Derry Track Club Grows and Grows
|February||Lifford 5k Series
Matt Doherty and Hannah McGowan – third overall in senior categories and age group wins for Cathal McLaughlin and Malcolm McCausland
NIMAA – Cross Country Champs – Coleraine
M60 1st Malcolm McCausland
|March||BMAF Indoor championships
Tim Shiels- 800m M35 Gold- Tim Shiels wrote another chapter in a short but brilliant career to date when he scored a gun to tape victory in the 800m at the British Masters’ Indoor Championships in Lee Valley. But the Omagh-based pastor nearly did not compete after feeling ill on his arrival in London and it was very much a last minute decision to don his racing spikes. However, the 39-year-old showed no sign of any sickness when he struck the front from the gun in the M35 800m and led all the way to win in a more than creditable 2:03.53.
Cathal McLaughlin- 1500m M45 Gold – Earlier Cathal McLaughlin was bitterly disappointed to have the gold medal snatched from his grasp at the death in the M45 1500m. McLaughlin had run the perfect tactical race before taking the lead on the penultimate lap. He quickened the pace on the final circuit and still had the advantage as he entered the short homestraight. Inexplicably his concentration waned and his pace slackened, allowing Enfield & Haringey athlete John Scott to take the title in 4:20.92 with the McLaughlin having to be content with the silver medal in 4:21.49.
Cara 5K & 10K Races – Bundoran
Darragh Crossan had rewrote his best time when taking runner-up spot in the Cara 10K in Bundoran. Crossan went through halfway in 17:40 but slowed in the hilly second half of the race to cross the line in 36:40
Gareth McGee (M45) and Malcolm McCausland (M60) won their age groups in the 5K
Milford 5k –
1st Place Darragh Crossan
Valley 5k Series – Ness Woods
Malcolm McCausland 3rd place overall
Irish Masters Indoor-
Four Gold, One silver, one bronze
Tim Shiels M35 400m Gold, M35 800m Gold
Robert Bigger M55 1500m Gold, 800m Silver
Cathal McLaughlin M45 1500m Gold
Adrian Boyle M35 1500m Bronze
European Masters’ Indoor Champs – Poland
Derry Track Club’s Cathal McLaughlin ran one of the best races of his career to grab a silver medal in the European Masters’ Indoor Athletics Championships in Torun, Poland. The 47-year-old company director was one of three DCTC athletes in action at the championships with the trio all acquitting themselves with credit against the cream of the continent.
Cathal McLaughlin M45 1500m Silver
Adrian Boyle M35 800m – PB 2:02.16 (6th)
Malcolm McCausland – M60 Cross Country 14th
Antrim International Cross Country
Lily Tourish was the best of the DCTC juveniles who took part in the under age races at the Antrim International Cross Country. Running against girls up to two years older than her, the Eglinton girl did well to take eighth behind some much more experience athletes. There were tough baptisms for Ben Mellon and Bronagh Downey but both will gain from the experience.
Derry City Track Club turned the sleepy village of Eglinton into a running field of dreams when just short of 200 runners turned up for the inaugural Dental Solutions Classic 5K. The race really caught the imagination as hundreds of spectators turned out to cheer the runners out and back along the main street of the historic Plantation village.
|May||Derry City Track Club emerged as the top club at the NI Running Mile meeting in Belfast with the northwest club placing two athletes in the top six fastest times of the evening. Other DCTC athletes also posted impressive early season times in cool but still conditions on the renowned Mary Peters Track. It was the second impressive showing by the green vests in the Belfast area in the space of ten days after a successful foray to the North Down season-opener in Bangor the previous week.
Twelve-year-old Lily Toorish took a silver medal at the Ulster Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships in Antrim Forum. After only qualifying in second place from the Mini Girls’ 800m at the District C Championships, a medal at the Ulster finals may have seemed out of reach of the St. Cecilia’s pupil.
But an eight second improvement silenced the doubters as Lily sprinted home in third place clocking 2:33.94. That third place was upgraded to second when the winner was disqualified on a technicality.
