Friday 23 March 2018

Speedy Frank in Cruise mode at Lourdes track

LOURDES Stadium was bursting with excitement on Thursday last as the fine and talented came in their droves to participate in the Louth Track & Field Championship.

LOURDES Stadium was bursting with excitement on Thursday last as the fine and talented came in their droves to participate in the Louth Track & Field Championship.

The evening started with the 100m sprint and newcomer Karolis Jurkonis will be one to watch on the racing front in the coming months as he finished second in a time of 12.64.

Shane McHugh ran 13.72 and Karl Carton and Roger Teggart were placed first and third in their categories.

New to the sprint team, Mary Lindsey ran a tremendous race in 15.83, taking a well-deserved first senior place.

Michelle Linkevicius had maybe thought her days of taking home medals for running were over, but she brought home some happy memories and two silver medals to add to her collection.

The 200m race saw Frank Cruise placed first in his category for the distance, with Andrea McCabe second and Janella Clarke third.

It was a family affair for mother and daughter Collette and Orla O'Connor and the ever-growing collection of silverware makes dusting a laborious task in their household as Orla was first Senior and Collette got placed second in her category.

In the 400 and 800m Yasmin Canning had two superb races, while Erin McHugh made her parents proud as they were there to see her fantastic 800m which she completed in 2:35.96.

Pamela Howard led the 1500m race from the start and in a time of 5:06.23 her talent on the track knows no bounds. Robbie Maher, true to form, blasted his 1500m race, crossing the line in 4:30.65. Paul Reilly was placed first in his category (5:08.03), John Hough was third (5:03.38) and Christopher Carolyn set a PB of 4:45.37.

Paul Smith ran a cracking 3,000m race in 9:47.67, followed by Stephen Duggan who clocked 10:11.98. Michelle Hughes was first in her category in a time of 11:58.63 and the race saw a welcomed return to the racing scene for Maureen Harbison who was second in her section (11:43.51).

With the Junior Cert over, the test was on the track for Drogheda & District's up and coming athletes and the fit for youth mile was a chance to showcase their hard work in training over the last few weeks.

Thursday night's performances by the four girls who participated proved that speed is in the genes and it was a proud moment for families of Sinead Curran, Cait McArdle, Megan Carter and Sinead Glynn when they crossed the finish line of their first race.

Elsewhere, the Athletics Ireland National Senior Track and Field Championships were held in Dublin on Saturday last and Orla O'Connor set a PB in the 800m of 2:18.76. Mark O'Shea was breathtakingly close to making the final and Mark O'Shea broke the two-minute barrier (1:59.43) and jumped for joy the whole way home!

They say the longest way round is the shortest way home, but for Drogheda and District man Pol O'Murcha that certainly wasn't the case as he completed a 101-mile run around a 400m track in Belfast - equivalent to running from Drogheda to Boyle, Dublin to Belfast, or Achill Island to Athlone.

The Dubs may have annihilated the Royals at Croke Park, but the red vests of Drogheda & District left their mark on the streets of Swords on Sunday in the Fingal 10K.

Stephen Duggan was first man home for the club in 36:37 and in an extremely competitive field he was 55th overall. Jim Nolan is making a fabulous return from injury and crossed the line in 44:58 and despite tough conditions on the day Jackster Reilly is coming back to racing form and set a PB of 44:26.

The fabulous Jim Leonard crossed the line in 1:09.49 and was placed second in his category.

Nuala Reilly was first lady home for the club and second in her category, while the Queen song 'Can't Stop Me Now' should be dedicated to Roisin Donnelly who knows no bounds after she set another PB of 45:33 and was third lady home for the club.

It was celebration central for David Birch who got the landmark and long sought-after sub 50 minutes and in the head to head between David O'Neill and Peter McManus, the latter just edged it over his clubmate at the finish line, both setting PBs.

Lynda Byrne Cruise, Michelle Egan and Helga McDonnell have returned for a second year of marathon training and the three ladies also set PBs, while husband and wife due Roger and Joy Teggart made it a family day out when crossing the line in 47:00 and 53:53 respectively. Rob Power also set a PB (49:04) and the sub-49 is now within his sights.

Drogheda Independent