BY CHRIS MCNULTY
FINN Valley pole vaulter Tori Pena set a new Irish indoor record on Saturday night, while young club-mate John Kelly has registered a new Donegal shot putt record.
27-year-old 2012 Olympian Pena rose the Irish indoor pole vault mark to 4.46m in New Mexico on Saturday night.
Pena jumped clear all the way through and had no faults in the series before just missing out on her attempt at clearing 4.56m.
Pena’s new mark is a one centimetre improvement from her previous record of 4.45m, set in Reno in January 2012 and equalled in Flagstaff in February 2013.
Pena’s leap is a qualifying mark for the forthcoming European Indoor Championships in Prague.
“Her training and drills have been focussing on technical things and the adjustments have worked,” said Finn Valley AC’s Patsy McGonagle.
Kelly is a rising star in the athletics world. The St Johnston man, a student at Letterkenny Institute of Technology, won the Irish University Indoor shot putt title in Athlone and set a new Donegal record in the process.
Kelly won gold with his fine throw that stretched the record out to 15.83m.
Last May, Kelly became the first Donegal athlete to throw beyond 15m when he reached 15.46 at the opening of the Ben O’Donnell Track in Lifford.
Next week, Kelly tackles the Scottish Championships in Glasgow before competing at the Irish seniors, back in Athlone. He is only the third athlete in history to hold the Donegal shot putt record, after John Gallagher (Cruit Island) and Kieran McConnell (Finn Valley).
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