Ben Reynolds Records Commonwealth Games Standard in Denmark
05 June 2017
Northern Ireland 110m hurdles record holder Ben Reynolds (Coach: Tom Reynolds) became the eighth local athlete to achieve a Commonwealth Games qualification standard with an exceptional early season performance in Denmark this weekend (Friday 2nd June 2017).
The North Down AC athlete went under the required standard (13.80) twice in his favourite 110m hurdles event at the Aarhus EAP Meeting, clocking 13.67 (+1.0) in the heats before going on to win the final in a brilliant 13.60 (+1.1).
After the race, Ben told Athletics NI: “There have been some nice fast races to get my season started and some smooth hurdling as well. Pleased all in all and my pace can only come up from here on. I have three races in 7 days coming up (NI Seniors 10 June, Huevla EAP 14 June and Desseau EAP 16 June) and hope to get close to the London qualifying time there.”
Ben now joins Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley AC), Dempsey McGuigan (Finn Valley AC), Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders), Emma Mitchell (QUB AC), Adam McMullan (Crusaders AC) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) on the list of local athletes vying for a place in the Team Northern Ireland Gold Coast squad.
Fellow NI man Leon Reid (James Hillier) was also in good form at the Danish event – the Birchfield Harriers athlete sprinted to a new 100m personal best of 10.33 (+2.0); this was enough to see Leon secure the runners up spot in the final. Prior to this, the Commonwealth Games star ran 10.36 (+0.4) in his heats.
Leon was also in competition in the British League this weekend, where he recorded an impressive 20.79 for 200m, narrowly missing the Commonwealth Games standard.
In other news…
A number of familiar faces were also in action at the Putbos Memorial Leon Buyle Track & Field Meeting in Belgium, where Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Ian Neely) impressed most with a notable 400m personal best of 47.87.
Andrew Mellon (North Down AC / Brendan McConville) also performed well over 400m, running 47.32. Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC / Nick Dakin) recorded 51.59 over the 400m hurdles, while Gareth Thompson (City of Lisburn AC / Phillip Snoddy) clocked 11.09 (0.1) for 100m and 22.74 (0.5) for 200m.
Meanwhile, in France, Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Ian Neely) raced to a seasons best at the Meeting Pro Athlé de Marseille in France. Competing in the 400m hurdles, Christine crossed the line in 58.15.
Letterkenny AC athlete Peter Glass began his drive towards Commonwealth Games qualification with a strong performance in the Decathlon competition at the Meeting Internacional Arona de Pruebas Combinadas in Tenerife. After two days of competition, including ten events, Peter finished with an excellent 7120 points.
LOCAL ATHLETES SECURE GOLD WITH RECORD BREAKING PERFORMANCES
Four local athletes smashed records on their way to securing gold at the Irish Life Health All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore this weekend (Saturday 3rd June 2017).
In all, it was an excellent day for NI & Ulster based athletes, who collected at least 23 gold medals on what was an enthralling day of competition, despite some less than favourable conditions.
Strabane Academy’s Sommer Lecky got the day off to a good start when she broke the long standing Senior Girls High Jump record with a 1.81m leap to secure gold. Ellie McCartney (Belfast HS) broke the Senior Girls Pole Vault record when she cleared 3.66m for top spot and Kate O’Connor (St Vincent’s, Dundalk) threw the 500g Javelin 45.65m to win the Intermediate Girls category in a new record – Kate also won the 3kg Shot Putt competition with a 13.97m throw.
On the track, Aaron Sexton (Bangor Grammar) completed the Intermediate 100m and 200m double - his 200m effort of 21.43 (-0.8) was a new record, while his 10.77 (0.5) was also impressive. This makes this now a new Northern Ireland record!
There were numerous other top quality performances…
Minor Boys & Girls:
Dylan McBride (Grosvenor Grammar) produced an excellent performance to claim victory in the 800m with a time of 2:06.55, seeing off competition from fellow NI man Odhran Hamilton (St Patrick’s Armagh) who ran 2:08.56 for silver.