Derry City Track Club athletes had another fantastic weekend with victories at home and abroad. And it was club chairman Cathal McLaughlin who had the outstanding performance winning the masters’ race at a road race in Alcoutim, Portugal.
Darragh Crossan and Cathal McLaughlin were first and second in the SurfnTurf 10K in Benone.
Aaron Carlyle was the star of the second part of the Donegal Athletics Championships at the Aura Centre in Letterkenny on Wednesday night. In cool and blustery conditions, the Derry City Track Club man opened up with a runner-up spot in the 200m in a seasonal best of 23.88 seconds. The 31-year-old was back on the track within an hour to win the 400m by a stride from club mate Matt Doherty.
|June||Acorns Night of 3000m
Matt Doherty First place Race 1
Chris Miller First Race 2
Sean McIntyre PB 10.36:24
Derry Track Club completed a busy week’s action with an impressive victory in the 4 x 400m relay at the Buncrana Healthwise Main Street Mile. Tim Shiels opened impressively bringing the green vests home in the lead at the end of the first leg. Shaun Deery continued the good work on the second leg before handing over to Matt Doherty who impressed on the third uphill stint. That left Aaron Carlyle the job of finishing off the opposition on the final leg which the long-striding pharmacist did in no uncertain fashion.
The Derry Track Club provided winning squads in all three relays at the Carrickmore 4 x 1 Mile relay.
NI&Ulster U14/15 championship
Lily Toorish 800m 2nd place and PB 2:36.83
Robert Bigger M55 1500m Gold
|July||Two gold, two silver and three bronze medals was the haul from the five Derry City Track Club athletes in action at the National Masters’ Track & Field Championships in Tullamore.
Adrian Boyle M35 800m Bronze
Cathal McLaughlin M45 800m Gold, M45 1500m Gold
Robert Bigger M55 800m Silver, M55 1500m Silver
Malcolm McCausland – M60 1500m Bronze
DTC 4x400m Relay Bronze
Earlier the focus had been on the track with Matt Doherty running a personal best 1:59.04 for 800m at the Morton Games International Meeting in Dublin. Aaron Carlyle clocked his fastest 400m of the season with a win in 51.44 seconds timing in Belfast.
Derry Track Club athlete Christopher Millar sealed overall victory in the Valley 5K Series with a comfortable win in the fourth and final race at Ballykelly Forest.
Derry City Track Club athlete Conor McIlveen impressed with a double gold performance at the 2015 CPISRA World Games in Nottingham. The 25-year-old recorded new personal bests over both 200m and 400m to lift the T38 titles at both distances.
Personal bests were the order of the evening for the Derry City Track Club athletes in action at the Trafford Open Meeting in Manchester earlier this week. Five of the seven competing athletes achieved new marks in the competitive atmosphere of Stretford’s Longford Park Stadium. Matt Doherty arguably turned in the top performance of the Derry athletes with a fine run in the 1500m where he sliced almost ten seconds from his previous best with a 4:10.22 clocking.
Teenager Matt Doherty took advantage of the mild conditions at the Super Six Meeting in Belfast to chop over two seconds from his 800m personal best with a 1:56.77 timing for fourth place in the top race of the night. The Bogside youth was in touch from the gun and settled nicely into the pack behind the pacemaker for the opening lap.
Another teenager Brandon Connolly also caught the eye with a massive personal best in the U17 race. The 16-year-old took over 13 seconds from his previous mark with a 2:09.06 timing. Connolly put in a strong homestraight to clinch the bronze medal spot and will now be looking to target the steeplechase in schools’ competitions next year.
Although 12-year-old Ben Mellon only sliced a few tenths of a second off his 800m best with a 2:44.91 mark, the improvement in his performance was enormous. He was another one who obviously learned from his Manchester experience and attacked the race from the gun. Conor McIlveen gained an IPC World Championships standard of 2:17.78
|September||Derry City Track Club’s Jason Smyth is the world’s fastest Paralympic athlete and that is official. The two-time double Paralympic gold medalist confirmed his status after a lightening fast run in Rio at the start of September. Jason triumphed in 10.73 seconds, ahead of the American Richard Browne and Brazil’s Petrucio Ferreira. The race at Rio’s Rodrigo de Freitas lake was part of a two-day festival celebrating the games.
