Victories and PBs for McMullen, Browning and Mellon
15 February 2016
It was yet a another exciting weekend of indoor action for Northern Irish athletes with the Irish University Championships in Athlone, the IFAM meeting in Ghent and the English Age Group Championships in Sheffield.
Surprise win for McMullen in Belgium
Adam McMullen (Alan Kennedy) built on his consistent form on Irish soil this year with his first real test against top class opposition in Belgium on Saturday. The Crusaders AC athlete went into the competition ranked 8th on personal bests but put himself in the top three right from the start with a 7.64m opening round. He then took the lead in round three with a new PB indoors and out of 7.83m and never looked like being beaten. This performance moves him to 9th in the European rankings for 2016.
Katie Kirk (Mark Kirk/Queens University Belfast) and Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC/Alan Kennedy) also competed in Ghent, Katie finishing 4th in the women’s 800m in 2.09.86. Dean finishing 6th in the top heat of the 60m with his 3rd sub 7 second performance of the season in 6.98.
Excellent performances from NI athletes in IUAA Championships
Jonathan Browning (Melanie Browning) continued his excellent indoor season by taking the Irish Universities 60m title in Athlone. It was expected to be an extremely close race with Marcus Lawler but Jonathan looked almost comfortable from the start and won by 0.08 in a new personal best of 6.80. The Ballymena & Antrim man is now only 0.05 off the fastest 60m time by a Northern Irish Athlete (6.75 by Paul Brizzel and Leon Reid).
Perhaps the most exciting race of the championships was the men’s 400m where Andrew Mellon (North Down AC/Brendan McConville), running his first ever indoor season, sprung a surprise last 50m dash to take the title. The Queens student was trailing in 3rd place behind Timmy Crowe and the fast starting Eanna Madden on the final bend before fighting his way down to the home straight to take the title in a PB of 48.08 which is only just outside his outdoor PB. Andrew also made the final of the 60m but couldn’t be competitive as this race was shortly after the 400m.
In the women’s 400m Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC/Ian Neely) had another impressive run clinching the silver medal behind Jenna Brommell. The Queens athlete was close to her PB with 54.87. There was also a silver for Neil Johnson of Queens in the men’s 3000m in a time of 8.38.50 and Laura Frey (TCD/Lagan Valley) in the Pentathlon.
Garbhan McKenna (Ulster University/Tom Reynolds) ran a personal best of 8.32 to finish third in the men’s 60m Hurdles behind the DCU duo of Matthew Behan and Antonio Garcia Fernandez who both bettered Ian McDonald’s Irish Universities record of 8.17. Adam Hill (Queens/City of Lisburn/Wendy Phillips) was 5th in this race in a personal best of 8.57.
Anna McIlmoyle (Ulster University/City of Lisburn/Wendy Phillips) set new figures of 1.67m in the high jump to claim the bronze medal behind Amy McTeggart and Emily Rogers. Queens pole vaulter Alexander Livingston (City of Lisburn/Jim Alexander) recorded a PB of 4.20m to win the bronze medal.
Youth Academy Athletes perform well at English Age Group Championships
Ben Fisher (City of Lisburn/Annie Rose) performed well in Sheffield narrowly missing out on the U20 Men’s 60m final on day one with 7.02 in the semi after a 7.04 heat. The following day he finished 5th in the U20 Men’s Long Jump with a best of 7.03m.
Callum Crawford-Walker (Lagan Valley/Mark Kirk) finished 3rd in heat 2 of the U20 Men’s 800m with a time of 1.56.69.