Williamson secures new personal best

SUNDAY saw the second half of the weekend's double header featuring Round 1 of the National League with City of Derry flying the local flag in both the men's and women's competitions.

Both performed very well, the men with the Premier Division runners up spot, an eye catching one and the female red vests in Division 1, kept their qualifying hopes high, scoring an impressive 101 points for a third place finish.

Tom Carey's excellent hurdles double was vital to the men's squad tally, Simon Herron contributed maximum points in the Triple Jump and cleared 1m 95cm for runner up in the High Jump. Adam McMullan won the Long Jump with 7m 02cm, adding to the provincial gold won by the Mid Ulster man on Saturday - he guests for the Spartans in the National League - and Dara Furey exceeded all expectations with maximum points in the 3000m Walk.

Brothers Colin and Greg Roberts contributed runners up points in the 3K Steeplechase and 5000m respectively, Colin showing he still has it, running a useful 10 minutes 10 seconds for the demanding seven and a half laps over hurdles.

Greg had run sub 15 minutes for the distance the previous day and he stuck to his task dilligently on Sunday for a 15 minutes 1 second clocking.

Teenager JP Williamson won his age group gold on Saturday over 1500m and he improved his PB to 4 minutes 12.42 seconds for a very mature second place on Sunday and Pajo Hamilton, run out of the senior 1500m medals on Saturday, dropped down to 800m for an impressive 1 minute 58.7 seconds, runners up spot on Sunday.

Fresh from his heroics with the City of Derry Rugby squad, Rudi Moore showed his versatility, placing second in the 56lb Weight Throw, fifth in the Shot and was on the fifth placed 400m Relay quartet.

Another multi eventer Ciaron Craig contributed two fourth places in the discus and javelin, young Mark McGarvey made his senior debut with fifth over 200m and sixth in the 100m. Daniel Reid got a 400m PB of 53.04s with fifth and the evergreen Jim Herron in the Hammer Throw was also in fifth place.

Mid Ulster guest athlete Maggie Donnelly starred for the female Spartans young squad, winning both her events Hammer and Discus -getting a new 47m 79cm in the former. Anna Barr in her first senior level competition took Triple Jump gold with 10m 77cm and also piled on the points with a 100m second place and third over 200m.

Kelly Simpson was second in the Javelin, another guest Janelle McGurk produced both Long and High Jump seconds, Hannah McGowan and Amy McDaid thirds in the 800m and 1500m, as did Jacqueline McGinley over 3000m.

Emma Gee in the Hurdles, Danea Herron in the shot and Rebecca McLaughlin over 400m and third and fourth place finishs in the 100m/400m Relay gave the squad a healthy 101 points to build on in the next round.

Overall a busy but productive weekend of Track/Field athletics and With the Olympian Mens squad in Division 1 action down in Tullamore the sport is thriving locally.

The consistent Innishowen AC's man Joe McKinney was a comfortable winner of Saturday night's Buncrana 10K which attracted an entry of around 150. McKinney ran 34 minutes 13 seconds for the win, ahead of City of Derry's Brendan Murphy on 35 minutes 3 seconds and his M45 clubmate, Gerry Duddy with 35 minutes 24 seconds.

Letterkenny AC's Fionnuala Diver ran 39 minutes 56 seconds for the Womens victory, Teresa Doherty of Innishowen was neaxt on 41 minutes 12 seconds and another Letterkenny athlete Noreen McGettigan claimed third spot with 41 minutes 41 seconds.

Tir Chonaill's Leo Murray was the top M40, his 35 minutes 31 seconds getting him home in front of the Spartans Paul McCafferty on 36 minutes 5 seconds; Peter Lilburngot in the prizes again, top M50 with 38 minutes 43 seconds and Foyle Valley's Kate Meehan was the leading F40.