The short but sweet athletics season has almost come to an end with Leitrim athletes winning two gold and two silver medals at the National Masters and Junior Track & Field Championships in Morton Stadium, Dublin over the weekend.
Junior international Alannah McGuinness claimed a silver medal on Saturday in the Junior (U20) event at a wet and windy Morton Stadium while Carrick AC’s Ann Wynne and North Leitrim’s Susanne O’Beirne claimed gold medals on Sunday at the National Masters event.
There was also a silver medal for Ballinaglera’s Michael Cornyn in the M55 400m while there was a near miss for North Leitrim’s Darragh Mitchell who finished fourth in the U20 Walk on Saturday.
Alannah McGuinness underlined her potential as a top sprinter with a season’s best time of 12.35 as she was just pipped for the gold medal in the 100m. Boosted by a rocket start, Alannah led almost every step of the way and was only passed in the final metre by eventual winner Jenna Breen who clocked 12.31 seconds into the minus 1.3 m/s headwind.
Unfortunately, Alannah crashed to the ground after crossing the line, unbalanced as she stretched for the line and although she qualified for the 200m final with a time of 26.52 seconds, she was unable to compete in the final.
North Leitrim’s Darragh Mitchell finished fourth in the 5,000m walk, his time of 26.03.19 seeing him finish behind Matthew Glennon (23.23.66), Jake O’Brien (24.45.25) and James Hanlon 25.11.32) to finish off another excellent season for the Leitrim walker.
There were a number of other young athletes in action: North Leitrim’s Sarah Brady ran a strong 5.07.19 in the Junior Women’s 1,500m while Carrick AC’s Eoghan Farrell ran a new personal best of 4.19.11 in the men’s event.
Sophie McCabe ran 13.85 and 28.73 in the women’s sprint events while Carrick clubmate Toyosi Fagbo ran 11.82 in the men’s 100m heats. Cian McKiernan completed the programme when he ran 58.32 in the 400m.
Ann Wynne claimed victory in the W50 800m at Sunday's Masters Finals. Clocking a time of 2.40.31, Ann pipped Raheny Shamrock duo Siobhan McArdle (2.40.79) and Patricia O'Cleirigh (2.43.02) to take home the gold medal.
The medal adds to Ann’s victory in the Indoor championship, again ahead of McArdle but she was unable to add to her indoor 1,500m victory as competitors were restricted to just one event last Sunday.
As the sole competitor in her event, Susanne O’Beirne made light of the absence of competition to produce an excellent series of throws to win the W45 Discus. Her best throw of 19.99 metres came in the second round with her others efforts registering 18.80, 18.59 and 17.97.
Ballinaglera native and Dunboyne AC’s Michael Cornyn (inset) added to his collection of national medals when he took silver in the M55 400m. What was all the more remarkable about Michael’s achievement as he recently undergone major eye surgery and had not been allowed any physical exercise for two weeks prior to the event.
Wearing sun glasses for the first time on the track, Michael snatched the silver medal ahead of Ballina’s Liam Collins, 63.7 to 64.00, with the race won by Drogheda & District’s Gerry O’Connor in 61.9 seconds.