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Tuesday, 10th July 2018

Louth athletes qualify for national finals

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The Louth women’s 4x400m team – form left: Kelly Breen, Nicola Welsh, Orla O’Connor, Amy McTeggart.

Following their excellent start to their 2018 National League campaign in Belfast in June, the County Louth senior men’s and women’s track and field teams did not disappoint in their second round fixture at the Morton Stadium in Santry, Dublin, on Sunday, 8 July. 

The women’s team, who had only been promoted to the Premier Division this year following their second place finish in Division One in 2017, were particularly impressive this time, as they topped the points table among the seven teams competing in their group in Dublin. The men’s team also held their own in a very competitive group of six teams in Division One. 

Most importantly, both teams qualified for next month’s final in Tullamore by finishing among the top eight teams overall – the women were ranked sixth and the men seventh after the two qualifying rounds. In both cases they were comfortably ahead of the teams ranked ninth and lower, for whom the 2018 National League is now at an end. 

This is a particularly meritorious achievement by the women’s team, who have generally plied their trade in Division One. In their only previous campaign in the top tier – back in 2014 – they finished tenth overall after the first two rounds and hence did not advance to the final. The men’s team have been regular finalists in Division One in recent years, but have yet to earn promotion to the top flight. 

Four athletes scored maximum points by winning their events in Dublin – Nicola Welsh (Dunleer) in the 1500m, Emily Rogers (St Peter’s) in the High Jump, Amy McTeggart (Boyne) in the Long Jump and Conor Durnin (St Peter’s) in the Triple Jump. 

Several athletes also scored highly by finishing second in their events – Amy McTeggart in both the 100m Hurdles and Javelin, Geraldine Finegan (North East Runners) in the Pole Vault, Shauna McMahon (Blackrock) in the Discus, Ruarcán Ó Gibne (Boyne) in the 800m, Darren Weldon (Ardee & District) in the Hammer, Brendan Rogers (St Peter’s) in the Weight for Distance and the 4x400m team of Kelly Breen (Blackrock), Nicola Welsh, Amy McTeggart and Orla O’Connor (Drogheda & District). 

Third place finishes were recorded by Maria Smith (Dundalk St Gerard’s) in both the 100m and 200m, Orla O’Connor in the 800m, Karen Costello (Dunleer) in the 3000m, Catherine Rogers (St Peter’s) in the 1500m Walk, Conor McMahon (Ardee & District) in each of the 110m Hurdles, 400m Hurdles and Long Jump, Anthony Dillon (Dunleer) in the 100m, Lee McGuinness (Drogheda & District) in the 200m, Eoghan Smyth (Blackrock) in the High Jump and Tom McGrane (St Peter’s) in the Shot Putt. McGrane had a busy day as he was also the manager of both the men’s and women’s teams. 

The other athletes on the teams also played their part and can be proud of their performances; among them were Seoda Matthews (Dunleer), Rosemary Gibson (North East Runners), Sharon Olatunde (Dundealgan), Hannah Reilly (Blackrock), Niamh Fussey (St Peter’s), Andrew Kelly (Drogheda & District), Cormac Canning (Drogheda & District), Jamie Shiels (Boyne) and Destiny James (Dundealgan).

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