February 1997 was a month Trevor McGlynn will never forget.
The then 18-year-old won the Scottish under-20, Irish under-20, Irish Senior and British under-20 indoor 60 metre hurdles titles – one per weekend – during that winter month 24 years ago.
The talented sprinter ended the indoor season that year ranked third in the world at under-20 level and eighth overall in the UK with a time of eight seconds dead over the 60m hurdles, leaving him looking like a certainty for a place at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Unfortunatey for the Strabane man, injury and illness would strike over the next seven years as his dreams of representing Ireland at the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet in Australia and then again in Athens in 2004 were left in tatters.
And while he admits the disappearance of his hopes and aspirations on the track left him devastated, he has since regrouped, refocused and he is now dedicated to becoming the best multi-eventer in his age group and an inspirational coach to a host of athletes in Tyrone and beyond.
McGlynn was always likely to be involved in sport and to be good at whatever discipline he decided to specialise in given his DNA.
His grandfather Billy Mills and father Gregory were good soccer players, while his mother Geraldine was a Northern Ireland high jump champion and it was her medals collection that proved inspirational to a young Trevor.
“Sport was in the family and I remember my mum had her medals lying in a bag in a cupboard and I just always wanted to do athletics when I saw those because I wanted medals too.
“I’ve done all right – I have over 100 All-Irelands, five All-Stars, I’m European champion and there are a few other achievements.”
And while Trevor’s collection of accolades, which included being named Athletics NI community coach of the year in 2019, has continued to grow throughout his career, never has he enjoyed a period of success like he did back in February 1997.
That run of success came on the back of his first taste of full-time training and it looked as though it was just the beginning of what would become an international career of some renown.
“What a month!, he exclaimed. “It was definitely one to remember, it was definitely the best month of my life.
“I had put in six months of training before it with absolutely no injuries. Everything went perfectly.
“I had moved to Dublin at 17, the year before, to train full-time. I had started to make Irish senior teams at 17 and I made the choice to move to Dublin and I moved in with my coach, Jim Kilty, who was National Director of Coaching for BLE.
“He got me a Reebok sponsorship and over those six months everything was just perfect.
“I came out and I ran the fastest times of my life up to that point.
“Before I moved to Dublin my PB for the 60m hurdles was 8.31 but I ended up running 8.21 when I won the Irish junior title and I ran 8.18 when I won the Irish senior title and I won the British title with 8.13 and I won the Scottish title in a new championship record with 8.00 seconds.
”We were hoping for 7.99 but I beat Ross Bailey, who was reigning British champion and who went on to win silver at the World Juniors.
“He was Colin Jackson’s training partner at the time and was the big hope for the future until I beat him and then there was big hope for me and I was being touted at making the Olympics for Ireland.”
A place in the 110m hurdles at the Sydney Olympics looked likely for McGlynn at that point and he and Kilty believed with a couple of years of dedicated full-time training under his belt it would be achieved.
Unfortunately for the Strabane man, his plans were left in tatters when he picked up an injury while with the Ireland squad just two months after that February to remember.
“Things just didn’t happen,” he acknowledged. “We went away in April that year for a warm weather training camp with the Irish team and I did a real severe hamstring tear.
“At the time we didn’t realise it was so bad until we got home and got scans and stuff.
“From that I didn’t run faster again – apart from once a couple of years later in England at a combined events meet where I ran 7.91 for 60m hurdles and I ran 14.29 for 110m hurdles, but the hamstring injury was always nipping at me, nipping, nipping, nipping.
“I never seemed able to get two or three months training without hurting my hamstring so we didn’t make the 2000 Olympics.”