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LOCAL STARS CHASING AAI NATIONAL INDOOR GOLD IN ABBOTSTOWN

16 February 2018

LOCAL STARS CHASING AAI NATIONAL INDOOR GOLD IN ABBOTSTOWN

In-form athletes Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC / David Reid), Emma Mitchell (QUB AC / Eamonn Christie), Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley AC / Niall Wilkinson), Kate O’Connor (St Gerard’s AC Dundalk / Gough, Kerr, McMullen, O’Connor, Reynolds), Leon Reid (Menapians AC / James Hillier) and Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC / Alan Kennedy) are just some of the local athletes who will be chasing gold this weekend in Abbotstown.

After setting a new IUAA Indoor record of 7.33 over 60m last weekend, Amy Foster will again line up over the same distance.  At the same Championships in Athlone last weekend, Emma Mitchell was also in record breaking form, clocking 9:15.86 for 3,000m gold; Emma will race over 3,000m and 1500m this coming weekend.  In the 1500m, the QUB AC athlete will face fellow NI runners Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC / Richard Rodgers) and Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) – Olympian Kerry will also compete alongside Emma over 3,000m.  Last night, both Emma and Kerry helped NI & Ulster to 2nd place in the ladies team competition at the Armagh International Road Race 3k – Emma ran 9:19 for 6th place, with Kerry following in 9:35 for 17th place.

Sommer Lecky equalled her High Jump personal best and Irish Under 20 record with a winning leap of 1.86m at the IFAM International in Ghent, Belgium last week and will take that form into the High Jump, where she will be joined by another local star, Anna McIlmoyle (City of Lisburn AC / Wendy Phillips).  Multi-Event athlete Kate O’Connor has kicked off 2018 with several top performances, with the highlight being the improvement of her own Irish Pentathlon record – in Abbotstown, Kate will take on the 60m hurdles, 200m and Long Jump. 

Last month, Adam McMullen again showed his potential when broke the Northern Ireland indoor Long Jump record with a stunning 7.97m leap in Jordanstown.  Adam will again be competing in his favourite Long Jump event; the Crusaders AC man will also be in action at the British Athletics Indoor Championships in Sheffield this weekend.

Sprinter Leon Reid was one of the most impressive athletes at the recent AAI Games and the Birchfield Harriers man will line-up in the 60m and 200m – in the 60m, Leon will come up against Ballymena & Antrim AC pair Dean Adams (Alan Kennedy) and Jonathan Carleton.

AAI National Age Group Champion Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Ian Neely) will be in action over 200m, while Crusaders AC athletes Jason Harvey (Paul McKee) and Andrew Mellon (Brendan McConville) will come up against each other in the 400m competition.  In the ladies 400m, Beechmount Harriers’ star Davicia Patterson (Paul Magee) should place well.

Commonwealth Games bound Ben Reynolds (North Down AC / Tom Reynolds) will compete on home soil for the first time this year and will race in the 60m hurdles.  Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC / Teresa McDaid) and Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) will compete over 1500m and 3,000m respectively, while Lifford Strabane AC’s Alan McGinley is scheduled to race over 800m.

In the field, decorated Finn Valley AC thrower John Kelly (John Kelly Snr) will compete in the Shot Putt.  Shane Martin (Ballymena & Antrim AC / James Alexander) is in the Pole Vault line-up, while Mark Burton (QUB AC / Kenny Faulkner) will be in action in the Triple Jump. Ellen McCartney (City of Lisburn AC / James Alexander), Lydia Mills (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Alan Kennedy) and Erin Fisher (City of Lisburn AC / Rhiannon Rose) are amongst the local medal hopefuls in the ladies field events, with Ellen and Erin competing in the Pole Vault and Lydia the Long Jump and Triple Jump.

A number of other Northern Ireland and Ulster athletes will also be in action at the Irish Life AAI National Indoor Track & Field Championships.  A full entry list and timetable are available HERE

The event will also be streamed LIVE via the Athletics Ireland facebook page.

Elsewhere this weekend…

As previously mentioned, Adam McMullen will also be in action at the British Athletics Indoor Championships in Sheffield this weekend (Saturday 17th – Sunday 18th February 2018).  There, the Long Jumper will be joined by familiar faces Mollie Courtney (Cheltenham AC / David Warner), Megan Marrs (City of Lisburn AC / Jerzy Maciukiewicz) and Naomi Morgan (City of Derry AC / Tom Reynolds).

All three ladies will compete in the 60m hurdles. In 2017, in Sheffield, Mollie produced a personal best performance (8.32) to secure the British Athletics 60m hurdles title; the Cheltenham AC athlete will be hoping for a similar standard of performance.

So far, this season, Megan has taken 0.41 off her 60m hurdles personal best – this culminated in a performance of 8.19 at the AAI Games, which fell an agonising 0.05 outside the World Indoor Championships standard of 8.14.  Spartan athlete Naomi has also been chipping away at her 60m hurdles best, reducing it to 8.91 when taking silver at the AAI Age Group Championships last month (January 2018).

City of Lisburn AC athlete Ben Fisher (Rhiannon Rose) will be just one of a number of local athletes who will be travelling to the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Indoor Track & Field Championships, which will also be held in Sheffield (Friday 16th – Sunday 18th February 2018).