Mageean Excels Again at the NI & Ulster Senior Track & Field Championships
20 June 2016
Portaferry's Ciara Mageean (Jerry Kiernan) continued her outstanding season with another superb run over 800 metres at yesterday's rain plagued NI and Ulster Athletics Championships at the Mary Peters Track.
The 24 year old Rio bound athlete recorded another PB time of 2:02.84 which is a European qualification mark. It was however the manner of her victory which impressed a drenched but enthusiastic crowd. The UCD woman set out her stall from the gun and raced through 400 metres in 60 secs with only teammate Kelly Nelly (City of Lisburn / Ian Neely) following the hectic pace. At 600 metres Ciara was still on NI record pace but she slowed slightly in the home straight to finish just one second short of the record. A gutsy Neely took second in in 2:06.11.
Afterwards a delighted Mageean said; "It was tough out there as no one wanted to pace. I wanted to race today to support our local Championships. The 800 is a really good tester for the legs. I will however be racing over 1,500 metres in the Europeans in preparation for Rio. I am having my best season in a long time".
The equivalent Men's race first lap was slower than Ciara's with victory going to Donore's John Travers in 1:56.84.
Former world indoors high hurdler Ben Reynolds (North Down AC / Tom Reynolds) battled through a rainstorm to take his 4th title in a time of 14.15 (-0.5) ahead of Birchfield's Jake Porter (14.31). A philosophical Reynolds who is aiming for European qualification this weekend in Dublin said; "I haven't yet gone beyond 3 hurdles in training this season. However my sessions have been going better than ever and I feel I have another NI record in me which is currently 13.48 secs. I am really fresh and hope to do well in this weekend's Irish Champs"
Belfast's Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC / Alan Kennedy) who is another European hopeful took an easy long jump victory in 7.50 metres and followed up with a win in the 100 metres in 10.83. The 25 year old is currently ranked 16th in Europe in the long jump with his recent PB of 7.84 metres.
The Men's 400 metres lived up to expectations despite the withdrawal of former European champion David Gillick who ran 47.50 in his heat. QUB's Andrew Mellon (Queens/ Brendan McConville) took a hard earned victory in an excellent time of 47.88. Ireland's Brandon Arrey took silver with 48.34 with bronze going to Niall Tuohy (49.78).
There was a useful double for North Belfast's Caitlin Maguire in the club's first ever sprint victories. The 18 year old was an easy winner of both the 100 metres (12.38) and the 200 metres (25.76).
Lagan Valley's Andrew Monaghan just held off a fighting Conor Duffy of Glaslough to take the win by a quarter of a second in 15 mins 4.09 while NI U20 record holder John Kelly (Finn Valley / John Kelly Snr) won the senior Shot in 15.86m.
In other news…
Bedford English U23 Championships and World U20 trials
Megan Marrs (Tom Reynolds) put herself in the mix for 4x100m Relay selection for British team going the World Junior Championships in Poland next month. The City of Lisburn AC athletes twice bettered the NI Junior Record held by Amy Foster with 11.72 (1.6) in the heats and 11.78 (0.6) in the semi final before finishing 6th in the final. In her 5th race of the weekend, Marrs recorded yet another sub 14 clocking in the 100m Hurdles to finish 5th.
European U23 silver medalist Leon Reid (Birchfield Harriers/James Hillier) successfully defended his 200m title in 21.15 and will be looking to impress at the British Championships in Birmingham next weekend.
In the big athletics meeting in Nevilles Ireland's top sprinter Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC / Davy Reid) was 2nd in 11.65 (0.9). Christine McMahon recorded a win in the 400m Hurdles in a time of 58.13.