DONEGAL’S Master athletes shone at Morton Stadium in Santry today as the 2021 National Master Championships proved a successful one.
There were some outstanding performances, not least by Letterkenny AC’s Kathryn McDevitt, Martin Cunningham of Tir Chonaill AC and Catriona Devine of Finn Valley AC.
McDevitt delivered a massive personal best of 26.64 seconds to win the W40 200m and also landed silver in the 100m.
The Letterkenny AC woman needed to be treated by medics after literally falling over the line to edge Sinead O’Regan (Riverstick/Kinsale AC) in the 200m.
“The cuts will heal and the gold medal will last a lifetime,” a delighted McDevitt said.
Indeed, such was McDevitt’s performance, the only Irish woman to run faster in that category is the legendary Maeve Kyle.
A season’s best of 13.11 seconds earned her the 100m silver, with O’Regan taking gold in 12.97 seconds.
Cunningham defended the M40 1500m title in fine fashion. The Glencolmcille man finished in 4:09.15 to take the gold with an impressive display.
Devine, a star of Finn Valley AC’s eight-in-a-row Irish senior cross country teams in the 1990s, delivered a masterful last 150m to win the W45 800m gold.
The Castlefin woman showed all of the old resolve and character to edge out Geraldine Fahey from Ennis Track AC.
Rosses AC veteran Joe Joyce was among the double gold medalists, taking the M80 discus (16.13m) and weight for distance (6.52m) titles.
Lifford-Strabane AC’s Damian Crawford landed the M50 shot (11.96m) and javelin (46.11m) gold medals while Emma O’Doherty of Tir Chonaill AC took gold in both the W35 long jump (4.47m) and 100m hurdles (18.52 seconds).
Finn Valley AC’s Noreen Bonner also took a pair of golds, winning the W65 800m and 1500m races.
Aidan Gillespie of Rosses AC was the M45 high jump (1.65m) and long jump (5.37) gold medal winner and Trisha Gillespie, also of Rosses AC, won the W35 high jump with a 1.35m jump.
Tir Chonaill AC’s Geraldine Stewart’s 11.07m throw won the W40 shot put gold.
There was a gold, too, for Martin Mooney of Inishowen AC in the M35 110m hurdles and for former Finn Valley AC star Danea Herron – the 1984 and 1984 Irish heptathlon champion – who won the W60 javelin with a 19.12m effort. Herron is now in the colours of City of Derry Spartans.
Finn Valley AC’s Brian Ó Domhnaill won silver in the M40 5k walk. Ó Domhnaill finished in 25:17.3 and was beaten to gold by David Kidd’s 24:52.8.
There were two silvers for Robert Anderson – whose three children were recent Irish Championship medalists – with the Tir Chonaill AC man taking second spot in the M50 hammer and weight for distance events.
Nicola O’Donnell (Rosses AC) won silver in the W40 long jump (4.71m), Letterkenny AC’s Danny Sharkey took silver in the M60 5k walk, Martin O’Donnell (Olympian) left with M45 silver (100m) and bronze (200m) medals and Tir Chonaill AC’s Shane Toolan was a double bronze medalist in the M60 100m and 200m.