GAVIN McLaughlin and Adrienne Gallen caught the eye with superb throws at the Donegal Athletics Championships on Sunday.
Finn Valley AC’s McLaughlin set a new Donegal discus record while Gallen, of Lifford-Strabane AC, recorded the furthest hammer throw by an under-18 female in Europe in 2021.
McLaughlin captured the discus title as he launched out to 46.96m, improving on the 46.53m he recorded in June at the Antrim Forum.
McLaughlin continues his upward trajectory and is aiming to break the 50m barrier at some point in the near future.
Gallen reached out to 63.20, a lifetime best with a 3kg hammer and a European U18 lead throw for the year.
Gallen’s throw beats the 62.18m of Cypriot athlete Valentine Savva and she will now target Tailteann Games and Schools Internationals to compete another encouraging season. Sunday’s throw was in excess of her endeavours at a recent U18 international in Paris, where she won a bronze (57.63m).
James Kelly of Finn Valley AC won the senior men’s shot put title, throwing a best of 16.56m to complete a topsy-turvy season for the St Johnston man. A season’s best of beyond 17m offers him encouragement for the next year, which will be his last as an under-23 athlete.
Tir Chonaill AC’s Irish senior champion Conal Mahon won the senior men’s long jump and triple jump crowns.
A 6.51m leap saw him collect the gold in the long jump while his 14.29m secured the triple jump title.
Killybegs AC’s Dylan Kearns won the men’s javelin title with a 55.83m effort that was just 3cm shy of his PB.
Declan Ferry of Rosses AC continued the good form he has showed on the roads lately. A week after winning Finn Valley AC’s Golden Jubilee 10k, Ferry won the men’s 3,000m while Noeleen Scanlon from Letterkenny AC won the gold in the women’s 3000m, with the silver there heading to Finn Valley AC’s Natasha Kelly.
There was a Tir Chonaill AC treble over hurdles with success for Ben Campbell (senior men’s 110m hurdles), Fintan Dewhirst (U17 boys 100m hurdles) and Alexis Campbell (U17 girls 100m hurdles).
Rosses AC’s Rachel Bonner took the 400m title, Cara Laverty (Finn Valley) took the 800m title comfortably while Finn Valley AC’s Hannah Murray maintained her recent form with the U17 200m gold.
New Letterkenny AC recruit Sheldon Nyoni took gold in both the senior men’s 100m and 200m races, while Joseph Aido of LAC was the 100m and 200m gold medalist in the under-19 grade.
LAC’s Emma Price was the under-17 long jump gold medalist and also took gold in the mixed relay as well as 100m and 100m hurdles silver medals and Elvis Okoh of LAC was the gold medalist in the under-17 triple jump and mixed relay while he was also the 100m silver medalist.
Olympian AC’s Ciara Doherty won the under-18 800m and 1500m titles and there were three 100m gold medals for Olympian AC at under-17, under-18 and under-19 grades, with Leah Barr, Orla O’Doherty and Lara Faul winning.
Lifford AC’s Ellie McCurdy was an impressive winner of the senior women’s javelin, throwing 35.66m and Brendan O’Donnell took the senior men’s hammer, reaching out to 51.55m, which was enough to take the gold despite him having to pull out after one throw due to a broken hammer wire.
Lifford-Strabane AC trio Cormac O’Donnell (under-18, 54.95m), Jude McCrossan (under-19, 43.21m) and Cora Burns (under-17, 42.07m) all won hammer golds. It was a Lifford one-two-three in the under-17 competition with Una O’Donnell and Emily Neeson taking silver and bronze behind Burns.
Hannah Whyte won the under-17 javelin (27.24m) and she was the sliver medalist in the under-17 discus behind Lifford-Strabane AC club mate Una O’Donnell, while Conor McAleer was the gold medal winner in the boys under-19 800m, winning in two minutes and four seconds.
In the masters competition, Brian Ó Domhnaoll was an impressive winner in the 1500m race walk and Inishowen AC’s Pauric McKinney took the 1500m gold while there was a Rosses AC double in the long jumps courtesy of Nicole O’Donnell and Aidan Gillespie.
Meanwhile, there were exceptional person bests for Letterkenny AC duo Eoghain McGinley and Kathryn McDevitt over the weekend. On Saturday, McDevitt clocked a new best time of 27.01 seconds to win the 200m race at a track meeting in Belfast.
On Sunday, McGinley shaved a whopping three minutes of his personal best at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon. McGinley finished in 68 minutes and 17 seconds.