DOUBLE European cross country champion Fionnuala Britton was the star attraction on at the official opening of the Ben O’Donnell Athletics Stadium in Lifford on Monday.
Britton led a star studded field in the womens 3,000m which also included her international team mates at the 2013 Europeans, Lifford AC’s Ann Marie McGlynn and Ciara Durkan from Skerries. While Britton was the headline act, local Finn Valley John Kelly also made the headlines, throwing the shot out to 15.46m to set a new Donegal record.
In the mens 3,000m, Foyle Valley’s Scott Rankin was involved in a battle with Glaslough’s Conor Duffy and Declan Reid from the City of Derry club before winning in a personal best time of 8.31.88.
In the womens 3,000m race Britton claimed victory in 9.15.02 with Lifford AC’s Ann Marie McGlynn second in 9.21.96, with Ciara Durkan third in 9.26.67,.
Several other athletes from around the country had made the trip to Lifford in the hope of securing qualification for the European Youth Olympic Trials in Baku, Azerbaijan. In the mens 800m, three athletes were targeting the 1.54 European qualification standard Dunleer AC’s Garry Campbell, Sligo’s Cian McBride and Le Cheile AC’s Conall Hayes. Campbell led the field home in 1.55.79 followed by McBride 1.56.91 and Hayes in third in 1.59.63.
In the mens 400m, Dundrum South Dublin’s Brian Masterson won in 49.91, just half a second short of the European target, with Strabane’s Conor McLaughlin second in 51.48s and Derry City Track Club’s Aaron Carlyle third in 51.71.
In a week that remembers the 60th anniversary of Roger Bannisters four minute mile, the mile race in Lifford was won by City of Derry’s Noel Logan in 4.42. The Masters mile was a closely fought race, with former club athlete Pauric McKinney determined to make his mark on an historic day for the club, winning in 4.50.47, just ahead of City of Derry’s Eoghan Furey and Derry City Track Club’s Robert Bigger in third.