Day of Stunning Performances at Woodie’s DIY Irish Schools Championships

Saturday, 05 June 2010


From the very start of the 'Woodie’s DIY Irish Schools Track and Field Finals' on Saturday last the performances from the cream of the countries young athletes were stunning with several new records being set. Athletes from the local south Donegal schools played their part in this great athletics day with Abbey Vocational School, Killybegs Vocational School and Carrick Vocational all having podium finishing places.


The Abbey Vocational School had eleven athletes qualify via Ulster Finals two weeks ago. Early in the morning it was the turn of the Pole Vaulters to perform. Hannah Campbell, Killybegs Vocational School, secured bronze in the U15 event, Clare Brady, Abbey Vocational School, silver U17 and Christopher Doherty, Abbey Vocational School, silver U17. All three athletes recorded personal bests heights – Christopher’s 3.60m being particularly good – and are part of David Doherty’s PV group that can be seen daily vaulting at club sessions in the grounds of the Abbey Vocational School.

Hannah Campbell, Killybegs Vocational School

3rd Pole Vault


Clare Brady, Abbey Vocational School

Silver U17 Pole Vault


Christopher Doherty, Abbey Vocational School

Silver U17 Pole Vault


Christopher Doherty


Ciara Crawford, 1200m race walking and Kate McGowan Long Jump both finished in 8th positions. As competition moved into the afternoon Louise Harvey, following a closely fought race recorded yet another PB time of 63.27secs for silver in the senior 400m hurdles. Later she added to her medal haul when finishing 3rd in the 100m Hurdles final.

Ciara Crawford, 1200m Race Walking


Louise Harvey, Senior 400m Hurdles



Barry  Qing, Carrick Vocational. recorded 1.80m for third in the Senior Boys High Jump.  Emma Brady - in U15 Triple Jump had yet another PB to finish 4th - 5cm outside a top three placing.

Barry  Qing


In mid afternoon the crowd seemed to swell - to possibly 5,000 - as the middle distance events were called. Karl Griffin, a 2nd year student at the AVS, in the U17 - 800m gave an outstanding performance of tactical and pace judged running to win impressively in a time of 1min 54.48secs - nearly 6 seconds inside his personnel best time. Pre race favourite Dean Cronin, Cork, recorded 1.55.39. Karl, three weeks overage for the U15 age group also celebrated his 15 birthday on Saturday.

Karl Griffin, U17 - 800m Winner


Tir Chonaill club mate Mark McGuiness, U15, 1500m, and representing Killybegs Vocational School also had the crowd on their feet. Following the opening three laps, where much pushing and jostling took place Mark with 300m remaining decided to push to the front. He increased the pace and entering the home straight - 100m remaining - had an 8 meters lead. However Tom Magee, Glengormley H.S. also had victory as a goal and gradually closed the gap.  At the line the Belfast lad won by a body width - times Magee 4mins 20.10secs, Mc Guinness 4mins 20.24secs, another excellent PB time.

Mark McGuiness, U15, 1500m


The Abbey Vocational School U15, 4 x 100m relay team of Kate McGowan, Emma Brady, Niamh McGrory amd Kelly McGrory entered the final as Ulster Champions. They finished an excellent 4th - 0.2secs outside a top three place. But for a couple of baton changing mishaps this team would definitely have had a rostrum finish.

Abbey Vocational School JnrGirls Relay

Kelly McGrory, Emma Brady, Kate McGowan & Niamh McGrory


A final thank you to all the supporters, parents, teachers and coaches from the three schools that made the journey to Tullamore on Saturday.

Donegal Group of Athletes and Supporters