Ulster Indoor championships odyssey Belfast

February 2012

The magnificent back drop of the Odyssey Arena Belfast provided a perfect setting for the dreams and ambitions of Donegal's (U14-U17) age group athletes at the weekend.

Not with standing that qualification for the AAI finals in Nenagh (April) was the ultimate goal, appearing at this international track, and in the evening seeing Irelands top athletes in action was as good as it gets for these youngsters.

Letterkenny ac had a magnificent weekend, highlighted by the magnificent pair of Daniel Mooney and Ruari Finnegan's gold and silver in the senior 1500m enabling the juveniles to see at firsthand how two club members can star at this level and be acclaimed by their peers as the best in Ireland. Surely the present crop of juveniles can now focus on what can be achieved by total focus and dedication to training that these two lads portray.

Thirteen juveniles taking sixteen Ulster medals plus three relay teams qualifying for AAI finals was an added bonus for the coaches involved in weekly training, well done to all.

U14 GIRLS
Arlene Crossan set the standards with a gold medal in the long jump and given an example of her versatile produced a great effort in the 800m taking silver medal (2.29.3).

arlene crossan gold in the long jump and silver in 800m U14 girls

Arlene also contested the 60m hurdles and though reaching the final of this technical event 6th place saw her out of the medals here. So this fine athlete can now concentrate on her double attack in Nenagh of 80m and long jump medals at national level.

Lac juveniles have never had much success in the walks disciplines but recent good work by visiting coach Danny Sharkey at club training resulted in three medals in the 1000m walks. Ciara Blaney (U14) proudly took silver medal on the rostrum and also has now four weeks to get in good training at this difficult discipline.

Altan Murphy, Edel Smith, Megan Skinnader, Saoirse Callaghan, Abbie McGettigan, Alison Higgins and Rachel Mullin can all take encouragement from their experience at the Odyssey and will benefit from this.

lac U14girls 4x200m silver medal team

U14 BOYS
Darragh Morrison takes the honours here with silver medal in the 1000m walk, like Ciara Blaney this success was a bonus and in the next few weeks concentration on this event at training can reap more rewards. Ryan Hilferty (shot putt), Eoghan Bradley (60m-800m), Michael McShane (shot putt), Matthew Johnston (800m) all preformed well and can look forward to the summer track and field season.

darragh morrison U14 silver medal 1000m walk

U15 GIRLS
This age group returned three medals with Niamh Farrell showing good sprinting ability taking silver medal in the 60m (8.6), Ciara Finnegan's bronze medal in the 800m (2.33.0) was well deserved in a very well contested time trial event and Ciara like Niamh can look forward to Nenagh with confidence.

Again the recent involvement in walking training paid more dividends with Grace Carr taking silver medal in her event. So three medals in walks is certainly a new departure for the club.

U15 BOYS
Again three medals here and more middle distance success. Stefan McCrossan silver in 800m (2.19.2) just ahead of club mate Oisin Toal bronze (2.21.3) indicates the great strength at this event, while the sprint coach can be well pleased with Darragh toals silver medal in the 60m taking him to National finals.

stefan mccrossan 2nd and oisin toal bronze in the U15 boys 800m

Shane Irwin just missed out medalling reaching the 60m final and 5th was no disgrace in a blanket finish with Toal just ahead of him.

Ethan McCrossan, Matthew Sweeney, Conor McGlynn competed very well and they too can look forward to track and field season.

U16 GIRLS
Again a very popular medal winner in Tara Carr in the high jump (1.43) was a great effort in this young lady's first Ulster championships, and bronze medal was a worthy contribution to the clubs medal haul.

tara carr 3rd in the U16 girls high jump

Natasha McArdle added another Ulster bronze to her impressive C.V in a very tough 800m final (2.38.7) and will continue the battle in Nenagh. While Hollie Duddy was out of the medals in 200m.

U16 BOYS
Two more sprint medals from Daire Curran in his debut season with the club, showing great technique in the 60m and 200m the Gortahork youngster can travel to Nenagh with confidence, wearing his two Ulster bronze with pride. Conor Neild and Sean O`Brien completed well in these events also.

daire curran U16 silver 200m and bronze 60m

U17 GIRLS
Another double medal winner in the very popular Lisa Gibson, Lisa took silver in the shot putt (9.85) and with her dedication to training in this event can go over 10m in the national finals. But her bronze medal in the 60m hurdles was a great surprise. Taking on this difficult discipline was no problem to a very talented athlete. Surely a multi eventer in the making.

U17 BOYS
No medals but the usual competitive contribution from Conor Morrison, Shaun Boyle, John Russell and Eoin Farrell. So sixteen individual medals with gold in the girls U15 4x200m, Niamh Farrell, Arlene Crossan, Ciara Finnegan and Altan Murphy (1.58.76), U15 boys also gold Shane Irwin, Stefan McCrossan, Conor McGlynn and Darragh Toal (1.49.8) and bronze girls U14 Edel Smith, Arlene Crossan, Saoirse Callaghan and Alton Murphy.
Next outing Magherafelt U12-13 and U18-19 Saturday 3rd March.