A busy weekend of road and track action saw a clutch of National Juvenile Track Championship medals brought home from Tullamore, some decent runs at Saturday’s G. V. Ryan meeting in Dublin and locals on the podium at the Strabane 10 kms. event.Jenny O’Brien did well in Tullamore, claiming the Girls’ Under-19 400m hurdles gold and 400m flat silver, in the space of a hectic 60 minutes on Sunday. A terrific effort from the talented City of Derry Spartan and Olympian’s Olivia Webb kept the local flag flying with the 400 m hurdles silver medal.
Naomi Morgan too has been in good form recently and she ran a swift 14.79 secs. for a close-up silver medal in the girls’ Under-18 100m hurdles, to underline the Spartans hurdling prowess.
Aoife Laverty, in the under-17 800m; the Olympian duo of James Clarke, under-16 long jump and 250 m hurdles and Christine Logue in the U18 100m, did well without getting close to podium finishes in their events.
Dublin’s Santry Stadium hosted the annual G. V. Ryan meeting on Saturday evening and the stand-out local performance came from Declan Reed in a very competitive men’s 3000 metres.
The Spartan finished 7th in an excellent race, his 8 mins. 36.43 secs. a new track personal best as he continues to sharpen his competitive edge. Club mate, Emmett McGinty, just failed to crash through the nine minutes barrier in the same race, posting 9 mins. 00.10 secs. with a strong run.
In the 800 metres races Padjo Hamilton produced another consistent 1 min. 53.29 secs. run, Amy McDaid posted 2 mins. 23 secs. and Cathal Logue 2 mins. 05 secs. in their races.
The Strabane 10 kms. was won in 33 mins. 18 secs. by Paul Barbour of Omagh Harriers and he was chased home by City of Derry Spartan James Brown on 33 mins. 29 secs. and Chris McGuinness of Foyle Valley on 33 mins. 38 secs.
Lifford’s Anne Marie McGlynn ran 37 mins. 22 secs. to take the women’s honours, ahead of Omagh’s Julie Butler’s 39 mins. 14 secs. and the 45 mins. 04 secs. of the unattached Jacqueline O’Donnell. Around 200 runners participated.
Finn Valley’s Dean Toland won Sunday’s Newtowncunningham 5 kms. in warm conditions with 17 mins. 38 secs. ahead of Inishowen’s Benny McDaid (18 mins. 11 secs.) Tanya Doran ran 25. 37 mins. for the women’s win.
In Cranford on Friday Ivan Toner (Letterkenny) won on 22 mins. 57 secs. for the 4.2 mile course and Cranford’s Lucy Backus ran 29 mins. 18 secs. to claim the female prize.
Five young Spartans have just been selected to compete in the upcoming UK Schools Games, Aoife Laverty, Shane McGowan, Martin McGeady, Naomi Morgan and Michael Melarkey. Congratulations and good luck to them all.