Record-breaker Lally leads big medal haul for Galway athletes

ALANNA Lally, Galway City Harriers, stole the show with two outstanding performances and two gold medals at the Woodies DIY All-Ireland Juvenile Indoor championships held in the Athlone IT Arena.

Competing in the U18 800m, Lally finished almost seven seconds clear of her rivals as she crossed the line in a time of 2:13.83 to beat Arlene Smith’s 1991 time of 2:13.9 for a new championship best. On the previous day, she also won the U18 400m in a time of 55.87, again a new CBP to top the 57.3 of Arlene Smith in 1991.

Maebh Brannigan of GCH won her first national title in the under 17 girls 1500m. She ran a superb race leading from the gun and had 20 metres to spare at the finish winning in a time of 4 minutes 58 seconds. She also won a silver medal in the 800m

Evan McGuire, GCH, proved his status as a top class 400m runner, winning the under 19 boys 400m in a great time of 49.97 seconds. Cillin Greene GCH was another first time national title winner. He ran away from the field in the second half of the under 16 boys 200m, in a time of 23.58.

Laoise Geraghty, GCH, made an excellent debut at the national indoors, winning the under 13 girls 600m in fine style in 1. 44.70. Laura Ann Costello, GCH’s star sprinter, won medals in three events – she took a silver medal, running 7.76 seconds in the under 17 girls 60m, then a bronze in the 60m hurdles before Costello had her best performance of the weekend in the 200m, knocking .3 of a second off her PB, running a quality 24.98 seconds for silver.

Elisabeth Maher, also of GCH, proved that hard work pays off when she claimed a deserved bronze medal in the under 18 girls 400m, behind her clubmate Alanna Lally in a PB of 60.55 seconds.

Athenry AC had two medallists in Evan Quirke, who secured bronze in the long jump, and Brandon Lee in the 600 metres after he claimed an U13 All Ireland silver medal in an excellent time of 1.42.46.

Craughwell’s Damien O’Boyle won two silver medals in the U17 800m and 1500m, with clubmate Paul Joyce winning silver in the U19 event, and Nicholas Sheehan finishing runner up in the U18 walk and 400m. Other Craughwell medallists were Michelle Duggan, Tara McNally, Chris O’Connor and Diarmuid Prendergast.

Galway results – 60m, U12 Girls: Debbie Taiwo 8th (GCH); U16 Girls: Tara McNally 3rd (Craughwell); U17 Girls: Laura Ann Costello 2nd (GCH), Sinead Treacy 5th (Craughwell); U19 Girls: Mairead McCann 6th (Craughwell); U12 Boys: Robert Mc Donnell 8th (GCH); U17 Boys: Conor Duggan 6th (Craughwell); U18 Boys: James Mitchell 7th (GCH).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.