18 August 2019 – The three DTC representatives put in a hard day’s graft to come away with three gold and one silver medal from the National Masters’ Track & Field Championships in Tullamore, County Offaly.
Robert Bigger capped an excellent season where he has consistently recorded the fastest times by an M60 for the middle-distance events in the UK and Ireland by winning both the 800m and 1500m.
Cathal McLaughlin added a third title for the DTC contingent with a masterful display of racing tactics in the M50 age group. Final success of the day came from a newcomer David Stewart who was anything but a newcomer. David was a sub-2 minute 800m runner a number of years ago but also a 1.80m high jumper, achieved on natural ability and without any professional coaching. And it was at that latter event, he took his silver medal that promises to be the first of many. Full results on the website www.athleticsireland.ie
16 August 2019 – BIG DAWG MAKES DEBUT IN NI & ULSTER VEST
Conor McIlveen made his first appearance in NI & Ulster colours when he represented the province at the Manchester International. Dropping down in distance, McIlveen lined up in the Ambulant 100m that included athletes from all disability classes. In blustery conditions, the Derry Track Club ace put in a credible performance to 7th in a strong field with a 13.06 seconds timing to gain 2 points for the team.
After such a tremendous effort from the whole team, in somewhat unfavourable conditions, the team placed 7th overall with 96 points in total. Congratulations not only to the athletes, but also to their personal coaches, whose hard work shone through the clouds.
Full results can be found here: https://www.thepowerof10.info/resultsfiles/2019/287413_6002_15082019124951.pdf
27/28 July 2019 – NATIONAL SENIOR T & F CHAMPS
Ciara Mageean showed that she is progressing nicely toward the world championships in Doha this autumn by picking up her third consecutive 800m title at the Irish Life National Senior Track & Field Championships in Morton Stadium, Dublin. The meeting also decided selections for Ireland’s team at the European League in Norway in two weeks time.
Mageean waited until the final furlong before imposing her authority on the field in what had been a slow race up to that point. The City of Lisburn athlete picked up the pace again on the homestraight to come home clear in a modest 2:07.30 with 2014 champion Katie Kirk continuing an impressive comeback season by taking the runner up spot in 2:07.56.
Letterkenny’s Mark English made it a two-lap double for the northern province with a controlled victory in the men’s race despite coming under pressure from Kildare’s John Fitzsimons on the final straight. English stopped the clock at 1:48.15, looking comfortable, and will now give his full attention to preparations for Doha after completing his medical studies at UCD.
Leon Reid’s decision to concentrate on the 200m, the distance at which he took a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games last year, was rewarded when he claimed the gold medal, narrowly beating arch rival Marcus Lawler from Carlow in 20.62 seconds.
There was a silver lining to the clouds hanging over Santry yesterday for quite a number of Ulster athletes. Jason Harvey was disappointed after losing out by centimetres to Paul Byrne in the 400m hurdles when the destination of the gold medal was not decided until the very finish line. Just five-hundredths separated the pair with the St. Abban’s athlete getting the decision in 51.73 seconds despite Harvey putting in his best performance for some time.
It took the camera to separate Paralympic champion Jason Smyth from Travane Morrison in the 100m but the Tralee-based American given the decision by two-hundredths in 10.61 seconds. Tirchonnaill’s Kelly McGrory chased home Nessa Millet in the 400m hurdles and City of Derry’s Conor Bradley was unlucky to lose out to DSD’s Hiko Tonosa in a competitive 5000m where any one of four men could have taken the title in the final sprint for the line.
In the field, Finn Valley’s John Kelly struck silver in the shot with a mighty heave of 17.60m while his club colleague Sommer Lecky suffered a surprise defeat in the high jump to Pippa Rogan who cleared 1.85m to the Castlederg woman’s 1.80m.
On Saturday, Stephen Scullion retained his 10,000m title as he moved away after two-thirds of the distance before going away to win by almost eight seconds from runner-up Mick Clohisey in 29:36.33. The Belfast man, who is US-based, indicated after the race that he would take up his selection for the marathon at this year’s World Championship marathon in November. City of Lisburn’s Ellen McCartney successfully defended her pole vault title after a quiet season with a best clearance of 3.85m. Unfortunately, one of the expected stars of the meeting, last season’s European medallist Thomas Barr, pulled out of the 400m hurdles where he was seeking his ninth consecutive title on account of a calf niggle.