Success in Antrim at Ulster Club Championships

Saturday, 18 June /Sunday 19 June 2011


The 'Ulster Club Juvenile Track & Field Championships' held at the Antrim Forum, on Saturday - Under 14 and 15 and Sunday - Under 16 and 17 was a most successful experience for a large group of young Tír Chonaill athletes.

From the first final on Saturday morning at 10:30am when Kate McGowan skimmed over the 80m hurdles for an impressive victory and time of 11.92secs to the final discipline on Sunday evening at 4:30pm when Karl Griffin, demolished the field in the U17 400m final for an equally impressive victory and very fast time of 50.00 secs. club athletes amassed an unprecedented number of podium places with ten victories, six 2nd and nine 3rd individual placings.

Day 1
Kate McGowan - U15 - from Clar near Donegal Town, had a busy day. In addition to winning the hurdles she won her heat of the 200m and in a closely fought final recorded a time of 26.17secs for 2nd - three hundredths behind McGuckin 26.14secs from Lisburn. A best of 4.88m was good enough for 3rd in the Long Jump.


Ruth Gillespie, Lough Eske, a member of the AVS Schools record breaking Irish schools relay team was 3rd in the U15 80m Hurdles. Eva McMullan, U15, from Creevy, Ballyshannon, had a busy and successful day. She qualified via heats for the 100m and 200m finals. In the former she ran 13.40secs for 3rd and 28.32secs for 5th in the later.


Niamh McGrory, Ballydevitt, U15, qualified for the 100m final where she finished 8th and later contested the 800m and ran 2mins 54.4 secs.


Chloe Masterson, U14, Old Golf Course Rd., has been a member of the club for the last five years. On Saturday, a delighted Chloe, won two Ulster medals - a gold in the Hammer 18.43m, a bronze following a battling performance that found her coming from 5th at the half way stage and also finished 5th in the Shot Putt. Coaching of race walking was introduced to the club at a summer camp in 2010. On Saturday three club athletes battled for and finished 1/2/3 in the Under 15 2k event. Well done Sarah Timoney, Ballintra, Ciara Crawford, Frosses and Jessica Quinn, Frosses.

When the recently completed throws cage was finalized at the AVS, the discipline of Hammer throwing, was introduced to the clubs programme. Matthew McClay, Ballintra,U14, threw 24.34m for a bronze medal performance and followed up with 23.51m in the discus for a similar winning position. Katie Hoad, Frosses, U15, finished 6th in the Hammer, 7th in the Discus and 9th in her heat of the 800m.


Mark Hegarty, U15, travels three times weekly from Killybegs to train in Donegal Town. It was all worth while, when he collected two silver medal medals in the 200m 26.65secs and Shot Putt 10.79m. Daniel Gallagher, U15, Dunkineely, burst onto the scene, last March when he won the U14 Irish schools Cross Country in Dublin. He ran the 800m on Saturday - 2mins 13.42secs and 1500m -,4mins30.43secs on Sunday in two very competitive races for 2nd place finished behind All Ireland champion Peter Gibbons from Letterkenny.


The most unfortunate club athlete of the weekend was Christopher O’Loughlan, U15, from Mountcharles. In the process of qualifying for the 100m final he injured his leg. Christopher had to withdraw form the final and from his favourite event the 250m Hurdles. Hopefully he makes a quick recovery and will be back at club training very soon.

Day 2
Sunday was reserved for Under 16 and 17 competition. Club athletes continued the success story. The opening track final - U16 80m Hurdles - found mates Kelly McGrory, Laghey, and Emma Brady, Donegal Town, having a great battle with Anna McIlmoyle from Lisburn. Brady shot from the blocks and hurdled perfectly for an impressive win - 12.48secs. Kelly edged Anna into 3rd place by one hundredth of a second. As the day unwound the Tír Chonaill pair set new standards with three emphatic victories. Kelly had to negotiate heats in both the 100m and 200m before recording PB’s of 12.79secs/100m and 26.24secs/200m while Emma in the 200m ran 39.14secs for a top podium placing.


In the Pole Vault Hannah CampbelL, Inver, U16 and Clare Brady, Donegal Town, U17 won their respective age group competitions.Mark McGuinness, Dunkineely, U17 , ran 4mins 21.74secs for 4th in the 1500m while Sean Kerrs, Frosses, U17, was 3rd in the 3k/10mins34.27secs.


Karl Griffin, during the week, was selected as part of a fourteen member Irish Team for the European Youth Olympics in Turkey, impressed on Saturday in winning the 800m - time 1min 54.76secs and followed upon Sunday with a 50secs. 400m time victory.

Congratulations to all the young athletes and a sincere thanks to the club coaches who weekly prepare, train and motivate and to the large group of parents who came along to support and help on both days.


Clare Brady and Hannah Campbell

Pole Vault Winners a the Ulster Championships


Emma Brady (centre)

Winner of the Girls

U16 250m Turdles


Matthew McClay 261 Medal Winner

in the Hammer and Discus

at the Ulster Championships


Daniel Gallagher (red vest) medal winner in the 800m

and 1500m at the Ulster Championships


Mark Hegarty (red vest) medal winner

in the Shot Putt and 200m at the

Ulster Championships


Tir Chonaill Athletie at Ulster Champiopnships last Saturday

L-R: Chloe Masterson, Kate Mc Gowan, Ruth Gillespie,

Ciara Crawford, Jessica Quinn, Niamh McGrory,

Katie Haod and coaches

Susan Gillespie and Paul O'Gara


Clare Brady and Hannah Campbell

Pole Vault Winners at the

Ulster Championships


Girls U16 100m Final

All Donegal Affair

L-R: Amber Barrett, Cranford 2nd;

Kelly McGrory, Tir Chonaill, 1st;

& Jade O'Donnell, Rosses 3rd


U15 Girls 2k Medal Winners

Ciara Crawford 2nd

Sarah Timoney 1st

& Jennifir Quinn 3rd