Mark Hoy and Edel Monaghan were at the forefront of some strong performances by Fermanagh athletes as they returned home with gold medals from the Ulster & NI Track and Field Championships at the Mary Peters Track last weekend.

Hoy was never in danger as he clinched a comfortable victory in the Men’s Senior 800m while in the combined U18-U20 Girls 1500m race, Monaghan saw off all comers to secure first place with a commanding display.

And with Lucia Warnock and Conan McCaughey also among the medals at the championships it was to prove a successful meeting for the local runners who competed.

Hoy, who runs for Finn Valley AC, endured a frustrating 2016 due to injury but he was able to regain the 800m title that he had won in 2015 with a dominant display.

However, the Enniskillen man was not completely satisfied with his performance on the day, having targeted a fast time.

“My focus this year is on running fast and taking a step up in that regard but the way the race went it wasn’t going to be fast.

“It was very tactical, it was slow over the first 400m and it was only after 600m that the racing started. I thought some of the others would attack me but it never materialised and I was able to put my foot down and I was comfortable enough at the finish.

“I’m delighted to have won the gold but I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t run faster although I’m sure that will come,” he said.

Hoy is still working his way back to his best form following the long lay off but he feels that he is now getting there with a busy period coming up.

“At the start of the season the target was to get back to where I was two years ago and I think that I’ve blown off the cobwebs now.

“Over the next four weeks there is three big international standard races in Ireland which is great because you usually have to travel for them. The Irish Milers Club are hosting a meeting at the Mary Peter Track and it will be a high quality field. You are guaranteed a good race and there will be pacers involved so I’m looking forward to it. I’m really focusing on my running this year and as I say I want to run as fast as I can.”

And Hoy also has medal hopes for the Irish National Championships while he is hoping to make the international squad for a meeting in Manchester.

“I want to be winning a medal at least at the nationals and I would also hope to part of the Northern Ireland team to compete in Manchester so it is going to be busy,” he added.

Enniskillen Running Club’s Edel Monaghan was another to grab gold on the day as she produced a barnstorming run to ease to victory in the U18-U20 Girls 1500m. Monaghan powered home in a time of 4mins50secs, a full eight seconds clear of second placed Toni Moore.

Enniskillen’s Conan McCaughey, running for Derry Track Club, secured a bronze medal in the Men’s 5000m, coming home behind James Edgar and Conor Duffy to secure a hard earned medal while Enniskillen Running Club’s Lucia Warnock made her long awaited return to the track after a year out through injury. Lucia ran a superb time of 63seconds as she sealed the silver medal in the U18 Girls 400m race.

And another to put in a fine performance was Denise Toner of Clones AC who put in a terrific run in the Senior Ladies 1500m but was just outside the medals in fifth place.