Weekend Review OConnor and McGlynn Shine
26 April 2021
It was a stellar weekend of athletics, with two new NI Records from Kate O’Connor and Ann-Marie McGlynn along with a host of PB performances.
World Combined Events Challenge
European U20 Silver Medallist, Kate O’Connor (Dundalk St Gerards), broke her own Northern Ireland Heptathlon record in Lana, Italy at the World Combined Events Challenge, with a total of 6297 points. Her weekend of performances included three PBs, in her 200m (24.94), the High Jump (1.80m) and her 2nd best throw in the Javelin (51.61m).
Kate finished in 2nd place, which echoed the European U20 Championships, where, 1st place, Maria Vincinte just beat Kate to the European title by a handful of points. Kate’s performance puts her in 2nd place in Europe and 3rd in the world, with her points reaching the European U23 and Commonwealth Games qualification standard and moving her into the current qualification places for Toyko, this early in the season.
Wrexham Elite Marathon
NI Marathon & Half Marathon record holder, Ann Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC) also set a new NI Marathon record this weekend at the Wrexham Elite Marathon on Sunday 25th April, with a new time of 2:29.34, taking over 3 minutes off her previous record of 2:34.54, set in Dublin in 2019.
Her time hit the Commonwealth Games standard by over 2 minutes, but narrowly missed out on the Olympic standard by only 4 seconds. Ann-Marie is now 6th on the Irish all-time list.
There were a number of athletes from NI taking part in the Marathon, including City of Derry Spartans, Declan Reed, who finished in 22nd place overall, in a PB of 2:25.13, followed by teammate, Steven McAlary in 29th place in 2:26.44. Armagh AC’s Fionnuala Ross finished in a PB time of 2:39.58, while North Belfast Harriers’ Gladys Ganiel finished in 2:43.57 and Victoria Park & Connswater AC's Natalie Hall finished in 2:46.49, recording an 11 minute PB.
Drake Relays USA
U23 European Medallist, Eilish Flanagan and Rio Olympian, Kerry O’Flaherty both competed at the Drake Relays 3000m Steeplechase Special event, with Eilish finishing in 10th place in a time of 9:52.70, just outside her PB time and Kerry finishing in 13th place in 10:04.66.
NI Elite 100m & 1500m Meet
Meanwhile on home soil, athletes took to the Mary Peters Track in the Athletics NI Elite 100m and 1500m Meet. North Down AC’s Eve Walsh-Dann (T38) finished the 100m in 14.57, her 2nd best ever time and her fastest since 2018. Eve is now ranked 5th in the Commonwealth T38 rankings, and she needs to be within the top 7 by the end of 2021 in order to be auto selected for Birmingham 2022.
The 100m also saw a number of the Athletics NI Youth Academy athletes hitting PB times, with City of Lisburn AC’s Jenna Breen finishing in 12.10 and Erin Fisher in 12.82, while North Down AC’s Rachel McCann finished in 12.58 and Rose McGreevy finished in 13.12.
Ballymena Runners’ James Hamilton (T20), competed in the 1500m, reaching a season’s best time of 4:10.53, with St Malachy AC’s Callum Morgan hitting a PB time of 4:03.25.
Championchip Ireland Half Marathon & 5k
This weekend also saw the return of the Championchip Ireland events, with a Half Marathon on Saturday 24th April and a 5k on Sunday 25th at Down Royal Racecourses. The events have been long awaited by local runners, and were well attended.
There were great times from a number of athletes, including a World Best for 12 year old Emer McKee (Willowfield Harriers) in the 5k with a time of 16:40.