Conor McIlveen took gold in the 800m and silver in the 200m at the British Paralympic Champs
It was honours even at the end of the inaugural Derry City Track Club Invitational Road Relay held on the Waterside Greenway with each of the competing clubs claiming a victory in the three races.
Rathfarnham 5k – PBs for Matt Doherty 15:47, Darragh Crossan 16:13
|October||Derry City Track Club continued to make its presence felt at provincial level with three top seven places in the four races at the Northern Ireland Road Relay Championships in Belfast.
The Master Men’s squad were best placed of the DTC squads with a close-up fifth place. That was one better than the Senior Men while the Senior Women also impressed with a solid seventh place on their debut at this level.
Bobby Rea XC- Great runs from Amy in the women’s race , Lily sixth in the U14s and Conor Doherty in the senior men’s race.
Derry Track Club athlete Jason Smyth struck gold again at the IPC World Athletics Championships in Qatar. Despite carrying the weight of favoritism on his shoulders, he turned in a clinical performance to add another world championship gold medal to his already impressive list of successes.
Amy McDaid showed she was back to her best with a battling silver medal at the Ulster Novice Cross Country Championships in Stranorlar. The Creggan woman only returned to the sport recently after a year in Australia and was the only athlete from the city to pick up an individual medal. Hannah McGowan finished a creditable fifth after leading for the first half of the race.
Club captain Darragh Crossan led the men’s squad home in 24th, followed closely by Adrian Boyle in 28th. Tim Shiels (37th) and Kevin Connolly (40th) completed the scoring quartet while Zac McGowan (47th) and Shaun Deery (50th) provided valuable back up support.
Cathal McLaughlin was the only Derry Track Club athlete in action at the British & Irish Masters’ Cross Country International in Dublin. Despite not having had a warm-up race over the country, McLaughlin made light of the muddy underfoot conditions to finish fifteenth in the M45 category. That was good enough for the fourth and final scorer spot for the NI team which took a surprise runner-up place behind England.
Meanwhile DTC runners were performing well at the second fixture of the Sperrin Harriers Winter League at Lough Fea. The shorter 5K distance suited the Derry speedsters as Conor Doherty took a solid second spot with younger brother Matt hot on his heels in third place with a 16:27 clocking. Darragh Crossan got back to his best form to take fifth in 16:38 and give Derry City Track Club three finishers in the top five. Robert Bigger (M55) and Ben Mellon (U20) both won their categories.
The DTC youngsters were back in action the following Tuesday claiming three victories at the Oakgrove School Cross Country Invitational. Lily Toorish ran away from the opposition in the Year 9 race with Kayla McLaughlin also showing a clean pair of heels to the Year 10 girls’ field. Another DTC young athlete Sean McIntyre was first in the year 11 boys; race while Ben Mellon showed no any after affects of his great run three days previously by taking 6th in the Year 9 Boys’ contest.
Derry Track Club had another successful weekend at the North Down Festival of Cross Country in which they won very impressively. The team of Darragh Crossan (club captain), Matt Doherty, Conor Doherty and Cathal McLaughlin completed the 2 x 1300m lap race in fantastic fashion.
Lily Toorish was caught out by the fast start at the National Juvenile Even Age Groups Championships in Dublin. After being back in the fifties, she ran strongly to move through to 34th at the finish line. That put her sixth of the Ulster runners who finished 3rd in the Inter-Provincial match.
Derry Track Club was pleased to welcome Conan McCaughey to its ranks. The Enniskillen man has caught the eye of DTC coach Malcolm McCausland for the past few years and sees him developing into one of the top middle/long distance athletes in the country.
Another month and another big signing with Martin Cox joining the DTC ranks.
JP Williamson becomes the second outstanding runner to join in December.