fourth place finish in the eight club final. This was a two place improvement on their qualifying position and given they were minus a few serious points scorers, it augers well for next season.

The Olympian men also moved up the rankings from seventh to Saturday’s sixth place finish but will need to add bodies over the winter to boost next year’s challange.

The Spartans scored 86 points in fourth, pipping West Waterford by a point and missed the bronze team medals won by St. Abbanson on 98, with Clonliffe’s 118 holding off Raheny on 108 for the divisional gold.

Mary Devlin won the Long Jump with a decent 5m 56cm leap and grabbed good runners up points in the 100m with 12.80s. Hammer thrower Maggie Donnelly pushed out a massive 47m 18cm to take her specialist event and Jamie Herron got out to 10m 28cm for second place and good triple jump points.

High jumper Claire Dougherty cleared 1m 55cm and was beaten only on countback and a trio of PBs from Marina Campbell, 3000m, Amy McDaid 800m, and Jackie McGinley 1500m further boosted the red vests total.

Hurdler Emma McCay, thrower Caitlin Ketelaar and sprinter, Jenni O’Brien, were the other Spartans contributors and the club mentors will have seen enough to seriously target a top two finish next year and promotion to the Women’s Premier Division. A full strenght turnout, however, will be key to achieving this target.

John Coyle won the Mens Division 1 long jump with an impressive 6m 43cm for Olympian and also ran a sub 23s. 200m, finishing fourth and these were the best individual efforts for the local blue vests who amassed a total of 78 points for a sixth place finish behind winners, Tallagh on 114, with Galway on 98 and Clare County on 88. The top two move up to the Premier Division for next year.

Lee Barlow, Ian Sheridan, Martin O’Donnell, Shaun Deery, Ciaran Doherty and Brendan Quinn all also battled hard for the city club who have done well to make the divisional final and must use that as their base line for 2012.

For the record Clonliffe Harriers made it five successive men’s Premier Division wins on the spin with 118 points, well clear of runners-up St. Abbans 108 and on 99.5 points bronze medallists, North Down.

DSD on 127 won the women’s Premier Division easily from Bandon’s 110 and Leevale on 104 points with the North=West club, Tir Choniall, slumping to eighth on a below par 46 points.

Desssies Run 10K

The 2011 edition of the popular Dessies Run is now less tha a week away with around 200 participants expected at the Gransha Grounds on Tuesday next, August 30th, for the three lap 10K in and around the Limavady Road circuit. There is a 7.15 p.m. start for the City of Derry Spartans promotion, entries will be taken from 6.00 p.m. at the U3A Foyle premises, Pascal McDonald House in the Gransha Grounds on the night.

It is also possibleto enter in advance by email and pick up the race pack on the night. Simply send name, age on race day and T-Shirt size to dessiesrun@gmail.com

There are T-Shirts for the first 200 entries recieved and the usual generous prize list for the leading finishers, including masters and U-20 categories. Post race refreshments will be provided at the prize ceremony in the U3A Foyle premisses.

Last year’s winner, Gregory Roberts, is expected back to defend his title and should face some good quality competition as Dessie’s Run has an excellent reputation and comes at a suitable time for runners preparing for upcoming races like the Waterside Half Marathon on Sunday, September 11th and the autumn marathons beyond that.

Perfect 10 For Daniel

City of Derry Spartan, Daniel Reed, spent the weekend at the Antrim Forum track and came away with the N. Ireland Senior Men’s Decathlon Championship gold medal after two days of demanding multi event action.

PBs in the Pole Vault and Long Jump were major milestones in the success for the Limavady student and he was also delighted with his 100m, 400m, High Jump and surprisingly his 1,500m performances.

The latter is, of course, the final event in the gruelling 10 discipline decathlon, a true test of speed, strength and stamina. Well done to Daniel for a great effort!

And congratulations to another City of Derry Spartans member, Naomi Morgan, won the under-15 pentathlon in Antrim after a superb effort.

Also in Antrim were J. P. Williamson and Connor Doherty. The teenage Spartans ran in the Open 800m races and J. P. once again got close to the 2 minute barrier, clocking 2m 02s while Connor produced a 2m 24s effort.