Karl Griffin smashes Irish Youth 800m record -1min 49.63secs
The 2012 track season has not yet got out of the blocks and we find club and county athletes making the headlines across a range of events. Last Saturday, Karl Griffin travelled all the way to Greystones, Wicklow for an Irish Milers club sponsored meet. The Ballydevitt man in the process smashed, Mark English’s Irish U18 -800m record and won the race impressively. The Tir Chonaill/Abbey Voc School athlete, not 17 until early June, went through the bell -400m- in 55.4secs, was placed 5th and blocked in with 250m to go and with a devastating final 200m came through the field to win in a new Irish U18 Youths record time of 1min 49.63secs. This PB time, a B standard for the upcoming World Junior-U20-c/ships in Barcelona, will give Karl great confidence, as he tackles the Irish schools Senior 800m final on Saturday in Tullamore, the 400m at the Ulster/ANI c/ships in Antrim on Bank holiday Monday and the remainder of an exciting and challenging season.
In a week when two more Donegal athletes qualified and were nominated for the London Olympics i.e. Brendan Boyce, Milford/Letterkenny AC, 50k walk and Catriona Jennings,Letterkenny/Rathfarnham AC, Marathon, we find, Mark English, Letterkenny AC, one of the most exciting talents to emerge in the county in recent times running a phenominally fast time of 1min 45.77secs/800m at an International meet in Belguim on Saturday evening. The D.C.U. 1st Yr student, placed 3rd at the bell, reached in 52.1secs, took over the lead with 170m to go and was most impressive in defeating a high class International field. Nineteen year old Mark, becomes the 5th fastest Irishman over 800m, qualifies with an A standard for the World Juniors,- qualifies for the European Seniors in Finland and gets a B standard for the London Olympics -in fact he was within 0.17secs of automatic Olympic qualification….
At a time when the clubs road and distance athletes are breaking new ground and records, it is great to report yet another success story from one of our distance group. Paul McGuckin, as the Ras cyclists assembled at the St John Bosco centre on Saturday morning, modestly recapped his recent trip to the Limerick Marathon where he recorded a new PB of 3hrs 50mins45secs. The modest, MV45, indicated – ‘ah I’m happy alright -it was my first time under 4 hours.’ Paul is a member of the clubs fit4life group in Donegal Town where Kevin McGlynn will have some comical praise when next they meet.
Donegal Town 5k
The upcoming weekend will be very busy for club athletes and officials. On Friday evening -7.30start – the annual Donegal Grand Prix 5k run /walk takes place. The event sponsored by All Sports Donegal Town, has an attractive prize list for all categories plus over 20 spot prizes , drawn randomly for non category winners. Registration commences at 6pm at the Abbey Voc School and a large turnout is anticipated. To speed up the registration process the organisers are encouraging participants to forward their details i.e. Name/male or female/club/no club/age category to firstname.lastname@example.org and collect number on the night
Tullamore and Antrim
On Saturday next there will be a large exodus from the county of young athletes, coaches, teachers and supporters when the ‘blue ribbon’ of Irish underage track and field athletics -the Irish Schools finals-takes place in Tullamore. Donegal school athletes performed as never before when the Ulster finals were held two weeks ago at the Antrim Forum and unprecedented numbers qualified for Saturday’s finals. Individuals to look out for include the following Ulster champions,Royal and Prior duo -John Kelly, Intermediate Shot Putt and Sean Woods, Senior 400m, Scoil Colmcille’s Sarah Timoney, Junior Walk, Scoil na Carraige’s Christopher Doherty, Senior Pole Vault, and Abbey Vocational Kate McGowan, Intermediate 80m hurdles/Long Jump, Kelly McGrory, 300m Hurdles/80m hurdles, Karl Griffin Senior 800m and the Intermadiate 4 x 100m relay team of Niamh McGrory, Kelly McGrory, Emma Brady and Kate McGowan.
Tir Chonaill wish all the above every success plus the following who train regularly with the club/school coaches in Donegal Town- Conal Mahon, St Michaels Enniskillen, Senior Triple Jump, Jordan Hilton, Protora Enniskillen, Inter 100m, Molly Donovan, Scoil na Carraige, Inter Shot Putt, Mark mcGuinness, St Catherines, Killybegs, 1,500m/3,000m Inter, Hannah Campbell, St Catherines, Killybegs, Inter Pole Vault, Eva McMullan, Scoil Colmcille, 100m Junior,Clara Herron, Ursuline Sligo, Junior Shot Putt, and the following -all from the Abbey Voc – Mark Boyle Junior 800m,Ciara Crawford, Inter walk, Katie Hoad, Inter Pole Vault, Clare Brady, Senior Pole Vault, Enmma Brady, Inter Triple Jump, Chloe Masterson, Junior Hammer and Jessica Quinn, Junior walk
The Antrim Forum on Bank holiday Monday is the venue for the Ulster/Athletics Northern Ireland Senior championships. The club wish our National Senior Triple and Long Jump champion Mary McLoone, Karl Griffin, 400m, Louise Harvey 400m Hurdles and Geraldine Stewart, Shot Putt all the best in what promises to be another exciting and competitive days athletics