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Kate OConnor improves Irish Record as Megan Marrs edges close to World Indoors Standard

05 February 2018

Kate OConnor improves Irish Record as Megan Marrs edges close to World Indoors Standard

Kate O'Connor (left) at the 2018 Tallinn International. 

Multi-Event star Kate O’Connor (St Gerard’s AC Dundalk / Gough, Kerr, McMullen, O’Connor, Reynolds) improved her own Irish Pentathlon records as Northern Ireland & Ulster athletes enjoyed a busy weekend of indoor athletics action (Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th February 2018).

After smashing the Irish Senior, Under 23 and Junior Pentathlon records with an overall points total of 4108 at the AAI National Indoor Combined Events Championships in Athlone two weeks ago, 17 year old Kate bettered this with a 4150 finish in Estonia.

Competing at the Tallin International Pentathlon (Saturday 3rd February 2018), the Mary Peters Trust supported athlete finished just outside the podium places, taking 4th place, against quality opposition.

Scottish Athletics Indoor Pentathlon Championships (Glasgow):

In Scotland, North Down AC’s Sarah Connolly (Martin Brockman) continued her recent good form, which includes a gold medal at last months AAI National Combined Events Championships, with a win and personal best at the Scottish Athletics Indoor Pentathlon Championships in Glasgow (Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th February 2018).

Sarah recorded personal bests in the Long Jump (5.67m), Shot Putt (10.17m) and the 800m (2:30.68), adding to strong performances in the 60m Hurdles (8.96) and the High Jump (1.71m) – this led to a final points total of 3760 (1st place) and well-deserved gold medal.

Wanamaker Mile @ Millrose Games 2018:

Northern Ireland’s Ciara Mageean (Steve Vernon) recorded an impressive 4:30.99 for 3rd place at the Wanamaker Mile in New York (Saturday 3rd February 2018).

This was just over 2 seconds outside Ciara’s current NI record of 4:28.40 (2016).  The race was won by USA athlete Colleen Quigley in 4:30.05 (1st place).

AAI Indoor Games (Dublin):

City of Lisburn AC’s Megan Marrs (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) again impressed with a personal best outing as local athletes performed well at the AAI Games in the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown, Dublin (Sunday 4th February 2018).

Megan continued her personal best form over the 60m hurdles, bettering her recent best of 8.26 with an outstanding effort of 8.19 to secure 1st place in the second of two elite 60m hurdles races (Race 2); this time takes Megan within 0.05 of the British Athletics World Indoor Championships standard of 8.14.  The City of Lisburn AC athlete also clocked 8.27 for 1st place in Race 1. 

Fellow NI athlete Mollie Courtney (Cheltenham AC / David Warner) was also in action in the same event and claimed two 3rd place finishes, clocking 8.37 in Race 1 and 8.43 in Race 2.

Leon Reid (Menapians AC / James Hillier) was in action in the 60m and the 400m.  In the sprints, Leon secured two 1st place finishes, breaking the beam in 6.81 in Race 1 and 6.79 in Race 2.  In his 400m race (Heat 3), Leon crossed the line in 48.48 for 2nd place.

Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC / Teresa McDaid) won an enthralling men’s 1500m race.  The Commonwealth Games athlete led with 300m to go, before dropping behind as several athletes surged for victory.  However, Danny came through and took charge again just after the bell – despite a late challenge from Ennis TC’s Damian Landers, he held on for a well-deserved win in 3:51.71 (1st place).  Young Burren AC athlete Jack O’Farrell was also in competition over the 1500m distance, and impressed with a 1st place finish in 4:03.03.

Recently crowned AAI National Under 23 Indoor 200m Champion Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Ian Neely) lined up in the 200m event, were he ran a personal best of 21.68 for 1st place.  Crusaders AC’s Andrew Mellon (Brendan McConville) secured top spot in his 400m race (Heat 2), after running 47.98 (1st place).  In Heat 1, his Crusaders AC team mate and fellow NI man Jason Harvey (Paul McKee) clocked 48.96 for 2nd place.

Brendan O’Domhnaill (Finn Valley AC) won the 3,000m Walk in 14:27.19 (1st place), while young North Belfast Harriers athlete Caitlin Maguire enjoyed an excellent day.  Caitlin ran 7.80 (1st place in Race 1) and 7.78 (4th place in Race 2) for 60m and 25.83 for 200m (2nd place).

Former World Masters 800m Champion Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) once again showed her class with a strong performance in the 1500m.  Kelly crossed the line in 4:20.82 for 3rd place.  Fellow NI athlete Rachel Gibson (North Down AC /Francis Marsh) ran 4:36.66 (7th place) in the same race.

In the field events, City of Lisburn AC’s Ben Fisher, Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Shane Martin and Tir Chonaill AC’s Geraldine Stewart all topped the podium in their respective disciplines.

Ben won the Long Jump with a 6.89m leap, while Shane topped the Pole Vault standings with a 4.35m clearance.  In the Shot Putt (4kg), Geraldine landed a 11.62m throw for victory.