THREE Omagh Harriers members returned from Athlone with a fine collection of National Masters Indoor Championship medals following a host of impressive performances.
Mark McConnell got the winning run underway with a PB of 10.3 seconds for the 60 metre hurdles, taking gold, while despite still a relative novice to track events, Orlagh Colton had to PB with a time of 11.29 seconds to beat former Irish champion Isabella Breslin from Donegal in the 60 metres hurdles. Orlagh also claimed a bronze with a long jump of 3.53m.
Both athletes are coached by team-mate Trevor McGlynn, from Strabane, who was delighted, but not surprised by their successes.
“You couldn’t ask for any better from those two, and they both have so much more improvement to come,” he beamed.
“Anything they are asked to do in training, they do and it shows it pays off because they are All-Ireland champions now.”
McGlynn, meanwhile, was also in the medals at the weekend, despite nursing a hamstring injury.
Having undergone treatment from his wife, Ann-Marie and Brian Coyle in the build-up to the event, the Tyrone barber was able to compete at ‘75-80%’ capacity, which was still enough for him to earn a silver in the high jump with an effort of 1.60m and a silver in the hurdles with a time of 9.49 seconds.
“I hurt my hamstring last Saturday, just twinged it in training so I could hardly walk without pain so I was only running at 75-80%, I wasn’t able to go 100% at it because it’s all explosive stuff,” he explained.
“With experience I’m able to hold back, whereas years ago I’d have gone all out and ended up ripping the hamstring, putting me out of action for two months.
“I’m taking a week off now and then I’m going to go for the All-Ireland throws pentathlon record at the end of March in Ballybofey at Finn Valley’s Spring Throws Fest.
“I broke the Masters 35 record last year, but I’m into a new category this year so I’ll try for that, then I’ll refocus and go for the All-Ireland pentathlon championships and NI Championships in June,” he concluded.