Fast Times and Excellent Performances at the Mary Peters Track and Around Europe

13 May 2024

Fast Times and Excellent Performances at the Mary Peters Track and Around Europe

Photo Credit: Alex McKnight

As in previous years the Belfast Irish Milers meeting held at the Mary Peters Track did not disappoint. Warm sunny conditions with a light breeze produced some fantastic performances from both our local athletes and those visiting from overseas.

17-year-old Phoebe Gill (St Albans) showcased an outstanding performance in the Women’s 800m race. Gill crossed the finish line in an impressive 1:57.86, meeting both Olympic and European Championships Qualifying Standards. Her achievement included breaking her Personal Best (PB) and setting a new European U18 record. This remarkable performance also ranks her joint second fastest in the world for the 800m this year.

Additionally, there was qualifying marks in the Women’s 400m with Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrocks) dipping under the European Championships Qualifying time with a PB of 51.13.

Many of our local athletes performed well. There was a win for Callum Morgan (CNDR Track Club) in the Men’s A 3000m in 7.59.37 (PB). Also, Jack O’Farrell (Newry AC) had a great run, smashing his PB with 8.07.11 to finish 6th.

In the Women’s 3000m Hannah Gilliland (Annadale Striders) was the 1st local athlete home in 4th place running 9.40.51 (PB). There was also a PB performance from Roise Roberts who was 10th in 9.46.89.

Callum Baird (Ballymena & Antrim AC) ran his second fastest time in a strong Men’s 400m finishing 3rd in 46.50 with Adam Courtney (Ballymena & Antrim AC) finishing 7th in 48.08.

The Men’s 1500m was eagerly anticipated and a fast race was expected, unfortunately none of the main contenders went with the pacemaker, although pace was relatively slow it produced a very exciting race. Nick Griggs (CNDR Track Club) finished 3rd in 3.42.74 which was 0.25 sec behind the winner Darragh McIlhinney (Bantry AC). James Gormley (Carmen Runners) also finished 5th in 3.43.39.

Rebecca Rossiter (CNDR Track Club) was the 1st local athlete home in the Women’s 1500m finishing 7th in a PB of 4.27.12.

In the Men’s 200m Toby Thompson (Ballymena & Antrim AC) opened his outdoor track season with a good run finishing 4th in 21.77 into a headwind.

Rachel McCann (North Down AC) who was recently part of the very successful Irish Relay Squad in the Bahamas finished 4th in the women’s 400m in 54.98.

Elsewhere this weekend there were two international heptathlons taking place in Tenerife and Greece with significant local interest.

Kate O’Connor (Dundalk St Gerard's) assembled another strong second day heptathlon performance to take her second World Athletics Combined Events Tour runner up spot in as many weeks. Having been in 8th place after day 1, the Michael O’Connor coached athlete struck a combined events career best Long Jump of 6.04m and an impressive 49.08m Javelin to move up into 3rd place with one event to go. She beat her closest rivals in the 800m with a time of 2:17.07 and moved up to second place overall, with a score of 6009 points.

City of Lisburn duo Anna McCauley and Brynja Brynjarsdottir competed at another Combined Events Tour event in Milos, Greece and posted scores of 5426 and 4604 for 8th and 15th place respectively. Brynja had a PB in the 100m Hurdles of 15.13 while Anna posted an outstanding new best of 1.79 in the High Jump.