Four gold and two silver medals was the haul for Derry Track Club athletes from the National Masters’ Indoor Championships in Athlone as Cathal McLaughlin and Robert Bigger added Irish titles to British crowns picked up the previous weekend.
In fact it was Bigger who kicked off the medal grab with a smooth victory in the M55 800m. Using his now familiar tactics, the part-time solicitor waited until the last lap before kicking away for one of his most comfortable wins on the national stage in 2:22.11.
Tim Shiels followed that up with a win in the M40 400m in 54.67 after arriving on a wing and a prayer. The Omagh preacher had been detained by his pastoral duties and had to make a hectic journey to the venue at breakneck speed, only arriving minutes before his event.
His race was equally eventful with Shiels leading through 200m but having to dive frantically over the final 20 metres to break the electronic beam before the fast-finishing runner-up.
Malcolm McCausland’s win in the 400m in the M60 age group was less exciting as the DTC athlete cruised to a seven second win in 70.49 seconds.
Cathal McLaughlin added a fourth gold medal as the Terminator ruthlessly mowed down a strong M45 1500m field over the final circuit. His 4:25.99 clocking gave him a comfortable buffer over the opposition at the finish line.
Robert Bigger and Malcolm McCausland completed the DTC medal raid with runner-up spots in the M55 and M60 1500m races respectively.
A word of praise also for the performances of Adrian Boyle who impressed in the M35 800m (2:05.43) and 1500m (4:34.08), finishing just outside the medals in both races.
Thanks to Gary McGee who was an excellent coach and manager to the five DTC athletes during a long but rewarding afternoon.