Belfast International Athletics Meet 2017:
Countless local athletes excelled as competitors travelled from around the world to compete at the Belfast International Athletics Meet (Wednesday 5th July 2017), an event hosted by Athletics Northern Ireland.
The decision by Athletics NI officials to run the sprint events with the wind in the back straight added to the already excellent conditions. The Mary Peters Track provided a perfect setting for a night of exciting athletics as Ben Reynolds (North Down AC / Tom Reynolds) and Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley AC / Niall Wilkinson) again attained Commonwealth Games standards, while Anna McCauley (City of Lisburn AC) hurdled her way to an NI Under 18 record.
Top Northern Ireland and Ireland hurdler Ben Reynolds achieved his third Gold Coast consideration standard as he recorded 13.69 (+1.6) for victory the 110m hurdles final. However, Ben was not the first competitor to cross the line as U20 GB athlete Robert Sakala took advantage of the perfect conditions to gain a last chance standard for the European Junior Championships. The Croydon athlete rocketed to the top of the UK rankings with a PB of 13.60 (+1.6) over the 3ft 3 barriers.
In the stacked field competitions, Sommer Lecky again surpassed the required Gold Coast standard for the High Jump, with her 1.83m clearance sealing victory. Dempsey McGuigan claimed the runners up spot in the Hammer with a 66.00m throw – the event was won by Osian Jones in a new Welsh record of 69.20m.
Competing in the 100m hurdles, over junior heights, rising star Anna McCauley (City of Lisburn AC / Maureen McCauley) ran a new NI Under 18 record of 13.95 (+1.3).
In the same event, but over the senior heights, Northern Ireland ladies Mollie Courtney (Cheltenham AC / David Warner) and Megan Marrs (City of Lisburn AC / Jerzy Maciukiewicz) enjoyed an epic dual which finished with one victory each. In the heats, Megan led the way with a personal best of 13.54 (+1.3) – Mollie followed in 13.69 (+1.3). In the final, Mollie sealed victory in 13.51 (+1.6), with Megan running 13.72 (+1.6).
In-form Leon Reid (Birchfield Harriers / James Hillier) was one of the star performers of the well supported meet. After impressing with his back straight sprint in the 4 x 100m relay, which the NI unfortunately failed to finish after a mistake during the final handover, Leon was denied a 100m personal best of 10.32 because of the +2.5 wind reading. He followed this up with a comfortable 21.02 (+1.7) win in the 200m.
Ulster Schools 100m and 200m Champion Michael McAuley (Ballymena & Antrim AC) ran a new 100m personal best of 10.98 (+1.0) and 200m personal best of 22.01 (+1.7).
Birthday boy Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC / Alan Kennedy) celebrated with a 7.61m jump for victory in the Long Jump. He then opened his track season with a 100m personal best of 10.71 (+1.0) for a runners up spot behind Ireland’s Stephen Gaffney (10.70) in the ‘B’ race. Ben Fisher (City of Lisburn / Annie Rose) was consistent as ever, jumping within 15cm of his PB to take 3rdplace (7.18m)
Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Ian Neely) won the final race of the night, the 400m hurdles, breaking the beam in 58.30 for victory; this was exactly one second outside the Commonwealth Games standard for the event.
Other impressive performances included a fourteen second personal best from North Belfast Harriers’ John Black to win the 3,000m in 8:42.79 and a significant personal best for North Down AC athlete Murphy Miller (Francis Marsh) over 800m – the 15-year-old ran 2:14.63 for the win. Claudia Jalon (Marathon AD / Mark Kirk) won the 1500m in a new personal best of 4:22.95.
Note: Article compiled for use by Athletics NI.