There was a Northern Ireland 1-2 in the boys 4x100m relay, with Methodist College winning in 48.98 and Ballymena Academy (50.54) in second. Victoria Lightbody (Wallace HS) was forced to settle for silver in the 800m, but her 2:18.11 finish bettered the previous age category record. In the overall Minor Boys team competition, Methodist College secured gold.
Junior Boys & Girls:
In the 80m hurdles, Iarlaith Golding (St Colman’s Newry) won in 11.44 (-1.4) before going on to pick up a second gold in the High Jump, where he cleared 1.80m. Ballymena Academy’s Jonathan Cochrane won the Triple Jump with a 11.54m (3.3) jump. Larne Grammar School led the way in the 4x100m boys relay, winning in 46.42 - Ballymena Academy took silver in 46.43. In the overall Junior Boys competition, Ballymena Academy topped the final standings.
Intermediate Boys & Girls:
In-form Davicia Patterson (Hunterhouse Belfast) was a mere 0.25 seconds away from Katie Kirk’s 300m record when she broke the beam in 38.90 for victory. Another athlete in top form, Anna McCauley (Methodist College), jumped 1.65m to win the High Jump event. St Malachy’s AC athletes Jai Benson and Cormac O’Rourke topped their respective podiums, with Jai winning the Long Jump with 6.70m (0.3) and Cormac winning the 800m in an impressive 1:56.43. Eoghan Byrne (St Colman’s Newry) blasted his way to victory with a 50.12 in the 400m, while in the field, Jade Williams (Bailieborough HS) launched the 3kg Hammer 54.27m for gold. Iona McPherson (Belfast HS) won the Triple Jump with a throw of 11.10m (0.5).
Senior Boys & Girls:
Sacred Heart Omagh student Toni Moore impressed with a 5:22.77 clocking to win the 1500m Steeplechase, while in the 5,000m, James Edgar (Friends School Lisburn) won in 15:51.99. The always impressive James Kelly (Royal & Prior) took top honours with a 15.29m throw in the 6kg Shot Putt event – also in the field, Gareth Crawford (Strabane Holy Cross) won the 800g Javelin with a 58.53m throw.
‘HOME TOWN’ GIRL CATHERINE WHORISKEY WINS WALLED CITY MARATHON
A capacity crowd took to the start line of the Walled City Marathon in Northern Ireland's maiden city of Derry/Londonderry (Sunday 4th June 2017).
Dan Tanui (Project Africa Athletics) bettered his runners up position from 2016 when he led the field home in 2:25:25 (1st place), but the day will be remembered for the performances of home town girl Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC).
Catherine, competing in only her second marathon, took charge at the front in a way that would be expected of a seasoned competitor and despite a valiant effort from outgoing champion Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers), the Spartan athlete sealed a well-deserved victory in 2:50:44 (1st place). Pauline claimed 2nd place in 2:53:07, while Project Africa Athletics' Salome Jepkoech Kimutai completed the ladies podium in 2:56:35 (3rd place).
In the men's race, Dan Tanui may have crossed the line first, but it was an easy task for the exceptionally talented Kenyan athlete. For much of the 26.2 miles, Dan was in the shadows of team mate Emmanuel Kiprotich Melly (Project Africa Athletics) - it wasn’t until the final six miles, when Dan picked up the pace coming off the iconic Peace Bridge that he took control and stormed to victory.
As Emmanuel Kiprotich Melly began to tire, he was also passed by former WCM winner Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock AC), who claimed 2nd place in 2:26:13. Emmanuel held on to take 3rd place in 2:28:52.
North Belfast Harriers' Andrew Considine was the first Northern Ireland man home in 2:40:50, which was enough to see him take 5th place overall. In the wheelchair race, Belfast Marathon winner Karol Doherty took top honours in 2:40:48 (1st place).
In other news…
Record numbers of close to 300 turned out for the annual Albertville Harriers 4 mile road race (Friday 2nd June 2017). Pre-race favourite Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers) lived up to expectation when he claimed victory in 21:31 (1st place).
North Down AC’s Sarah Lindsay continue her recent good form as she led the ladies home in 25:16.