Local Athletes shine at Santry

Saturday 10/Sunday 11 July 2010


The National Senior Track and Field Championships at Santry Stadium over the weekend attracted excellent entries, had all the Irish Team that will compete in upcoming European Senior [Barcelona] and World Juniors [Canada] in attendance and included some of the most competitive events in years across a number of disciplines. The inclusion of Paralympic track and field disciplines was another memorable addition.


On Saturday when weather conditions were not too favourable, Tir Chonaill’s Mary McLoone was involved in a nail biting Long Jump competition. She was over 6metres on three occasions and her best of 6.16m led the competition up until national record holder Kelly Proper got out to 6.35m on the 6th and final jump. The judges took a long time to raise a white flag. Many of the spectators were sure that Kelly had fouled the board. However no mark was to be found on the plasticine and the distance stood. On Sunday, in sunny/breezy conditions Mary bounced back to dominate the triple jump. Her winning distance was 11.82metres.

Kelly Propers controversial winning jump


Mary McLoone in action



Tori Pena, a Californian, with family connections in Derry City, competing in the Finn Valley colours, would have found Saturday’s conditions very foreign as she negotiated 4.15m to win the Pole Vault. Maria McCambridge, in the Letterkenny colours, was an impressive winner of the 5k – time 16min19.78s. The former Olympian went to the front after 2k and was never troubled. Finn Valley pair, Teresa McGloin, 4th 17mins 5.11secs and Catriona Devine/McGranaghan, 10th 18mins 31.75secs can be happy with their performances. Saturday’s competition also had qualification heats in sprints and middle distance. Letterkenny’s exciting crop of 800/1,500m runners - Mooney/McBrearty/Brennan all fought their way to finals.


Geraldine Stewart, Tír Chonaill, was the first North West medal winner on Sunday. Making her first appearance at National Seniors in a few years she pushed the Shot to 11.72m for a bronze medal position.

Geraldine Stewart in action at Santry


The men’s 800m final was bravely led through 400m, - 53.8secs. by Letterkenny’s Daran McBrearty. Thomas Chamney went to the front with 200m to go and the Letterkenny man slipped back to 4th as the final 100m approached. However the fighting spirit and strength of the Teresa McDaid coached Letterkenny man now entered the equation and Tallagh’s, Lieghio and Kilkenny’s, Evarard were overtaken as the line beckoned. Result Chamney 1min 48.84secs; McBrearty, new PB and Co Rec., 1min 49.37secs. Darren leaves today Tuesday for the World Junior/U20 c/ships in Canada. Club mate Danny Mooney finished 9th in 1min 52.99 sec's.

Darren McBrearty 163 leads the mens 800m

final at Santry on Sunday last


Other outstanding performances

Milford man Brendan Boyce – possibly the most improved race walker in Ireland at the moment - with a 42mins 54.66secs time took bronze in the 10k walk. The Letterkenny AC athlete, a physiotherapy student in Leeds University, was beaten by Olympians Rob Heffernan and Jamie Costin.


Strabane’s Aoran Crawford, in the men’s javelin final took gold with a 61.91m best – less than two metres separated the top three, City of Derry’s Tom Carey, silver in the 400m Hurdles, 52.07secs and Letterkenny's, Patrick Brennan, 1,500m 3mins 53.99secs; Ciaran Doherty,3k Steeplechase, 9mins 34.70secs and Pauric McKinney, 5k  15mins 16.84secs