Derry Track Club  athletes continued to make an impact at national level with a haul of three gold, four silver and one bronze medal at the Irish National Masters’ Track & Field Championships in Tullamore.

Deirdre drives off the bend in the 200m.
Deirdre drives off the bend in the 200m.

Deirdre Haigney marked a successful comeback to the track with a sparkling victory in the F40 400m (66.22) after picking up a silver medal in the 200m (29.35) earlier in the afternoon.

The Omagh dentist had been a talented Junior but found her athletics had to take a back seat to her career and four children.

Now back with a fresh zeal, Deirdre looks set to make a big impact in Masters’ athletics with next year’s Europeans in Denmark possibly being among her targets for 2017.

Robert Bigger sets off in the 800m.
Robert Bigger sets off in the 800m.

Robert Bigger went about his work in his usual business-like fashion.  His sit and kick tactics paid dividends in the M55 800m with a comfortable victory in 2:29.19.

Later he applied the same modus operandi in the 1500m but came up just short with a second place in 4:48.80.

Cathal McLaughlin made it three gold medals for DTC with another cold-blooded execution of the opposition in the M45 1500m (4:27.20).  The Terminator  stalked his prey for three laps before switching into assassin mode and moving to the front of the field.

The Terminator bides his time.
The Terminator bides his time.

A challenge from Philip Tweedie on the homestraight was quickly dealt with as Cathal made it four consecutive victories in the race.

Richie Kelly made a memorable debut in the championships at a youthful 75 years of age.  The former sports journalist turned writer opened his account taking the silver medal in the 100m (19.00) by a mere hundredth of a second.

Richie Kelly in action during the 400m.
Richie Kelly in action during the 400m.

Not prepared to rest on his laurels, Richie was back in action later in the afternoon competing in the 400m .  Another runner-up spot was a fitting reward for a man who should be an inspiration to everyone.

Marina Campbell in the thick of the action in the women's 3000m.
Marina Campbell in the thick of the action in the women’s 3000m.

Marina Campbell showed she is getting back to her best after the birth of her first child with an impressive third place in the F35 3000m (10:52.67).

The Kilfennan woman was always in the leading group and a personal best augurs well for the winter season ahead.

David Mellon makes his debut at national Masters' championships.
David Mellon makes his debut at national Masters’ championships.

David Mellon was also impressive on his debut in national Masters’ athletics.  Going from rank novice to taking a medal at the NI Masters’ and then competing at this level in less than two years is a credit to David’s commitment and discipline.   He will go on from here.

With the late withdrawal of a key member of the 4 x 400m, Robert Bigger had to step into the breach with a fine opening leg to keep DTC in touch.

Running against opposition 20 years younger than him, Robert handed over just two seconds behind city rivals Spartans.

That soon changed as the doyen of DTC’s one-lappers Tim Shiels screeched around the track in 53.4 seconds to drag the squad up to second spot.

Gary McGee brings the baton home safely in fourth.
Gary McGee brings the baton home safely in fourth.

Cathal McLaughlin kept DTC still in the hunt for medals with another solid leg before a gallant Gary McGee was rundown by defending champions An Ríocht for the bronze medals.

Gary McGee brings the baton home well clear of the neighbours.
Gary McGee brings the baton home well clear of the neighbours.

Nevertheless local bragging rights were easily maintained as the DTC squad came home almost five seconds ahead of their neighbours despite giving away almost 40 years in total over the squad.





Conán Ends Season in Style

14 August 2016

Conán McCaughey wound up an impressive track season by finishing eighth in the 5000m at the Scottish Senior Champs held in Grangemouth.

Conán McCaughey
Conán McCaughey

The Enniskillen man went through three kilometres in 8:52 and held his form together to clock 15:04.11.  Winner of the race was Swansea AC’s Kristian Jones in 14:20.68.

At home Chris Millar was the winner of the Dungiven 5K in 18:14.  The race was held on an out and back course. Second place was over a minute back.

Chris Millar was in a class of his own at Ness Woods.
Chris Millar was in a class of his own at Ness Woods.

As is common in this type of race, Chris’s watch showed a distance of 5.11K for the course held on the Ballygudden Road.

12 August 2016

Matt Doherty made a welcome return to form when he dominated proceedings at the Bog in the Jog 5K.

Matt Doherty celebrates in the Bogside.

Despite being sent off course on two occasions, the DTC man still came home ten seconds ahead of team mate Marty Cox with Foyle Valley’s Roy McGilloway in third.

Conor Doherty also eased back into competition after a break with a smooth fourth place.

Thirteen-year-old Lily Toorish failed by just four seconds to win the women’s race with new DTC recruit Elaine Connor in fourth spot.


McIlveen Strikes Gold at IPC Grand Prix in Berlin

16/17 July 2016

Conor with his gold medal.
Conor with his gold medal.

Conor McIlveen continued a dream season in which he has shot from obscurity to one of the top Paralympic athletes in Europe.

The Derry Track Club athlete just missed out on a medal with a fourth place at the recent IPC European Athletics Championships but made no mistake on his Grand Prix debut in Berlin.

Held at the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sports Park which will be the venue for the 2018 IPC Europeans, McIlveen was pitted in a mixed T37/T38 800m.

The Big Dog bared his teeth with a fighting third overall and first in his T38 category with a 2:17.07 timing to chalk up his first win in international competition.

Current World Rankings
1  Radius Louis FRA 1979 2:06.11
2  Chase Mitchell CAN 1997 2:10.15
3  Vienberg Christoffer DEN 1994 2:12.68
4  Pizo Rincon Jose Luis COL 1990 2:12.75
5  Serebriakov Maksim RUS 1997 2:13.14
6  Medina Valencia Juan Carlos COL 1989 2:13.50
7  McIlveen Conor IRL 1990 2:13.79

1  Kenzie Deon AUS 1996 4:08.16
2  Radius Louis FRA 1979 4:13.65
3  Saidi Abbes TUN 1983 4:15.46
4  Vienberg Christoffer DEN 1994 4:26.27
5  Chase Mitchell CAN 1997 4:29.78
6  Enriquez Torres Angel Moises MEX 1995 4:34.83
7  McIlveen Conor IRL 1990 4:41.33