What a hectic yet successful weekend for Finn Valley indeed Donegal athletes . Venues Mannheim, Cork, Santry and finally Tullamore with an extension to Monday as 5 Donegal athletes are named to world junior championship team in Barcelona next month Neil martin as manager and Bernie Alcorn team coach amongst the squad Dempsey Mc Guigan who completed 2 competitions over the days Mannheim saturday and the Co Offaly fixture the national juniors Sunday a 68.03m effort for silver against Dunboyne s Mc Cabe 68.62m . Sarah Collins included a double winner Sunday 1500m in a time of 4.42.28 with Laois athlete Mary Mulcare second and just marginally over an hour later took the 5k with ease on 17.18.53 her event in Spain 3k .We extent heartiest congrats and best wishes to Sarah and Dempsey come Barcelona as a bonus competing in the Olympic Stadium the scene of the 1992 Games .
The national junior champs. under 20 ( Junior ) and under 23 the challenge in the Irish Midlands early in the day a return to athletics activity for Ciaran Dolan now a student at Sheffield Univ . had been working on the Valley long jump run up through the week and it came together perfectly at 6.76m on round 5 he had a longer effort marginally over the board so all looks good in the period ahead when a serious winter is undertaken a gold medal national champion under 23 on this particular outing . Welcome back . John Kelly was on a busy schedule through the 2 days as on Saturday in Santry at Tailteann Games an interprovincial meeting a selection meet for Irish schools team the Royal ,Raphoe pupil pencilled in his name for shot a winner at 16 plus .and javelin at just under 50m inches from a winning throw .He gets to do it all again in Schools international .On the road to national juniors have a go set a marker for the years ahead and this he did remember he has 3 years left in the cycle of a junior athlete .A silver medal in shot only overhauled on round 6 by a 14.98 putt against Johns long time lead of 14.85 . In the javelin a most respectable consistent series his best 49.78m in round 3 . Jade Leeper was out of luck in Santry just missing out in discus/shot but this Ballinamore V S student will bounce back older and better for the experioence .
Mark hoy has maintained a training regime in recent months that has brought him to Olympic Stadium ,London for British universities and he pushed to a silver performance on this day 1-58.01 against Waterford athlete Ryan on 1.57.59 . It can get better consistency and ongoing adherence to the trainig the key. Another young man enjoying his running right now James Speight 3rd in steeple on 9.53.21 he is of course a former Irish schools senior champion in this event . The day ended with teams in 4 x 4 relaythe under 23 quartet of Paddy Bogues ,James Speight,Mark Hoy and St Johnstone man Dean Toland taking gold and the junior lads led out by Shaun woods who earlier had returned 50.36 4th team . Juniors mark bonner ,Patrick hynes foy and Ryan Porter had a shot at the 1500m to no avail .
A long journey to Cork beckoned for our young brigade for National Childrens games and the enthusiam and excitement really was evident as they assembled prior to departure . Success as anticipated for 11 age group team of Lauren callaghan,Dromore n s ;and Jessics Quigley St Marys stranorlar in 60m a combined time of 19.02 way ahead of Ferrybank 19.26 and Carlow also 19.26 Jessica timed at 9-37 an exceptional run and Lauren 9.65 they then were on a relay squad which included Aine Wilkinson and Daniella Jansen plus Caitlin Mc gonagle fastest time in the heats but a slight hitch in final but silver medals their reward . Daniella Jansen had a resounding 600m 1.57.19 the 2nd fastest in 600m and combined with the aforementioned Jessica to collect bronze in the Ball throw . A great experience for all the group and now a well earned rest after a very rewarding few weeks in schools Ulster and national compertition . A bit shout out to the coachs and parents who travelled hopefully Finn Valley will stage this meeting at home in 2013 . An application has been made .
Later this week in Helsinki Tori Pena competes in the European pole vault championship and best wishes are with her.