Adam McMullen hits Commonwealth Games standard as Athletics NI team impress at Manchester International:
Long jumper Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC / Alan Kennedy) hit the Commonwealth Games standard for a second time as local athletes represented Athletics Northern Ireland at last night’s Manchester International, hosted by England Athletics, at the Manchester Sports Arena (Wednesday 16th August 2017).
The Northern Ireland and Ulster team were up against teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Great Britain Juniors, Denmark and an International Select.
On an excellent night of competition, the aforementioned Gold Coast standard by Adam and performances by Mollie Courtney (Cheltenham AC / David Warner) and the men’s 4x400m and 4x100m relay teams stood out. However, there were many other encouraging performances by the NI & Ulster team.
The men’s long jump was closely fought – Adam McMullen opened with an excellent 7.94m (+2.4), which led until England’s Dan Bramble matched his effort in round three, before winning it at the last, with a legal jump of 7.95m; Adam finished in 2nd place. All four of the Adam’s jumps were above the Commonwealth Games standard of 7.78m but it was his final effort of 7.80m (+1.4) which proved crucial, as it was the only one within the legal wind speed of 2.0m/s. NI’s Ben Fisher (City of Lisburn AC / Annie Rose) represented GB Juniors and claimed 6th place in 7.24 (+1.1). In the ladies long jump, Lydia Mills (Ballymena & Antrim / Alan Kennedy) leaped 5.65m (+1.3) for 5th place.
After the event, Adam told Athletics NI: “There was a bit of pressure on me towards the end of the season with only two competitions left as a lot of athletes have got two consideration standards, or only needed one I knew my one performance might not be good enough. I have been getting some good distances in training and knew if I could just get it right in a competition I would be there or there abouts another standard. I’m actually not too sure what I’m happier with, the windy 7.94 or the legal 7.80”
Mollie Courtney, who has already achieved a Commonwealth Games standard, led the field home in the 100m hurdles, clocking 13.40 (1st place), which would have been a season’s best if it wasn’t for the +2.4 wind.
The Men’s 4x400m relay team of Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Ian Neely), Ben Maze (Crusaders AC / Paul McKee), Leon Reid (Birchfield / James Hillier) and Andrew Mellon (Crusaders AC / Brendan McConville) claimed 1st place in 3:12.23, while the 4x100m team of Leon Reid, Christian Robinson (City of Lisburn AC / Alan Kennedy), Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC / Alan Kennedy) and Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Alan Kennedy) missed the Northern Ireland record by an agonising 0.01 seconds when taking 3rd place in 40.36.
Not to be out done, the ladies 4 x 100m relay team of Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC / David Reid), Lauren Roy (City of Lisburn AC), Mollie Courtney, Anna McCauley (City of Lisburn AC / Maureen McCauley) also impressed with a podium spot, taking 3rd place in 47.27. The ladies 4x400m team of Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim / Ian Neely), Mandy Gault (Lagan Valley AC / Terence Price), Erin McIlveen (City of Lisburn AC / Brian Whittle) and Rachel McCann (North Down AC/ Roger Sexton) narrowly missed a podium place when they recorded 3:49.91 for 4th place.
Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley AC / Niall Wilkinson) leaped to 1.78m to secure 2nd place in a closely contested high jump competition. There was also 2nd place finishes for Newcastle AC’s Kerry O’ Flaherty (Richard Rodgers) and Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Dean Adams – Kerry took the runners up spot in the 3,000m Steeplechase, covering the distance in 10:16.21, while Dean continued what has been a good season, with a wind assisted 10.76 (+3.3) for 2nd place in the 100m (guest race). NI record holder Hayley Murray (Rugby & Northampton / Christopher Murray) landed a 56.84m throw in the hammer competition, which was enough to claim 3rd place.
Christian Robinson (City of Lisburn AC / Alan Kennedy) was in action in the 100m international race, crossing the line in 10.76 (+2.5) for 6th place. Fellow City of Lisburn AC athlete Lauren Roy finished in 8th place in the ladies 100m race, running 12.10 which would have been a season’s best had it not been for the +2.2 wind. In the highly competitive ladies 200m race, Amy Foster ran 23.98 (+1.6) for 5th place. Michael McCauley (Ballymena & Antrim AC) was also in competition over 200m, crossing the line in 22.47 (+3.4) for 8th place. Andrew Mellon (Crusaders AC / Brendan McConville) and Mandy Gault ran well over 400m, with Andrew taking 5th place in 48.19 and Mandy 6th place in 55.52.
The ladies 800m race was noted as one of the most quality events of the night and Northern Ireland’s Erin McIlveen took 6th place in 2:13.62. In the classic Mile races, NI & Ulster were represented by Neil Johnston (Springwell RC / Mark Kirk) and Rachel Gibson (North Down AC / Francis Marsh) – Neil ran 4:21.04 (6th place), while Rachel clocked 5:03.08 for 9th place. Letterkenny AC duo Danny Mooney (Teresa McDaid) and Ann-Marie McGlynn lined up in the 3,000m, with Danny claiming 5th place in 8:39.18 and Ann-Marie replicating that with 5th place in the ladies race in 9:23.67.
In the Pole Vault, Sarah McKeever (Sale Harriers / Laurie Needham) returned from injury with an excellent 3.75m effort for 5th place. City of Lisburn AC’s Mark Burton (Alan Kennedy) claimed 7th place in the triple jump with a 13.88m effort (+2.3). Dylan Kearns (Finn Valley AC) threw 51.22m for 7th place in the javelin competition.
Megan Marrs records PB in Poland:
Megan Marrs (City of Lisburn AC / Jerzy Maciukiewicz) recorded a new 100m hurdles personal best whilst in competition at the LOTTO Warszawski Memorial Track & Field Meeting in Warsaw, Poland (Tuesday 15th August 2017). Against quality opposition, Megan recorded 13.51 (+0.1), which is just 0.06 off the Commonwealth Games 2018 standard of 13.45.
Note: Article compiled for use by Athletics NI.