Finn Valley AC: Strong Returns and Notable Performances

June 18, 2024

Roisin and Eilish Flanagan returned to competition last weekend having been out of action for a number of months dealing with related injuries, in what has been a very frustrating 2024 to date. They took the opportunity to accept an invitation to Harry Jerome classic in Canada, competing in an international field over 5,000m. Still not 100% injury free, Roisin returned a time of 15.43.42 with Eilish right behind her with a time of 15.44.68. They now have returned to Ireland and will focus on competing in the National Senior Track and Field Championships at the end of this month.

In Belfast, a number of athletes were afforded the opportunity to compete over a number of distances in what was a celebration of the first four minute mile which took place 70 years ago at this time in Oxford. In a 400m race, Arlene Crossan won in a time of 54.77, still chasing that elusive sub 54 which one hopes will materialise in the National Championships which would mark a serious progressional this season. Also in competition was Cara Laverty, third in the 1500m with a time of 4.23.13 and Sean Mc Ginley, returning to competition having dealt with an ongoing calf injury, competed in the mile with a time of 4.08. While also in a mile event, Oisin Toye clocked a time of 4.15. Amy Greene, competing over 3000m, her time 9.45.57. Eimear McCarroll took in an 800m race, her time 2.12.06 and finally, Tristan Kelly winning a 3,000m in a time of 8.56.

A number of athletes travelled to the Enniskillen 10k an event that has established itself as a quality race over many years and on this occasion the winner was Jon jo Doherty in a time of 32.00 just getting in ahead of North Belfast athlete Conan McCaughey. While in the Ladies section, Maggie O’Hara finished 2 nd . Other Finn Valley athletes taking place were John McGee, Brendan Patton, Corey Duffy, Lisa McElchar, Danielle Mulhern, and Ailish Lynch.

Elsewhere, in the National 24 hour Road Championship ultra event, Eddie Gallen finished 3rd to collect the bronze medal, covering a distance of 201.463k.

This weekend continues to be extremely busy with a number of athletes competing for the Ulster Schools Team in the Tailteann games in Santry. Odhran McBrearty (St Columbas College), Stephen Slevin (St Columbas College), Katie Louise McMonagle, (Gairm Scoil Chú Uladh, Ballinamore). We offer our congratulations to this threesome as selection for the Tailteann Games is a noteworthy achievement and puts them in the window for selection for the Irish Schools Team.

On Sunday, many many young Finn Valley athletes travel to Tullamore for the National Children’s Games in which Finn Valley have traditionally (and continue to have) large numbers qualified and the expectation for success are high. A big shout out to all coaches and parents of these young athletes who have supported both the competition opportunities and the training in recent weeks.

Beyond this weekend, we look forward to the highlight of the domestic athletic season which is the National Senior Track and Field Championships being held in Santry, in which the club will have strong representation.

A number of Finn Valley members travelled to be in attendance at the unveiling of a memorial stone to remember former Finn Valley athlete Hugo Doogan in Milford on Saturday morning last. Hugh passed away prematurely 4 years ago and is sadly missed not only by his family but by all club members. Hugh was of course a National Senior Long Jump Champion, a British and Irish Masters Champion and one of the highlights of his career was winning the World Masters long jump title in Melbourne. The siting of the memorial is at the playing fields in Milford at which the local Milford Athletic club have plans to build a 400m track in the future.

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