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Junior athletes take centre stage at Age Group Championships

18 June 2018

Junior athletes take centre stage at Age Group Championships

An abundance of junior talent provided an excellent day of competition at the Athletics NI & Ulster Age Group (Under 14 to Under 17) Track & Field Championships, which were hosted by Athletics NI at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast this weekend (Saturday 16th June 2018).

The early weather was dull and damp, but the performances of our emerging stars brightened things up.  This included triple gold medal winning outings by Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Jonathan Cochrane, Annalee AC’s Niamh McCorry and Lifford Strabane AC’s Adrienne Gallen.

Under 17 competitor Jonathan Cochrane battled to the 100m, were he was awarded victory by virtue of the photo finish system having clocked 11.45 (+0.8) alongside Adam Sykes of Orangegrove AC.  Jonathan went on to win the Long Jump with 6.28m and the Triple Jump with 12.72m.  Adam won the 200m in 23.24 (-0.2).

Niamh McCorry ran 12.80 (-1.9) to win the Under 16 80m hurdles, before striking gold over the 250m hurdles in 39.37.  Niamh then added High Jump gold to her medal with a 1.50m clearance.

Under 15 athlete Adrienne Gallen impressed in the field, with a 26.56m effort to win the Discuss (0.75kg).  Adrienne then won the Shot Putt (2.72kg) with an 11.01m throw and the Hammer (2.5kg) with a 44.16m effort.

Jonathan, Niamh and Adrienne topped the medal tables, but no less than eleven athletes produced double gold medal winning performances.

There were 100m and 200m doubles for Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Ross Stevenson (11.94 +0.3 and 24.81 +3.7), City of Lisburn AC’s Jenna Breen (12.87 +0.1 and 26.27 -1.2), Orangegrove AC’s Rory Carson (11.57 +2.2 and 23.55 +1.5) and City of Lisburn AC’s Katie Monteith (12.93 +0.1 and 26.26 -0.3).  Ross and Jenna were Under 15 competitors, while Rory and Katie were in the Under 16 category. Harriet McCrossan (Lifford Strabane AC) won the Under 14 80m in 10.67 (0.5) and the 200m in 27.09 (-0.8).

In the hurdles, Nathan Fitzpatrick (City of Derry AC) won the Under 16 80m hurdles in 16.86 (+0.5) and the 250m hurdles in a convincing 34.37.  Under 15 athlete Niamh Moohan (Tir Chonaill AC) struck gold in the 80m hurdles in 12.21 (-0.4) and went on to win the Long Jump with a leap of 5.11m.  Harriet McCrossan (Lifford Strabane AC) won the Under 14 80m in 10.67 (0.5) and the 200m in 27.09 (-0.8).

City of Derry AC’s Finn O’Neill won the Under 14 800m in 2:13.34 and the Long Jump with 5.21m.  Moving into the field events, Casey Mulvey (Innyvale AC) and James Wright (Ballymena Academy) won the Under 16 Discuss (1kg) – Casey reached 29.43m, while James landed a 35.80m effort.  Casey went on to win the Shot Putt (3kg) with 13.68m and James topped the Javelin (600g) podium having thrown 47.05m.

Lifford Strabane AC’s Cormac O’Donnell won the Under 15 Javelin (500g) with 37.53m and the Hammer (3kg) with a 41.70m effort.  Meanwhile in the Jumps, David Curry (Tir Chonaill AC) and Michaela Byrne (Finn Valley AC) both performed well.  David won the Under 16 Long Jump with 5.52m and the Triple Jump with 11.14m, while Michaela won the Under 17 Long Jump with 5.32m and the Triple Jump with 10.50m.

Other highlights from a day of quality action included a dominant performance by Bethany Nixon (Dromore AC) to win the Under 16 2k Steeplechase in 8:01.86, wins for Callum Morgan (St Malachy’s AC) and Sorcha Mullan (Omagh Harriers) over 3,000m and gold medals for Victoria Lightbody (City of Lisburn AC), Oisin Kelly (Cranford AC), Cara Laverty (City of Derry AC), Dylan McBride (Willowfield Harriers), Aela Stewart (City of Derry AC) and Matthew Willis (Lagan Valley AC) in the 800m.

Full results for the event available HERE.

Elsewhere this weekend…

Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley AC / Niall Wilkinson) was the star performer as local athletes impressed at the England Athletics Under 23 and Under 20 Track & Field Championships (Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June 2018).

Sommer won the Under 20 High Jump with a 1.84m leap.  Also in the field, Finn Valley AC’s James Kelly (John Kelly Snr) took the runners up spot and associated silver medal in the Under 20 Shot Putt, having thrown 16.55m.

There was also an Under 23 bronze medal for British Champion Megan Marrs (City of Lisburn AC / Jerzy Maciukiewicz) in the 100m hurdles.  Megan recorded 13.42 (+0.9) for 3rd place, finishing just ahead of fellow NI athlete Mollie Courtney (Cheltenham AC / David Warner) who clocked 13.83 (+0.9) for 4th place.

Following on from an excellent outing at last week’s NI & Ulster Senior Championships, Lauren Roy (City of Lisburn AC / Adam McMullen) recorded a new personal best over 100m. Under 20 athlete Lauren broke the beam in a new personal best of 11.89 to qualify from her heat, before running 11.96 in the semi-final.

In the Under 20 Javelin, Gareth Crawford (Lifford Strabane AC / David Turner) landed a 61.19m effort.  Meanwhile, in the 800m heats, Annadale Striders’ Callum Crawford-Walker ran 1:55.12, narrowly missing out on a place in the Under 23 semi-final.

Northern Ireland’s Ciara Mageean (UCD AC / Team New Balance / Steve Vernon) hit another European Athletics Championships 1500m standard after narrowly missing a podium place at the International Sound-Track Meeting in Tubingen, Germany (Saturday 16th June 2018).

Ciara, who already has already bettered the 4:08.00 standard twice at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, ran a season’s best of 4:06.70 to better it for the third time.

Several familiar faces were in action at the Irish Milers Club Le Cheile Grand Prix this weekend (Saturday 16th June 2018).  Letterkenny AC’s Danny Mooney (Teresa McDaid) produced the highlight performance was a 3:51.41 finish over 1500m.  Young City of Derry AC athlete Fintan Stewart ran a notable 3:59.49 in the same race.