AARON SEXTON WINS SPRINTS BATTLE ON AN EXCELLENT DAY OF COMPETITION AT MPT
11 June 2018
IAAF World Junior Championships bound Aaron Sexton (North Down AC / Roger Sexton) emerged victorious from the battle of the sprinters as hundreds of athletes descended on the Mary Peters Track in Belfast for the Northern Ireland & Ulster Senior Track & Field Championships (Saturday 9th June 2018); the event also included the Under 20 and Under 18 Age Group Championships.
In an epic race, NI Under 20 100m record holder Aaron and NI Senior record holder Jason Smyth (Derry Track Club) battled right to the beam, with the North Down AC man edging it as both men clocked 10.69 (-0.6).
On a day of impressive performances, there were also headline grabbing wins for Davicia Patterson (Beechmount Harriers / William Kelly), Lauren Roy (City of Lisburn AC / Adam McMullen), Conall Kirk (Annadale Striders / Mark Kirk), Rachel McCann (North Down AC / Michael Roberts), Emma Mitchell (QUB AC / Eamonn Christie), Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC /Alan Kennedy), Jack Magee (Windsor, Slough & Eton AC / Laura Kerr) and Gareth Crawford (Lifford Strabane AC / David Turner).
After coming through the 200m heats in personal best 24.62 (+0.3), Athletics NI Youth Academy athlete Davicia Patterson clocked 24.75 (0.75) to claim gold in the final, which included well-know Irish internationals Catherine McManus (Dublin City Harriers) and Sinead Denny (DSD AC). In the men’s 200m, Paul Murphy (Ferrybank AC) won in 21.67 (-0.5), while Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) led the local athletes home in 22.18.
In the 100m, Athletics NI Youth Academy athlete Lauren Roy again showed her potential with a 12.04 (-3.2) finish for 1st place – Lauren recorded a legal personal best of 12.02 (+1.0) in the heats. In the 100m heats, GB & NI Paralympic star Eve Walsh-Dann (North Down AC / Roger Sexton) ran a significant personal best of 14.72 (+1.0), which will place her amongst the top T36 100m athletes in the UK rankings for 2018.
Conall Kirk continued his impressive season of personal bests when he won the 800m event 1:50.72. In the ladies race, former World Masters 800m Champion Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) topped the podium with 2:13.15.
North Down AC’s Rachel McCann ran a personal best of 57.43 to win the ladies 400m by over two seconds. In the men’s race, Theo Campbell (Birchfield Harriers / James Hillier) won in 47.03 – Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Ian Neely) was the first NI & Ulster finisher, crossing the line in 47.36, just outside his personal best.
There was a dominant gun-to-tape victory for NI 5,000m and 10,000m record holder Emma Mitchell in the 1500m; the QUB AC athlete topped the podium with 4:17.93. Springwell RC’s Neil Johnston won the men’s 1500m in 3:57.90.
There was also wins for pre-race favourites Ben Reynolds (North Down AC / Tom Reynolds) and Mollie Courtney (Cheltenham AC) in their respective 110m hurdles and 100m hurdles events. Ben clocked 14.19 (-0.8), while Mollie crossed the line in 13.69 (-0.7).
In the 5,000m, Jessica Craig (North Down AC / Ramey Adams) won the ladies race in 17:12.84, while Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC / Teresa McDaid) held off a strong field to win the men’s race in 14:57.59.
Commonwealth Games athletes Adam McMullen leaped to a seasons best of 7.79m to win the men’s Long Jump – in the same competition, City of Lisburn AC’s Ben Fisher set a new personal best of 7.48m for 1st place. In the ladies Long Jump, Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Lydia Mills secured gold with 5.69m – Lydia also won the Triple Jump with 11.30m (+1.9). Junior star Jai Benson (Lagan Valley AC) won the men’s Triple Jump with a 13.84m (+0.1) leap.
Also in the field, Jack Magee, another member of the Athletics NI Youth Academy, bettered his personal best to win the Javelin (800g) competition with an excellent 66.42m. Lifford Strabane AC’s Gareth Crawford was also on PB form, taking silver in the senior competition and gold in the Under 20 category with 64.37m. Sophie Laughlin (Unattached) won the ladies Javelin (600g) with a throw of 33.75m.
Sarah McGlynn (Lagan Valley AC) and Damian Crawford (Lifford Strabane AC) won the Discuss with 31.79 (1kg) and 31.97 (2kg) respectively. Damian also picked up a gold medal in the Shot Putt (7.26kg) with an effort of 10.33m. Laura Frey (Lagan Valley AC) won the senior ladies Shot Putt (4kg) with 10.59m.
Hayley Murray (Rugby & Northampton AC) won the ladies Hammer (4kg) competition after reaching 57.96m, while in the men’s event, Andy Frost (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies AC) led the way with 60.42m.
Full results from the event, including the highly competitive Under 20 and Under 18 events, are available HERE.
Pictures from the event can be found here.
Elsewhere this weekend...
STEPHEN SCULLION RECORDS PB AND EURO STANDARD IN AMERICA
Northern Ireland’s Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers / Stephen Haas) clocked a European Athletics Championships 10,000m standard with an excellent personal best of 28:36.05 at the Portland Track Festival in America (Saturday 9th June 2018).
Stephen’s new PB is just four seconds outside Dermot Donnelly's long standing NI record of 28:32.15 (1999).
After the race, the Clonliffe Harriers man, who has already has a marathon standard for the European Championships, said: “(I) did enough to hit European champs qualifying time and no more. With only 8/9 weeks to the champs, the focus was only to qualify and allow my body a chance to recover faster. Never in doubt.”