Super-fast Sixties for NI Sprinters

01 February 2016

Seniors at Welsh and Scottish Championships

It was an excellent weekend for sprinters as numerous athletes set new PB's and won medals across events in Cardiff, Glasgow and Athlone.

Most notably was an excellent season opener from Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) who ran two storming times over the 60m of 7.40 in the heats and 7.39 when finishing second in the Welsh Senior Championships behind British World Championship competitor Asha Philip. This leaves Amy only 0.07 shy of her PB and also the standard for March’s World Indoor Championships in Portland.

At the same Venue, European U23 silver medallist Leon Reid (Birchfield Harriers) lowered his 60m PB by 0.01 to 6.75 to win his heat before finishing 5th in the final behind Adam Gemili in 6.82. Reid’s time equals the fastest Northern Irishman, Paul Brizzel, over the distance.

At the Scottish Championships in Glasgow, Jonathan Browning (Ballymena & Antrim AC) took a considerably larger chunk off his PB (0.12s) to finish second behind World and European Indoor Champion Richard Kilty. Browning ran a PB of 6.89 to win his semi-final before bettering that in the final with 6.83. In doing so he held off young Scottish sprint star Cameron Tindle who ran 10.42 over the 100m last September to win bronze at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa.


Medals Galore at Athlone

The success continued in Athlone at the Irish U20/U23 Championships where Ben Fisher (City of Lisburn AC) had the largest medal haul with bronze in the U20 60m Hurdles, silver in his favoured event Long Jump (7.06) and most impressively gold in the 60m in a PB of 6.99. His Long Jump distance moves him to 4th in the Power of 10 U20 UK rankings.

Andrew Mellon (North Down AC), more known for his 400m prowess came away with gold in the U23 60m taking over a tenth of a second off his PB with 6.92 to hold off Keith Pike.

Paddy Robb (St. Malachy’s AC) took the U23 Men’s 1500m title in 4.05.80 ahead of Rick Nally.

Megan Marrs (City of Lisburn AC) came away with silver in the 60m Hurdles behind multi-event star Elizabeth Moreland and bronze in the 60m with an impressive 7.62 to put her 4th in the Power of 10 U20 UK rankings.

There were also silver medals for Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC, U20 200m 22.12 PB), Anna McIlmoyle (City of Lisburn AC, U23 HJ 1.66 PB) and Garbhan McKenna (Shercock AC) in the U23 60m Hurdles.

Callum Crawford-Walker continued his excellent indoor form with bronze in a very competitive Junior Mens 800m in a time of 1.56.43.


Current and Former Youth Academy Athletes Setting PB’s

There were also a number of Youth Academy Athletes who set PB’s but didn’t quite make the podium.

Ciaran Barnes                                                    400m                     51.80
Kate O’Connor                                                  200m                     25.54
Naomi Morgan                                                  Shot                       8.87
Gareth Thompson                                           60m                       7.11

The three Youth Academy athletes who moved on to UK Universities last year have shown great indoor form with PB’s in their new bases.

Andrew Wright Cardiff University             1500m                   3.49.49
Karl McClean      Cardiff Met                         60m                       6.99

Sarah Connolly  Brunel University             60m H                   9.01
                                                                                HJ                           1.68