Irish Life AAI National Senior Track & Field Championships 2018:
Northern Ireland’s Ciara Mageean (UCD AC / Steve Vernon) and Leon Reid (Menapians AC / James Hillier) deservedly store the headlines as Northern Ireland based athletes picked up an impressive haul of silverware at the Irish Life AAI National Senior Championships (Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th July 2018),
New Balance UK athlete Ciara Mageean became the first female athlete since Sonia O’Sullivan, in 2000, to complete the 800m and 1500m double. The Portaferry woman put in an impressive late surge to take both titles.
After winning the 800m title in 2:07.93, Ciara said: “I’m delighted with that and happy with my finish.”.
The European bronze medallist then went on to secure gold in the 1500m. After good work by fellow NI athlete Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC / Richard Rodgers) early on, Ciara came through to win in 4:22.47.
In the same race, Northern Ireland & Ulster 5,000m and 10,000m record holder Emma Mitchell (QUB AC / Eamonn Christie) added to her Day 1 5,000m gold with a brilliant bronze medal in 4:23.38 – Kerry took 5th place in 4:26.99.
Emma Mitchell retained her 5,000m title in 15:59.34; Ann-Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC) secured 3rd place in 16:25.21.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Leon Reid showed his professionalism as he put his impending IAAF National transfer saga to the side and completed the famous 100m and 200m sprint double.
In an epic 200m final, Leon sealed gold with 20.74 (-1.1). He followed this up on Day 2 with a more comfortable but still impressive 10.42 (-2.1) for victory over 100m.
There were also National titles for Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers / Stephen Hass), Adam Kirk-Smith (Derry Track Club / Tomaz Plibersek), Ryan Forsyth (Newcastle AC / Mark Wetmore) and Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC / Jonas Todoo).
Stephen Scullion produced one of the highlight performances of the opening day as he sealed his first National title, winning the 10,000m in a speedy 29:25.31. Commonwealth Games athlete Adam Kirk-Smith won his favourite 3,000m Steeeplechase in 9:02.09, while USA based athlete Ryan Forsyth turned a few heads as he emerged victorious from the hotly contested 5,000m, crossing the line in 14:30.78. Top Long Jumper Adam McMullen again showed his class as he won with a 7.68m leap.
In the 110m hurdles, European Championships bound Ben Reynolds (North Down AC / Tom Reynolds) took silver in a close race, clocking 14.15 (-0.5) for the silver. Letterkenny AC’s Darren McBrearty (Teresa McDaid) showed pure grit as he came through to take the runners up spot in the competitive 1500m final, crossing the line in 3:48.45.
Rising star James Kelly (Finn Valley AC / John Kelly Snr) celebrated his first medal at Senior level in the Shot Putt. The decorated junior athlete launched a 14.83m effort to claim a bronze medal.
Conall Kirk (Annadale Striders / Mark Kirk) continued his noteworthy 2018 campaign with a bronze medal in the 800m, crossing the line in 1:51.72, while in the 400m, Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Ian Neely) put in a strong showing to take a well-deserved 3rd place in 48.16.
In the 400m hurdles, where international star Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) ran a new Championship record of 49.56, Northern Ireland’s Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC / Paul McKee) ran well to claim a bronze medal in 51.99 – Jason’s Crusaders AC’s 4x400m team also claimed bronze with 3:21.04. In the ladies 400m hurdles, Tir Chonaill AC Kelly McGrory took the bronze with 1:01.43.
Full results for the event are available HERE.
Also this weekend…
North Down AC’s Eve Walsh-Dann (Roger Sexton) picked up two medals at the England Athletics National Championships in Manchester (Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th July 2018).
The T36 athlete ran an excellent 30.69 (+2.6) on her way to gold in the 200m. Eve then followed this up with a 14.31 (+5.1) for silver in the 100m.
Note: Article compiled for use by Athletics NI.