NI Athletes Head Down to the Irish National Track & Field Championships

03 July 2024

NI Athletes Head Down to the Irish National Track & Field Championships

There was a big contingent from Northern Ireland who made the trip to Dublin for the Irish National Track and Field Championships and while there was considerable drama on the track, there were several significant wins for NI athletes on the field.

Less than a week after her Olympic qualifying Heptathlon Performance in Germany, Dundalk St. Gerards athlete Kate O’Connor picked up two medals in difficult throwing conditions with Gold in the Javelin (48.73m) and Silver in the Shot (13.87m). Commonwealth Games finalist Ellie McCartney (City of Lisburn) also battled the elements when taking Gold in the Pole Vault with 4.17m as did Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley AC) in the High Jump with 1.76m. Sommer’s clubmate James Kelly took Silver in the Shot with 16.67m while Jai Benson (Lagan Valley AC) took Gold in the Triple Jump with his first-round performance of 14.34m.

There were several excellent performances spurred on by the huge crowds on Sunday which included an excellent Silver medal for North Down AC’s Rachel McCann in a top quality 400m where she smashed the 54 second barrier in a PB of 53.60 to finish behind Olympian Sophie Becker. Callum Baird (Ballymena and Antrim) produced the second fastest 400m of his career to take Bronze in the Men’s race with 46.20. Both athletes have given themselves an outside chance of making the respective relay teams for Paris in what will be a very tough selection.

In the Men’s 100m there were three Sykes brothers competing for Orangegrove AC with the youngest Ben coming out on top just missing out on the final with a time of 10.80 (wind +0.1) which is a qualifying time for the European U18 Championships later this month.

The Men’s 5000m held on Saturday afternoon was the first distance final of the weekend and produced some good performances.

James Gormley (Carmen) finished 4th in 13.57.88, Andrew Milligan (NBH) 8th 14.09.59, Chris Fielding (City of Derry) 10th in 14.10.38 (PB) and Conall McClean (Candour TC) 11th in 14.10. Tony McCambridge (Candour TC) survived a heavy fall on the 4th lap to finish 18th In 14.30.52.

The Women’s 5000m was held on Sunday afternoon with Roisin Flanagan (Finn Valley) finishing 3rd in 15.54.74. Roise Roberts (Candour TC) ran a pb of 16.55.35 to finish 14th with Edel Monaghan not far behind in 15th.

The Men’s 1500m was a much-anticipated race and as expected proved to be a tactical race with Callum Morgan (Candour TC) producing a very strong last lap to finish 6th in 3.45.61. Lughaidh Mallon running in his first National Senior outdoor final finished 14th in 3.50.38.