Northern Athletes shine in all Ireland Indoor Championships
19 February 2017
Commonwealth Games Standard for Foster Down Under as NI Athletes bring home 9 golds from Irish Seniors
An extremely busy weekend produced many excellent performances for NI Athletes including titles, standards and personal bests.
ACTT Track & Field Championships Canberra, Australia
On Saturday 18th February 2017, sprinter Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC / Davy Reid) continued her good form in Australia. Following on from some excellent results, which has seen the multiple record holder narrowly miss the Athletics NI Commonwealth Games nomination standard, Amy went one better and achieved the required time. Competing in the 100m, the City of Lisburn AC star recorded 11.42 (2.0) for 3rd place. She was once more within 0.02 of her Irish and Northern Irish record.
British Athletics Muller Indoor Grand Prix, Birmingham
Also on the same day, Northern Ireland and Ireland hurdler Ben Reynolds (North Down AC / Tom Reynolds) took to the track at the televised British Athletics Muller Indoor Grand Prix, in Birmingham. Up against the world outdoor record holder (Aries Merritt) and the world leader in the 60m hurdles (Andrew Pozzi) , Ben covered the distance in 7.87 (5th place).
AAI Indoor Championships, Abbotstown
Portaferry athlete Ciara Mageean (UCD / Jerry Kiernan) secured the 3,000m title on day 1 easing away from Olympians Michelle Finn and two-time European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala McCormack in the last to laps to record 9:08.83. Having recorded the European Athletics Indoor Championships qualifying standard in Athlone on Wednesday, Ciara will now have her sights set on Belgrade in two weeks’ time.
Finn Valley’s Sommer Lecky (Niall Wilkinson) boosted her chances of reaching the next Youth and Senior Commonwealth Games with a dominant victory in the High Jump. The Castlederg athlete soared over a new PB of 1.81m before attempting to equal the Northern Ireland U18 and U20 record of 1.84m. Sommer has now exceeded the Commonwealth Youth Standard of 1.78m and is only 1cm shy of the Gold Coast Nomination Standard.
On Wednesday at the AIT Grand Prix, Newcastle's Kerry O'Flaherty (Richard Rodgers) recorded a 1,500 metres PB of 4:14.63 which qualified her for Belgrade. She continued her good form in Dublin with an easy 5 second winning margin of 4:20.86 from UCD's Ellie Hartnett. This victory finished of a busy week for the Rio Olympian who also was the top Northern Irish Athlete at the Armagh International Road Race on Thursday.
Commonwealth Games athlete Leon Reid (James Hillier) of Menapians was in a class of his own when achieving a double sprint victory. He took the 60 metres in a PB time of 6.74 (fastest all time by an NI athlete) with Ballymena's Dean Adams (Alan Kennedy) snatching bronze in 6.87, his fastest time since 2012.
Former Euro silver medallist Reid then followed this up with another emphatic half second win over 200 metres where his time of 21.08 was an indoor PB.
There was yet another gold medal for Belfast long jumper Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC / Alan Kennedy) who won his 6th title with a leap of 7.59m. Lisburn’s Ben Fisher (Annie Rose) who missed 2016 due to injury, took bronze with 6.96m.
Ben Reynolds (North Down AC / Tom Reynolds) retained his title from 2016 in an improved performance from his Birmingham Grand Prix race (7.83).
John Kelly (Finn Valley / John Kelly Snr) once again exceeded the 17 metre mark with 17.02m to take gold in the men’s Shot.
The Women's pole vault gold went to Lisburn's Ellen McCartney (Jim Alexander) with 3.40 metres followed by previous winner Claire Wilkinson (Jim Alexander) of Ballymena & Antrim who recorded the same height.
More bronze medals went to Mandy Gault (Terence Price) of Lagan Valley in the 400 metres (55.06), Lisburn's Adam Hill (Wendy Phillips) in the high jump (1.85m) and team mate Erin McIlveen (Brian Whittle) in the 800 metres (2.08.59)
Peter Glass (Letterkenny AC/ Jim Alexander) taking the silver medal with his opening height of 4.45m in the Pole Vault.
There were also a number of impressive performances and PBs from Youth Academy Athletes in Abbotstown / Scotland:
Christian Robinson (City of Lisburn / Alan Kennedy) 4th 60m 6.93
Davicia Patterson (Beechmount / Paul Magee) 5th 400m 55.76 PB
Lauren Roy (City of Lisburn / John McAdorey) 5th 60m 7.63 PB
Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim / Ian Neely) 4th 400m 48.63 PB
Anna McCauley (City of Lisburn / Maureen McCauley) indoor 100mH 14.20 PB (Ravenscraig open meeting, Scotland)
BUCS Championships, Sheffield
Sarah McKeever (Cardiff / Laurie Needham) progressed from her 4th place at the British Championships and broke the 4 metre barrier for the first time barrier to take the British Universities title with 4.00m.
Andrew Wright (Cardiff / James Thie & Mark Kirk) continued his excellent indoor form to snatch the silver medal in the 1500m (3.48.91).
Megan Marrs (Loughborough / Jerzy Maciukiewicz) recorded her first hurdles PB since 2014 (8.60) in making the 60mH semi-finals as did Sarah Connolly (Brunel / Martin Brockman)