Three National medals were won by Leitrim athletes in contrasting competition circumstances last weekend. On Saturday Laura Reynolds, representing DCU, showed no after effects of her tough National 20K Walk victory in Cork the previous Sunday when winning the Irish Universities and Third Level Colleges Indoor 1500m Walk in Nenagh.
In the process Laura erased the fourteen year old record of 6.18.18 set by the now retired Gillian O Sullivan who went o n to win the silver medal in the 20K Walk at the 2003 World Championships in Paris.
Laura's time was 6.17.04 and her achievement means that the two Indoor records are held by Colin Griffin and herself while the outdoor mens' 2000m Walk record is also held by Colin Griffin. Gillian's 1997 outdoor record remains a target for Laura when the outdoor Championships are hosted by Queen's University in Belfast next April.
Second in Nenagh was Caoimhe Casey of UCC in 7.25.18 with Aoibhin Gissane of Sligo IT third in 8.48.06.
At the same Universities Championships in Nenagh Carrick-on-Shannon's Gerard O'Donnell representing Athlone IT took the bronze medal in the 60m Hurdles in a time of 8.54 seconds. The winner here was Ian McDonald of DCU in 8.17 with Tom Reynolds of University of Ulster second in 8.39. Gerard also qualified from the heats and semi finals of the 400m but did not contest the final in case it might have an adverse effect on his hurdles race soon afterwards.
On Sunday in the ALSAA grounds at Dublin Airport, Dervla Beirne of Mohill AC won the Woodies DIY AAI Under 13 "B" Cross Country title in very trying conditions. Second was Cliodhna O Connor of Kildare with Eimar Loughman of Tipperary third. The "B" Championship which is run at Uneven ages level is open to athletes who did not win a medal in the Championships proper some weeks earlier.
Carrick-on-Shannon's Daire Farrell made his International debut in the Under 17 section of the Celtic International which is made up of teams from Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The Leitrim athlete just like the other runners found the heavy muddy conditions very trying but ran well to finish tenth of the Irish competitors. He will benefit from the experience of having qualified to take part in this level of competition even though the closeness of the event to the Connacht Schools Cross Country finals in Galway two days later was not particularly desirable.
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