Wednesday 20 March 2019

Magnificent win for Tadhg

Athletics: round-up from the local clubs

When it comes to athletics, there's no better place for the budding athlete to learn one's craft than in the hotbed of championship racing.

The next generation of young stars soon learn that while fast times might be nice, at the end of the day it's all about bringing home the much sought-after medal and most people don't remember the winning times.

One young man who's certainly making huge strides in his chosen sport is Tadhg Donnelly and the Drogheda & District clubman fairly burned up the track at the AIT arena in Athlone last Saturday on his way to a magnificent win in the Under-18 1500m in a fast 4:12.

Not far behind, finishing third in the Under-19 category in a useful 4:26, was Cormac Canning who ran a good last lap to get the bronze medal. Thanks to these fine performances Donnelly and Canning both qualified for the All-Irelands in late March.

Abi Tegart, running in the Girls Under-18 1500m, continued her recent run of good form when recording a big PB of 5:22 to finish seventh in the final of her event.

In the 60m sprints, Sopia Drakoulaki, taking part in her first championships, placed fourth in her heat, while big sister Anastasia had a great run in the heats to qualify for the final where she placed seventh in a red-hot field. Both girls also took part in the long jump where they competed well.

Sunday saw day two of these championships take place and in the Girls Under-12 600m Ciara O'Connor and Lilli Maye Coade both ran well in their heats but failed to qualify for the final.

Young Sophie Kinsella, running in the Girls Under-14 800m, gave it her all but didn't make it through to the final of what was a hotly contested event.

Earlier in the week there were some fine performances from D&D's Junior athletes at the NIA Live Indoor meeting in Abbotstown on Tuesday evening.

In the Mile, run over eight laps of the superb track, Abigail Tegart and Kate O'Reilly both went sub-six, with Tegart finishing sixth in 5:46 and O'Reilly close behind in seventh place in 5:52.

Young Liam Mulligan ran a fine race to finish third in 5:14, with training partner Sean Toner a mere second behind in 5:15 when finishing fifth.

In the longest event of the evening, the 3,000m, Mark O'Shea had to run a fast 9:03 to get the win and hold off Tadhg Donnelly who was runner-up in 9:05.

In the metric mile, run over 1500m, Cormac Canning gave a good account of himself when finishing sixth in 4:25 in Heat 1, while Pat O'Grady ran a useful 4:48 to finish seventh in his race.

Orla O'Connor continues to impress and her run of 2:17:18 when finishing sixth in her 800m event shows that she's coming into good form. O'Connor later ran a classy 61:00 when finishing second in the Women's 400m, with Roisin Coade fourth in 67:52 and Muirne O'Connor sixth in 71:93.

David Walsh also showed good form when placing second in his 800m in 2:11:93.

In the shorter sprint distances, Karl Carton was sixth in the 60m in 8:27 and later in the evening came fourth in the 200m in 27:16.

In the Women's 200m, Andrea McCabe was second in 33:63, with Barbara O'Donnell third in 33:79.

Frank Cruise ran a good bend to place fourth in his 200m in a lively 28:83.

The Men's 400m saw Paul Stuart run well to win in 58:83, followed by Harry Caffrey in second place in 60:14 and Gerry O'Connor third in 61:16.

Elsewhere, at the mid-week Raheny Shamrock's Winter League, Gerard Fay ran the three miles in 21:37.

Closer to home, last Saturday's Oldbridge Parkrun tempted quite a few D&D members to take on this challenging 5K course.

The club's first finisher in 13th place overall was Padraig McCabe who held good form to cross the line in 22:11. Close behind in 15th spot in 22:25 was Brian Guilfoyle, with arch rival Conor Cooney 21st in a solid 22:56.

Prolific racer Nuala Reilly was the club's first woman home in 23:12 when finishing 24th, followed by Edel Smith who was 58th in 26:55. Also running were Laura Dowling, who was 64th in 28:13, and Gerard Maher who finished 93rd in 35:33.

Drogheda Independent