NI and Ulster Athletes find Silver Lining at Manchester International
15 August 2019
Yesterday evening the athletes from Northern Ireland and Ulster battled tough conditions at the Manchester International, to come home with some shiny new silverware.
Headlining the evening was University of Ulster’s Katie Kirk, who is currently enjoying a terrific comeback to the sport. Competing in the Women’s 800m, Katie came 2nd in a time of 2:07.77, winning a total of 7 points for the overall team scores, despite the ever present downpours.
Joining her on the podium was Springwell Running Club’s Neil Johnston, who came 2nd in the Men’s 3000m in a time of 8:33.35, also adding 7 points to the team total.
After a brief stop to allow the rain to ease slightly, the Women’s 3000m Steeplechase was underway, with Olympian Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle & District AC) finishing in a triumphant 3rd place in 10:07.62, gaining 8 points for the team.
Next to step up to the podium was Ballymena Runners’ James Hamilton, who came 3rd in the Men’s Para 1500m in 4:01.46, thus gaining 6 points for the team, followed by Gareth Crawford (Lifford Strabane AC) who came 3rd in the Men’s Javelin with a throw of 63.24m, gaining another 7 team points.
In the Women’s Guest 400m, Finn Valley AC’s Daniella Jansen came 3rd in a time of 58.91. There were some great performances in the rest of the Guest events, such as from Oliver Swinney (Rising Stars), who in his NI & Ulster team debut, came 4th in the Men’s 100m in a PB of 10.78s, followed by fellow debutant, Louis Albrow (North Down AC) in 7th place in a time of 11.20. Banbridge Running Club’s Kyle Magwood took on the Men’s Guest 400m event, finishing 7th in 55.77s, while Lauren Roy (Ballymena & Antrim) competed in the Women’s Guest 100m finishing in 6th place in 12.21s.
Out on the field, the athletes impressed, with City of Lisburn AC’s Anna McIlmoyle finishing 4th in the Women’s High Jump, clearing 1.61m and adding 5 points to the team total. In the Men’s Long Jump, Keith Marks McCabe (Clonliffe Harriers) jumped 7.24m to finish in 5th place and add 4 points to the team total, while Mark Burton (City of Lisburn AC) came 6th in the Men’s Triple Jump with a jump of 14.42m and an additional 3 team points. Northern Ireland’s Ellie McCartney (Woodford Green Essex Ladies), competed in the Women’s Pole Vault for her club and finished in 5th place, clearing 3.81m.
For the NI & Ulster team, there were a number of solid performances on the track, with the athletes proving their determination against the ever changing weather conditions. In the Women’s 100m Ambulant event, North Down AC’s Eve Walsh-Dann came 4th in 14.68s to add another 5 points to the team total.
Conall Kirk (Annadale Striders) came 5th in the Men’s Mile in 4:17.16, collecting 4 points for the team, as Paul Sexton (Annalee AC) took 5th place in the Men’s 400m Hurdles in 57.01s adding another 4 points. In the Women’s 100m Hurdles Mollie Courtney (Cheltenham Harriers) came 5th in 13.87s, adding 4 points.
In the 4x400m Relays, the Women’s team of Daniella Jansen, Katie Kirk, Kelly McGrory (Tir Chonaill AC) and Rachel McCann (North Down AC) finished in 5th place in 3:52.75, with 4 points, while the Men’s team of Oisin McCorry, Paul Sexton, Kyle Magwood & Callum Crawford-Walker came 6th in 3:27.70, collecting 3 points.
In the Women’s 3000m, North Down AC’s Jessica Craig finished in 9:57.20 to take 6th place and 3 points for the team, while Kelly McGrory (Tir Chonaill AC) came 7th in the Women’s 400m Hurdles in 1:01.39, gaining 2 team points.
City of Lisburn AC’s Lauren Roy came 6th in the Women’s 100m, bettering her time from the earlier Guest 100m to finish in 12.16s, and collect 3 team points. Ballymena & Antrim AC's, Dean Adams finished the Men’s 100m in 11.00s to take 6th place and collect 3 points, and Michael McCauley finished the Men’s 200m in 21.58s to take 7th place and add an additional 3 points to the team total.
Annadale Striders’ Callum Crawford-Walker competed in the Men’s 800m, finishing in 7th place in 1:53.33 with 3 points, while Derry Track Club’s Conor McIlveen came 7th in the Men’s 100m Ambulant race in 13.06s gaining 2 points for the team.
Making her senior team debut, City of Lisburn AC’s Jenna Breen proved her strength as, after an unfortunate fall in the Women’s 200m event, the 15 year old picked herself back up to finish in 7th place in a time of 46.70s and collect 2 points for the team. North Down AC pair, Rachel McCann took 7th place in 56.60s in the Women’s 400m, and Rachel Gibson took 7th in the Women’s Mile race in 4:55.64, both adding 2 points each to the team total.
After such a tremendous effort from the whole team, in somewhat unfavourable conditions, the team placed 7th overall with 96 points in total. Congratulations not only to the athletes, but also to their personal coaches, whose hard work shone through the clouds.
Full results can be found here: