Slick organization and a competitive edge to most of the races made for a highly successful Irish Milers’ Club Belfast Meeting hosted by Beechmount Harriers at the Mary Peters Track. The world’s fastest Paralympian Jason Smyth impressed in two 100 metres races designed to hone his sharpness as he prepares for the defence of that title in London next month.

Jason Smyth in full flight.

The Derry Track Club athlete stretched his legs in a warm-up race as he strode out to a 10.76 seconds clocking.  He improved on that later in the afternoon as he turned up the gas to register a 10.70 mark.  Dubliner Catherine McManus was equally impressive with a victory in the women’s 100m in a legal 11.84 before completing a double in the 200m with a windy 23.95 timing.

Letterkenny’s Daniel Mooney was the impressive winner of the 1500m A race but fell well short of a Commonwealth Games consideration standard with a 3:45.49 mark. While Mooney used bold front-running tactics despite the blustery conditions, Blackrock’s 16-year-old Sarah Healy waited until the final straight in the women’s metric mile to snatch victory in a personal best 4:20.84.

Raheny Shamrock stalwart Conor Dooney was a class apart in the men’s 3000m in 8:16.90 and Blarney’s Brandon Arrey produced a superb final straight to win a very competitive 400m in 47.57 seconds.

Another to strike late was Emerald’s Amy O’Donaghue in the 800m, running down UCD’s Alana Lally in the last few metres of the 800m in 2:06.32.  The Galway girl was not too disappointed at the defeat when she learned her 2:06.43 was a European U23 qualifying mark.

Like the best of meet directors Eamonn Christie saved arguably his best wine to last in the men’s 800m A race.  The Fitzsimons family settled in Dublin, Meath and Westmeath as long ago as the 14th century. Two of their descendants came north on Saturday to provide a rousing finale to the meeting as Mullingar’s Shane overcame distant Kildare cousin Alan with a sharp 1:50.33 timing.

Other DTC athletes were also in top form.  Cathal McLaughlin marked his debut in the M50 age group by missing the Irish record by less than a second with a 2:04.74 clocking in the 800m.

Marty Cox continued to improve in the 800m.   He fell just short of two minutes with a 2:00.60 mark which puts him in the top six M35s in the UK for the distance.

Conor McIlveen moved closer to Commonwealth Games selection in the T38 100m with legal 13.03 and 13.15 marks.   Sean McIntyre got under 4:30 for the first time with a 4:29.14 clocking.

Conán McCaughey showed some residual fatigue from two tough road races in the previous 10 days but battled to a respectable 8:48.20 timing.


21 June 2017

Conán McCaughey and Marina Murphy notched up an impressive double at the St. Joseph's 5K in Derry. 
The NI & Ulster 5000m bronze medallist had too much speed for the road specialists as he cruised to a 22 seconds victory in 15:10.
Conán in command.
Marina Murphy was equally impressive in the women's race striding home well clear of her female opponents.  There were also impressive performances from Sean McIntyre (16) and Ben Mellon (14) who recorded personal bests.
Marina on her way to winning the women’s race.
1. 470 Conan McCaughey m MO Derry Track Club 15:09,9
9. 433 Shane McGowan m MO Derry Track Club 16:08,0
25. 423 Sean Mc Intyre m MJ St Josephs 17:55,8
26. 796 Eimer Doherty m M40 18:00,6
35. 651 Marina Murphy f FO Derry Track Club 18:29,4
46. 560 Ben Mellon m MJ Derry Track Club 18:49,1
81. 567 Elaine Connor f F40 Derry Track Club 20:31,7
94. 480 Lisa McLaughlin f F35 U/A 21:09,6
134. 679 Aaron Carlise m MO 22:42,4



16 June 2017

Those marvellous young Haigneys were in the medals again at the NI & Ulster Under Age Championships at the Mary Peters Track. And as ever coach Conor Moore had them turned out in top shape.

Dan Haigney

Dan overcame the disappointment of missing his 1500m championship the previous week through illness as he strode out to take the runner-up spot in the U16 3000m.  Dan’s time of  10:09.97 was exceptional for his age and a personal best.

The result follows an excellent year to date for Dan who picked up team gold with his school Omagh CBS at the Irish Schools’ Cross Country in March.

One week earlier Dan’s sister Enya  picked up two medals at the first part of the championships finishing runner-up in both the U18 800m and 1500m.


If a certain Danish brewery did an evening of 3000m races, it could not have gone better for Derry Track Club athletes.  Three races – three wins, two of the fastest ladies on show and every single athlete setting a personal best.

Marty Cox

With age comes maturity.  Since entering the Master’s ranks just a matter of months ago, Marty Cox is starting to believe in himself.  That confidence showed as the Omagh turned in a fantastic last lap to take the laurels in the fastest race  of the evening with an 8:57.0 timing.

Sixteen-year-old Sean McIntyre showed a maturity beyond his years as he turned in a 65 seconds last lap to win the second race.   Behind Marina Murphy clocked the second fastest ladies’ time.

Ben Mellon got the evening off to a perfect start with an impressive win in the opening race.  The 14-year-old showed no respect for his elders as he raced away to win by almost 60 metres and breaking 11 minutes for the first time.

Elaine Connor continued a rich vein of form to finish first woman in the race while David Mellon made light of long hours at work recently to break 12 minutes for the first time.

Race 1

1 ben mellon derry track 00:10:59
2 michael houston derry spartan 00:11:10
3 tom mills ballymena runners 00:11:30
4 elaine connor derry track 00:11:39
5 leanne sands acorns 00:11:40
6 david mellon derry track 00:11:48
7 mark thom acorns 00:11:49
8 lisa simpson acorns 00:11:59
9 daire hinfey acorns 00:12:21
10 judith worthington ballymena runners 00:12:25
11 damien kearney acorns 00:12:28
12 ciara goddard acorns 00:12:57
13 declan mcdermott carmen runners 00:13:03
14 martin conway acorns 00:13:26
15 damien kelly acorns 00:13:59
16 jason crawford acorns 00:14:30

Race 2

1 sean mcintyre derry track 00:10:00
2 aron cole foyle valley 00:10:01
3 david law ballymena runners 00:10:03
4 james turtle ballymena runners 00:10:08
5 paul wallace ballymena runners 00:10:24
6 marina murphy derry track 00:10:35
7 ronan healey foyle valley 00:10:40
8 oliver bateson ballymena runners 00:10:42
9 robert newell acorns 00:10:44
10 roger mclean acorns 00:10:44
11 enda mckaigue acorns 00:10:47
12 toni moore carmen runners 00:10:48
13 grace carson mid-ulster ac 00:10:52
14 morgan owens carmen runners 00:11:13
15 gareth murphy unaffiliated 00:11:17
16 paul connnolly ballymena runners 00:11:19
17 eugene mcauley acorns 00:11:27
18 rodney livingston ballymena runners 00:11:31
19 alan shaw acorns 00:11:34
20 niall hassin acorns 00:11:57

Race 3
1 marty cox derry track 00:08:57
2 chris mcguinness foyle valley 00:08:59
3 darrell mckee acorns 00:09:18
4 gavin corey sperrin harriers 00:09:25
5 eoin hughes acorns 00:09:27
6 darragh crossan foyle valley 00:09:29
7 simon doyle belfast running club 00:09:39
8 jack moore carmen runners 00:09:41
9 glenn donnelly acorns 00:09:42
10 conor gallagher lifford 00:09:48
11 john mcquade omagh harriers 00:09:49
12 meave lavery city of lisburn 00:10:33


10 June 2017

Derry Track Club athletes lifted three medals at the Northern Ireland & Ulster Championships at the Mary Peters Track.  Five-time Paralympic gold medallist Jason Smyth led by example taking runner-up spot in the men’s 100m while there were also podium places for Conán McCaughey (5000m) and Adam Kirk-Smith (1500m).

Conor McIlveen also moved a step closer to Commonwealth selection in the T38 and Cathal McLaughlin impressed in the 800m as he opened a competitive season which we believe will end in medals at the European Masters’ Athletics Championships later in the year.

Marty Cox had a solid season-opener over 1500m to move himself into the top ten Masters in the UK this season.

Enya Haigney took two medals in the under-age championships run off alongside the Seniors while Ben Mellon produced a big new personal best in the 1500m.

Jason Smyth opened his account early on the Saturday morning when he easily won his heat in cool conditions with a 10.84 timing (-1.2).   He followed that up with a strong run in the final where he got down to 10.76 (-1.1), narrowly losing out to European two-time silver medallist Leon Reid who stopped the clock at an impressive 10.59 seconds.

Jason Smyth is pipped to the 100m title by Leon Reid (right).

Smyth did not rest on his laurels at that point but instead turned out for the heats of 200m where he easily cruised to a win in 21.77 (-0.5).   Discretion being the greater part of valour, he decided not to contest the final having run three races in a day for the first time in over a decade.

Conán McCaughey never gives less than 100% and such was the case again as the Enniskillen man was one three escapees from the main field shortly after the halfway of the 5000m.  He was joined in the group by reigning Irish champion at the distance Conor Duffy and James Edgar who had won the Irish Schools’ title just seven days previously.

McCaughey was still in contention with three laps to go but was unable to contain the closing pair of his two rivals.  Nevertheless third place in an excellent early season 15:08.95 timing was fitting reward for McCaughey’s efforts.

Adam Kirk-Smith, who already has the Commonwealth standard for the steeplechase, opted on this occasion to drop down to 1500m.  The decision by himself and Tomaz Plibersek proved correct as AKS raced to a personal best 3:50.45.

Adam Kirk-Smith in the thick of the 1500m action.

Denied a full warm up by a late change in the timetable, AKS started slowly and was back in the pack for the opening laps (1:47 at 700m) but picked up the pace over the final two circuits which he covered in 2:03!

Marty Cox went through two laps in 2:05 but found himself in no man’s land after 1000 metres.  Nevertheless he managed to get home in a very respectable 4:08.23.

Winner Danny Mooney made a brave bid for a Commonwealth consideration time  (3:41.10) but fell just over seconds short with a 3:44.40 mark after running the second half of the race on his own.  Training partner Conor Bradley took second in 3:47.89.

Cathal McLaughlin made his track debut for the season with a solid 2:07.48 timing which places in the top half dozen in the UK at  M45 age group just days before he graduates to the M50s.

Enya Haigney shone in the under-age races decided in conjunction with the Senior championships.  The Omagh lass lifted the silver medal in the U18 800m in 2:22.41 before returning later in the afternoon to record 5:22.39 for a second silver medal in the 1500m.

Two silver medals was the reward for a hard afternoon’s work for Enya Haigney.

Earlier Enya had shown her versatility with a runner-up spot in the 1500m steeplechase at the Irish Schools’ which also meant selection for Ulster at the forthcoming Tailteann Games Inter-Provincial match at Morton Stadium in Dublin.

Ben Mellon has been through the wars recently after breaking his wrist in a PE class at school.  But now cast-free, he was anxious to make amends for lost time.  That urgency showed as he took over 10 seconds off his 1500m best in the U16 1500m with a 4:51.79 mark.