Triumphant Week for Finn Valley Athletes: Mark English Shines in Spain and Amy Greene Claims National 5k Title

May 21, 2024

Mark English continues his pursuit of quality races with the intention of qualifying for both the European Championships in Rome and the Olympic Games in Paris. Hence Mark was in Andujar, Spain on Friday evening in yet another quality 800m run, finishing 4th (1.46.29). This was an encouraging seasons best which continues to give him good ranking points for qualification.

Elsewhere, Amy Greene stepped up big time to win the National 5k Road Championships in the Phoenix Park, a race that attracted over 2,000 competitors. Amy returned a time of 16.43 to win the event and be crowned National 5k Road Champion 2024. This is yet another positive performance in what has been a strong upward performance curve over the last 9 months in cross country, track and road for the DCU student.

Jon Jo Doherty, competing in the Chester 5k was once again just marginally beaten for the gold position but returned a time of 14.59 which confirms he is in good form at this time.

Many of our secondary school athletes were in Belfast last week at the Mary Peters track, the venue for the Ulster Schools Finals, where numerous club athletes competing for their school have now progressed the Irish schools Finals June 1st in Tullamore. Schools represented by Finn Valley AC athletes were St Columba’s College Stranorlar, Colaiste Uladh, Royal & Prior Raphoe, Thornhill College Derry, Lumen Christi Derry, Rosses Community School, Omagh Academy, Loretto Grammar Omagh. Thanks to all the teachers and parents who ensured that these young athletes had the opportunity on this occasion and we wish them well in the Schools Finals.

The 53rd Annual Primary Schools finals were once again a tremendous success thanks to the dedicated officials from the club and the support of the many schools from throughout the county. With 1200 young people involved, it was a challenging event but thankfully all went well and it was encouraging for the Finn Valley organising committee to note the presence of schools from as far north as Moville, to south Donegal and of course full representation from East Donegal. The next date for the calendar in terms of schools athletics is September 11th with the annual Schools Cross Country taking place here on Finn Valley Campus.

The Lifford/Strabane half marathon was held early Sunday morning and the Finn Valley had a strong representation participating both in the half marathon and in the newly initiated relay event. The Finn Valley teams won both the men’s and women’s relays. The women’s team was Theresa Doherty, Leonie Cooke and Hayley Corry, while the men’s team was Gerard Gallagher, Shea Carlin and Gary Gallagher. The event was a tremendous success with many of our fit4life members participating also.

On Sunday Eimear McCarroll, competing in the Carmen 5mile road race, having won the Ulster Schools 1500m the previous day in Belfast, posted a victory as leading lady with Maggie O’Hara 3rd and Joanne Campbell 4th.

The club is delighted to report that James Kelly returned to Santry Stadium in Dublin with a personal best throw in the shot to win the event at 17.27. It is notable that the top three all time shot putters on the National ranking list are Finn Valley members; John and James Kelly and Gavin McLoughlin. Also in Dublin Janine Boyle was second in 100m in 12.61. Janine has continued her journey in athletics from her school days through University and now from her work base in Belfast.

The Athletics Ireland led Track and Field Live project which has a World Athletics permit is back in Donegal on Saturday at the Finn Valley Campus and provides an opportunity for juvenile, recreational and high performance focused athletes to participate with the presence of electrical timing. With mixed age groups in the older ages, it allows athletes to test themselves against older and more experienced athletes which will create opportunities for personal best performances. Registration is confined to 350 participants. Entry available online.


  • Cover: Katie Louise McMonagle, Amy Greene, FVAC Fit4Life Ladies Relay Team
  • Inside: FVAC Fit4Life Group

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