Weekend Review NI and Ulster Combined Events Championships and more
04 September 2017
Alexander Livingston (City of Lisburn AC) and Sarah Connolly (North Down AC) were crowned NI & Ulster Senior Champions after two days of exciting competition at the Northern Ireland & Ulster Combined Events Championships (Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September 2017) at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.
Local athletes also collected medals at the Schools Games in Loughborough. Another exciting weekend was crowned with a Northern Ireland winner at the prestigious Ben Nevis Mountain Race in Scotland.
NI & Ulster Combined Events Championships:
At the home of athletics in Northern Ireland, the Mary Peters Track, Sarah Connolly claimed the NI & Ulster Heptathlon gold with a personal best score of 4837 points. On Day 1, Sarah’s High Jump exploits were arguably the highlight of the day – the North Down AC athlete leaped to 1.78m, a new personal best rocketing her from 68th= to 12th= in the Power of 10 rankings in the space of 8 days. Guest competitor and Nigerian international Moe Sasegbon (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) topped the final standings with a score of 5367.
In the Senior Men’s Decathlon, Alexander Livingston was crowned Champion with 4778 points. Alexander picked up big points in the 100m, High Jump and Pole Vault competitions and although, like Sarah Connolly, had to settle for second place overall to a guest athlete, he collected the NI & Ulster gold medal. AAI National Champion Shane Aston (Trim AC) took 1st place with an excellent 6522 points.
In the age-group events, Finn O’Neill (City of Derry AC) won the Under 13 Pentathlon with 1895 points, while Enniscorthy AC athlete Saidhbhe Byrne was dominant in the girl’s competition, reaching 2533 points. Molly Curran (Carmen AC) and Jordan Cunningham (City of Lisburn AC) claimed top honours in the Under 15 Pentathlon with 2801 points and 2822 points respectively.
In the Under 17 ladies Heptathlon, Kitty McNulty (Tir Chonaill AC) topped the podium with 2408 points. The Under 17 men’s Octathlon was an extremely close affair, with a mere three points separating Thomas Mullen (Lifford & Strabane AC) and Troy McConville (North Down AC). Thomas won with 4279, with Troy taking the runners up prize after finishing on 4276 points.
Peter O’Connor (Enniscorthy AC) won the Junior Men’s Decathlon with 4896 points. In the Masters events, Vet60 competitor Peadar McGing (DSD AC) and Vet50 athlete Geraldine Finegan (North East Runners) impressed most. Guest Peader notched up 5933 points in the Decathlon, while Geraldine finished on 4851 in the Heptathlon.
UK Schools Championships:
At the UK Schools Championships (Friday 1st September 2017), Anna McCauley (City of Lisburn AC) and Eve Dann-Walsh (North Down AC) secured gold as familiar faces collected an array of medals.
Anna was in fine form as she jumped to a personal best of 1.73m to claim victory in the High Jump. Eve followed this up with a gold in the Ambulant 100m with a 15.31 finish, an impressive clocking given the -1.2 headwind. Eve then picked up silver over 200m, running 32.60 (+1.4). Jack Agnew (Torque Racing) continued what has been an excellent season with a silver medal in the 100m Wheelchair competition – Jack completed the distance in 16.41 (-0.9).
In the 3,000m, Burren AC’s Jack O’Farrell recorded 9:09.01, which was enough to secure 3rd place and the associated bronze medal. Full results for the Schools Games are available HERE
Intertrust Athletics Games, Guernsey
Megan Marrs finished an excellent season by taking the 100m Hurdles title from Scotland’s Heather Paton. The 13.58 (0.3) clocking was the third fastest time of Megan’s career.
Ben Nevis Mountain Race:
At the iconic Ben Nevis Mountain Race in Scotland (Saturday 2nd September 2017), Dromore AC’s Diane Wilson claimed the ladies title for the second time in three years.
Diane is the only Northern Ireland runner ever to have had her name etched on to the famous trophy – she completed the race up and down Britain’s highest mountain (which stands at 1,344 metres) in 2:01:21, taking 1st place. Glens Runners’ Jonny Steede was the first local man home, finishing in an excellent 10th place in 1:44:24.
WMRA World Masters Mountain Running Championships:
Northern Ireland based athletes also impressed at the World Masters Mountain Running Championships in Slovakia this weekend (Saturday 2nd September 2017). Newcastle AC’s Jim Patterson topped the podium in the Vet70 category, while Gillian Wasson (Ballymena Runners) picked up an individual bronze in the Vet40 race – Gillian and fellow NI athlete Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) were also part of the Ireland ladies team who collected a Vet40 team bronze.
In other news…
Closer to home, there was no toppling 2016 Champions Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) and Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) at the Laganside 10k road race in Belfast (Sunday 3rd September 2017). Mark led the field home in 32:01, while Laura recorded 35:26 for the ladies top prize.
It was a similar situation at the Waterside Half Marathon (Sunday 3rd September 2017), where last year’s winners Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock AC) and Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC) retained their titles. Freddy just about held off local man Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) to win in 1:09:18. In the ladies race, Catherine cruised to victory in 1:20:41