Kate OConnor Smashes Irish Records as Local Athletes Secure Gold in Athlone
23 January 2018
Commonwealth Games bound Kate O’Connor (St Gerard’s AC Dundalk / Gough, Kerr, McMullen, O’Connor, Reynolds) smashed the Irish Senior, Under 23 and Junior Pentathlon records on her way to victory at this weekend’s AAI National Indoor Combined Events Championships in Athlone, Ireland (Saturday 20th January 2018).
Kate was one of a number of local athletes who produced top quality performances, with Sarah Connolly (North Down AC / Martin Brockman), Anna McCauley (City of Lisburn AC / Maureen McCauley) and Niamh McCorry (Annalee AC / Paul McCorry) also claiming national titles.
Competing in the Junior Women’s category, Kate eased to victory, with a winning margin of just under 1,000 points. The Northern Ireland Senior and Junior Heptathlon record holder jumped a personal best of 1.79m in the high jump and clocked an impressive personal best of 9.09 over the 60m hurdles as she again showed her class. A 12.63m shot putt, 5.62m long jump and a 2:20.80 for 800m landed the Mary Peters Trust supported athlete a total of 4108 points – this points total achieved by Kate bettered long standing Irish Senior, Under 23 and Junior Pentathlon records.
In the Senior Women’s category, North Down AC’s Sarah Connolly sealed top honours in what was a closely contested event. Sarah’s final points totalled 3661, with the runner up, Amy McTeggart (Boyne AC), finishing on 3636 points.
Sarah jumped to a new personal best of 1.76m in the high jump, and also clocked a new personal best of 8.90 in the 60m hurdles. An 8.99m throw in the shot putt and a 5.40m leap in the long jump ensured a close finish; Sarah’s 2:32.10 in the 800m secured gold. City of Derry AC’s Naomi Morgan (Tom Reynolds) also picked up a medal, taking 3rd place and the associated bronze with 3324 points; this was a personal best total.
Rising star Anna McCauley, another athlete supported by the Mary Peters Trust, added further gold to the Northern Ireland and Ulster medal haul, winning the Youth Women’s event. Anna jumped a personal best of 1.73m in the high jump and recorded 8.83 over the 60m hurdles, the fastest of the day by any of the combined events athletes. She then went on to impress with an 11.30m effort in the shot putt, 5.32m in the long jump and an excellent 2:26.20 over 800m; this gave the City of Lisburn AC athlete a winning total of 3841 points.
In the Under 16 age category, Niamh McCorry completed the day on a winning points total of 3086, over 400 clear of her nearest rival. The Annalee AC athlete ran 9.58 for the 60m hurdles, before jumping to 1.52m in the high jump. A throw of 9.67m in the shot putt and a long jump of 4.45m set Niamh on her way to victory, which she cemented with a 2:27.41 in the 800m.
On what was an excellent day of competition, City of Derry AC’s Michael Surman totalled 2738 points to claim a bronze medal in the Senior Men’s category. There was also a Vet35 gold for decorated Masters athlete Trevor McGlynn (Omagh Harriers), who finished on 2417 points. In the Under 15 category, Finn Valley AC’s Joe Gillespie made the podium with 2160 points, which was enough to see him secure a bronze medal.