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25 Jun 2022

Low entry clouds Donegal track and field championships

The annual championships were held in Stranorlar on Monday

Low entry clouds Donegal track and field championships

Ellie McCurdy of Lifford-Strabane AC who won the women's javelin title.

It was a strangely subdued Donegal senior and masters track and field championships that took place on Bank Holiday Monday.

Scant entry numbers resulted in a notable absence of an atmosphere befitting the county’s annual showpiece.

It had been a busy weekend with the Irish Schools Championships on Saturday and an open meet in Belfast on Sunday so perhaps competitive fatigue set in over the weekend.

Regardless of the reasons, the scene at the Finn Valley campus, is not one organisers would want repeated, clouding an otherwise bright Monday in Stranorlar.

There were no participants in the women’s 100m, 100 hurdles, 400m, 800m, 3000m walk or weight for distance, the men’s 800m and hammer events were absent of entries, while several other events had only minimal numbers of competitors.

However, those who did turn out left little behind them when it came to endeavour.

Lifford-Strabane AC’s Ellie McCurdy, fresh from a bronze at the Irish Schools Championships at the weekend, won the javelin gold thanks to a 36.6m throw with Jade Leeper claiming silver.

Finn Valley AC woman Leeper won the shot put (11.51m) from Lifford-Strabane AC’s Aoife Giles (10.23m) with Adrienne Gallen third (9.86m) and Leeper made it double delight by winning the discus, thanks to a 32.52m throw.

Finn Valley AC’s Hannah Murray won the 400m hurdles (58.1 seconds) and 200m (26.6 seconds) while Siobhan Doherty of Tir Chonaill AC took the 1500m gold in 7:35.

Ciara Kearns, Finn Valley AC’s European Masters gold medals, won the long jump with a 5.25m best and a 1.35m leap gave Keeva Gallagher from Rosses AC the women’s high jump title.

Lifford-Strabane AC’s Caoimhe Gallen - who won Irish Schools hammer and shot put golds at the weekend - was agonisingly short of a European qualification mark in the hammer. On what was effectively D-day for the qualification, Gallen threw beyond 54m, but just shy of the necessary 55m.

So near, so far - but certainly an athlete to keep an eye on in the future.

Joseph Gillespie, a gold medalist at the Irish Schools, took the men’s long jump gold, jumping out to 6.13m.

Oisin Thompson, who was the long jump silver medalist, won the triple jump, leaping to 11.08m.

Finn Valley AC ace James Kelly threw 17.03m to take the shot put gold and a 16.8m effort gave Kelly the weight for distance gold, too.

Inishowen AC’s Martin Mooney claimed a pair of golds in the javelin (31.6m) and discus (22.72m) events.

Daniel McHugh of Finn Valley AC edged Letterkenny AC’s Johnson Bangura to win the 200m, McHugh squeezing across the line in 23.4 seconds, taking victory by .2 of a second.

McHugh also won the 400m in 15.7 seconds.

Bangura won 100m gold in 11.1 seconds from Luka Brown of Finn Valley, who finished in 11.7 seconds.

Killybegs AC’s Chris Kearns left with 110m hurdles (20 seconds) and 400m hurdles (65.3 seconds) gold medals.

Kearns added a third gold to his day, getting over at 1.70m for the high jump honours.

Inishowen AC star Pauric McKinney won the 3000m in 9:33.8 while his club colleague Liam Bradley was the 1500m gold medalist, finishing in 4:45.4.

In the masters, Inishowen AC’s Martin Mooney (100m hurdles, long jump and triple jump) and Marin O’Donnell of Olympian YAC (100m, 200m and javelin) each won three golds.

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