IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCES BY NI & ULSTER ATHLETES IN BEDFORD AND BELFAST
27 August 2018
Gold medals for Dylan McBride (Willowfield Harriers / Lawson Cochrane), Victoria Lightbody (City of Lisburn AC / Andrea Anderson) and Andrew Greer (Torque Racing / Heather Ardis & Helen Doherty) at the England Athletics Age-Group Championships (Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August 2018).
Athletics NI took a team of eleven athletes to the Bedford Stadium for the England Athletics Championships, a regular fixture for Northern Ireland’s young athletes.
Team Leader Laura Kerr explained, “as we look toward strengthening the Athlete Development Pathway it is important to expose our best youth athletes to a high level of competition where they experience racing multiple rounds.”
It was in the Under 15 800m where Dylan McBride and Victoria Lightbody excelled. Dylan qualified with 2:04.73 in the heats before going to win the final with quicker 2:04.60.
In the girl’s event, Victoria cruised into the final with a 2:15.70 finish – in the final, the City of Lisburn AC athlete ran 2:14.65 for the win.
Torque Racings’ T54 athlete Andrew Greer enjoyed a successful day, collecting four medals in total. A gold in the 200m with 34.45 (-1.3), silver medals in the 100m, 400m and 1500m where he recorded 18.19 (+0.3), 68.56 and 4:43.99 respectively.
Holly Mulholland (City of Lisburn AC) recorded her second fastest time ever as she made her way to the Under 17 80m hurdles final. Holly clocked 12.08 (-3.8) in the heats, before going on to secure a place in the final with 11.81 (-0.9). In the highly competitive final, the City of Lisburn AC athlete ran 11.98 (-0.9).
First year Under 17 athletes Casey Mulvey (Innyvale AC) and Jordan Cunningham (City of Lisburn AC) impressed in the field as they came close to their personal bests. In the Shot Putt, Casey, a previous age group medallist at the event, landed a 14.21m effort and narrowly missed a podium place. In the Under 17 Long Jump, Jordan leaped to 6.29m.
Speaking about the trip and the experience for the local athletes, Laura Kerr added, “Athletics NI want this experience to replicate that of a major championship so that NI & Ulster athletes can refine their performance behaviours and competition day processes for future championship events. Learning to work with team staff and managing time through call rooms on competition day will be essential. We aim to have athletes representing NI & Ulster arriving at their events in their best physical shape with a mindset that allows them to perform at their best.”
Full results from the England Athletics Age Group Track & Field Championships are available HERE.
NI & ULSTER MULTI-EVENT CHAMPIONSHIPS 2018:
Closer to home, there were two days of excellent competition at the famous Mary Peters Track in Belfast. Athletes from across the age spectrum battled it out at the NI & Ulster Multi-Event Championships.
In one of the closest duals of the day, Lagan Valley AC’s Laura Frey edged out City of Lisburn AC’s Megan Marrs to the Senior Women’s Heptathlon title. Laura finished on 4344 points, with British Champion hurdler Megan, who was competing in her first ever Heptathlon, just behind with 4329 points.
In the Senior Men’s competition, Shane Aston of Trim AC retained his title in convincing fashion, totalling 6617 points after all events. Troy McConville (North Down AC) secured gold in the Junior Men’s category with 3750 points.
In the eight discipline Under 17 Men’s Octathlon, Eoin Sharkey of Tir Chonaill AC led the way with 3445 points. Meanwhile in the Under 17 Ladies Heptathlon, Megan Drummond (North Down AC) took the NI & Ulster title with 3303 points; Megan finished in second place overall to guest Susan Nestor of Nenagh Olympic AC, who finished on 3649 points.
Finn O’Neill (City of Derry AC) and Daniel Scott (City of Lisburn AC) won their respective Under 13 and Under 15 events, with Finn totalling 2634 points over the 75m Hurdles, Shot Putt, Long Jump, High Jump and 800m and Daniel topping the Under 17 standings with 2587 points – his club mate Finlay Stewart (City of Lisburn AC) finished just behind with 2562 points.
Sixteen girls competed for the Under 13 title, but it was pre-event favourite Lauren Madine (East Down AC) who won. Lauren finished the day on 2037 points, just seeing off Lifford Strabane AC’s Ashleigh McArdle who totalled 2007 points for the silver medal. In the equally well contested Under 15 competition, Carmen Runners’ Molly Curran won with 2759 points.
Full results for the NI & Ulster Multi-Event Championships are available HERE.
Sally Brown 4th in 200 Metres in Berlin
Northern Ireland's Sally Brown completed her 3rd and final race in the World Para Athletics European Championships in Berlin at the weekend with 4th place in the T47 200 metres for athletes with a limb deficiency. Her time of 27.93 secs was just outside her season's best.
This race was always going to be difficult for the 23-year-old former Ballykelly woman as it featured two medallists from the 100 metres. While Sally missed out on medals in Berlin she will take comfort from the fact that she was competitive in her 3 races and her body coped well with all the physical demands. This is in marked contrast to a litany of serious injuries in recent years which has side-lined her since the London Paralympics in 2012.