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MCMEECHAN AND GRAHAM TO LEAD THE CHARGE FOR HONOURS AT TQ10K

05 April 2018

MCMEECHAN AND GRAHAM TO LEAD THE CHARGE FOR HONOURS AT TQ10K

NI & Ulster Intermediate XC Champion Craig McMeechan (North Down AC) and AAI National Marathon Champion Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) will head a 1,400 strong field at this weekend’s TQ10K, in Belfast (Sunday 8th April 2018).

The Athletics Northern Ireland hosted event, which covers a flat and fast course around the iconic Titanic Quarter, will attract an abundance of local talent.

Up and coming star Craig McMeechan has come to the fore at senior level over the last twelve months, with several notable performances.  His dominant run and win at the NI & Ulster Intermediate XC Championships at the turn of the year, was backed up with personal bests over 3k (8:43) and 5k (15:05) at the Armagh International and Queen’s 5k respectively – the latter was enough to see Craig pick up a silver in the NI & Ulster 5k Championships.

Podium finisher at the TQ10k in 2017, Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC), will lead the chasing pack and is sure to be podium contender once again.  Twelve months ago, Chris recorded 31:49 over this course and he went on to reduce his 10k best with a 31:18 finish at the Seeley Cup at the back end of 2017.  Two weeks ago, at the Queen’s 5k, the City of Lisburn AC star crossed the line in 15:14 for 6th place.

Current NI & Ulster 10k Champion Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) will also start and should challenge for a top three finish.  Other men who will feature at the front include Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers), Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC), Barry Harron (Finn Valley AC), Stephen O’Gorman (Dromore AC) and the fast improving Vincent McKenna (QUB AC).

In the ladies race, Laura Graham will be keen to make it third time lucky after having finished as runner up at this race in 2017 (34:30) and third place in 2016 (35:24).  Two weeks ago, the Kilkeel based athlete, who represented Northern Ireland at the Armagh International, made her Ireland debut in Spain, running 1:16:27 at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

Laura will come up against a host of top talent, with Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers), Rachel Gibson (North Down AC), Katie Moore (North Down AC) and current NI & Ulster 10,000m Champion Marina Murphy (Derry Track Club) all set to compete.

Commonwealth Games marathoner Gladys won the recent Craic 10k on St Patrick’s Day, leading the ladies home in 36:34.  Rachel has also shown good form recently, with a personal best of 17:13 at the Queen’s 5k and a silver medal at the NI & Ulster Senior XC Championships.  Katie ran a personal best of 17:57 at Queen’s 5k, while Marina, won last weekend’s Beragh 5 mile road race in 30:53.

Sarah Lindsay (North Down AC), Debbie Matchett (Ballydrain Harriers) and Ann Terek (City of Lisburn AC) will also be amongst the top finishers.

Elsewhere this weekend…

In Australia, the athletics competition at the Commonwealth Games kicks off on Sunday 8th April 2018.  Team Northern Ireland athletes Leon Reid (Birchfield Harriers), Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) and Dempsey McGuigan (Finn Valley AC) will all be in action on Day 1 of the programme.

Updates from the Commonwealth Games will be provided via the Athletics NI social media accounts and also within the ‘News’ section of our website HERE

A full schedule for the athletes representing Team NI in track and field is available HERE.

A host of local junior talent will make the now familiar journey to Athlone (Ireland) for the re-scheduled Day 1 of the Irish Life Health Juvenile Indoor Championships at the AIT Arena (Saturday 7th April 2018).

Anna McCauley (City of Lisburn AC), James Kelly (Finn Valley AC), Niamh McCorry (Annalee AC) and Erin Fisher (City of Lisburn AC) will be amongst those chasing National titles.  Full details of the event, including provisional entry list and timetable are available HERE.