Tír Chonaill AC Junior Athletes Compete Magnificently Once Again


Over the past two weekends, in Nenagh and Magherafelt, Tír Chonaill's young athletes competed magnificently in a variety of disciplines. Following on last weekends outstanding performances in Nenagh where Emma Brady finished 4th in the Under 14 Girls 60m Hurdles, Kelly McGrory, won bronze in the Under 14 60m hurdles and finished 4th in the 60m sprint final, Kate McGowan took silver in the Under 13 Girls 60m Hurdles, only .01 secs separated her and the winner and Louise Harvey, won the Under 17 60hurdles in an impressive time of 9.22secs, we headed to Magherafelt yesterday morning for Part 2 of the championships.


Karl Griffin, an all round sportsman, who is also part of the county gaelic and soccer squads, who only joined Richard McCarthy’s Donegal Town Training Group prior to the start of the cross-country season and, in only his second ever 800m competitive race yesterday at Magherafelt ran himself literally to a standstill and a time of 2mins 7.79secs for a silver medal winning place. The winner Sean Fitzsimons from Mulingar is unbeaten in his age group in Ireland during the past two years was pushed all the way to a new championship record of 2mins 3.85secs. Fitzsimmons also finished second 2 weeks ago in the Under 15 schools International in Wales.


And so we moved today to what many would argue is the most exciting part of athletics - the relays. Twelve teams, three from each province, qualified for today’s finals in age groups from Under 12 to Under 19.


Tír Chonaill Under 13 and Under 14 Girls squads had worked very hard over the last month in perfecting baton changing and their speed. The Under 13, 4 x 100m team of Sarah Timoney, Kate McGowan, Eva McMullan, Ruth Gillespie and Katie McCafferty won their semi-final impressively and went into the final as slight favorites. In the final they improved their time to a winning 56.2secs, a full second ahead of Galway City Harriers.


The more experienced girls Under 14 squad of  Emma Brady, Karen Tracey, Kate McGowan, Kelly McGrory and Sarah Timoney were pushed into 2nd place in their semi final by Doonen AC from Limerick and qualified as a fastest loser for the final. During the past year this group of young TC athletes has won Irish outdoor 4 x 100m and more recently Scottish Indoors 4 x 200m titles. In the five team final they had to draw on all their reserves and experience to record an unforgettable victory in a new PB time of 1min 55.33secs.


Finally a sincere thank you and congratulations to the numerous club coaches who assisted with the preparation and training of these young athletes and to the parents for supporting and encouraging  in so many different ways and to the athletes for their positive approach and outstanding achievements during the past two weekends    


U13 Girl's 4 X 100m
 1, Tir Chonaill A.C. 56.2H
 2, Galway City Harriers A.C. 57.2H
 3, Craughwell A.C. 57.7H
 4, Nenagh Olympic A.C. 57.7H
 5, Swinford A.C. 58.5H
    Dundrum South Dublin A.C.
    Crusaders A.C.

Girls U14: Tír Chonaill AC 4x200m Medal Winners
L-R: Kate McGowan, Emma Brady, Karen Tracey,
Sarah Timoney and Kelly McGrory


Girls U13: Tír Chonaill AC 4x100m Medal Winners
L-R: Eva McMullan, Kate McGowan, Sarah Timoney,
Katie McCafferty and Ruth Gillespie


Girls U14 : Kelly McGrory comes home to win 4x200m


Boys U15: Karl Griffin at finish of the AAI 800m National Final


Girls U13: Tír Chonaill AC All Ireland 4x100m Medal Winners


Boys U15: All Ireland 800m Medal Winners
L-R: 2nd Karl Girffin (Tír Chonaill AC), 1st Shane Fitzsimmons (Mulingar)
and 3rd Ian Slobody (Kilmihil)

Girls U13: 1st change over
Sarah Timoney about to hand over to Kate McGowan


Girls U13: Runner Kate McGowan on her way


Girls U13: Runner Ruth Gillespie comes home to win impressively