OMAGH Harriers athletes excelled at the All-Ireland Masters Indoor Championships in Athlone on Sunday where they won an amazing haul of 19 medals.
The women’s sprint hurdles team of Clare Quinn, Orlagh Colton, Shauna Stewart and Leona Garrity won the 4x200metres title.
Individually, Leona Garrity came third in the 60 metres sprint, which was her first ever sprint final, she fell in the 200m when third, Orlagh Colton won the long jump and was second in the hurdles, Claire Quinn was second in the 60 metres sprint and Shauna Stewart won the long jump in her age group.
And the men’s team narrowly missed out on achieving the same feat in their 4×200 metres relay, but ended up with a bronze medal thanks to a gutsy performance from the ‘Faster Pastor’, Tim Shiels. He was drafted into the team to replace the injured Fabien O’Neill who was hurt at last week’s All-Ireland Combined Events Championships.
Shiels, who is an international class 800 metre runner, travelled to Athlone to help his clubmates in the 4×200 metres race but 60 metres into his leg his hamstring went. Rather than pull out, he struggled through the remaining 140 metres, battling the pain, to help Trev McGlynn, Mark McConnell and Andrew Ferguson claim third place and a coveted bronze medal, missing out on gold by just four seconds.
McGlynn also won the 60m hurdles and was second in the triple jump, while McFarland was second in the over-35s 60 metres and was third in the shot, and McConnell earned silver in both the high jump and the hurdles.
Meanwhile, four other athletes coached by McGlynn through Sprint Academy Ireland were also in medal winning form.
There were successes for Tina Gallagher, who won the women’s over-55s hurdles and long jump; Catherine McDevitt, who was second in the 60 metres sprint and won silver in the 200 metres Leanne Wellings, from England, was third in the 60 metres sprint and won the 200 metres, while Waterford’s Nichola Hayes won the sprint hurdles and was second in the relay.
All of the athletes wish to thank Mark McBrearty for acting as ‘logistics manager’ on the day to ensure they were all on time for their events, enjoyed good warm-ups and were in the right place at the right time!