ATHLETICS: Duffy delight at All Ireland Championships

City of Derry's Oisin Duffy celebrates winning the Boys' Under-13 2500m at the AAI Novice & Juvenile Uneven Age XC Championships at the WIT Arena in Waterford. (Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile)
City of Derry's Oisin Duffy celebrates winning the Boys' Under-13 2500m at the AAI Novice & Juvenile Uneven Age XC Championships at the WIT Arena in Waterford. (Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile)

Oisin Duffy stole the show as City of Derry’s Junior Spartans joined other local young club athletes in what proved a highly successful All Ireland Junior Cross Country Championships in Waterford IT at the weekend.

First to run were the under 13 boys with Oisin in outstanding form as he won from the front and was backed-up by a strong Spartans team who took the Club silver medals in this National Age Group championships. The talented Lumen College student completed an unique 2017 double adding the U13 title to the U14 title he won in Dublin last month!

Oisin was ably backed up by the other club team scorers Finn O’Neil (18th), Flionn McLaughlin (22nd) and Shea Martin (67th). Mark Chester, Euan Bonner, Eoin Canavan and Alex Parlour were also in action.

Oisin, Finn and Flionn also helped the Ulster team to Provincial bronze medals with Olympian YC athlete Boyd Russell the final scorer on the squad.

In the under 15 girls 3.5K race, Cara Laverty finished fourth in a strong field and was the first Ulster finisher, leading her squad to the Provincial bronze medal to compensate somewhat for missing out on an individual medal.

The Boys’ U15 race was won in some style by Olympian’s Sean McGinley and he also led Donegal to the Inter County team silvers and his Ulster squad to Provincial gold for a notable medal haul.

At U17 level, Aela Stewart was the first Ulster finisher in 14th place. Foyle Valley’s Anna McGinley was 17th and with Mary Cait Byrne placing 41st and Ulster’s vital sixth scorer, this was another Provincial bronze. Eimer Stewart was the third Spartan in this race, finishing 48th.

Last to run in the age group races was Sean Melarkey in the U19 6k and after placing 39th, the doughty Spartan helping Ulster to yet another provincial bronze.

A great day for the local up and coming runners and a ‘well done’ to all the athletes, parents and coaches who made the long journey to Waterford.