Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association Track & Field Championships 2017:
On Saturday 8th July 2017, hundreds of masters athletes descended on the picturesque Mary Peters Track in Belfast for the annual Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association (NIMAA) Track & Field Championships.
It was a day of excellent performances, in hot and sunny conditions. As expected, the 5,000m event provided spectators with an excellent spectacle. City of Derry AC’s mountain running international Allan Bogle (Vet35) led out and was pursued by a group headed by fellow North West based Vet35 athlete Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC). As the race progressed, Chris gradually reduced the gap between himself and Allan, before moving ahead in the latter stages – he eventually won in 15:41.31 (1st place). Allan crossed the line in 15:48.58 (2nd place). North Belfast Harriers’ Conor Curran had an excellent run to win the Vet40 category, finishing in 3rd place overall. In the adjoining ladies 3,000m race, City of Derry AC’s Jackie McMonagle (Vet45) won in 11:48.12 (1st place).
The men’s 800m ranked alongside the most exciting of the day, with a sprint finish between Rathfarnham WSAF’s Ronan Kearns (Vet35) and Orangegrove AC’s Stephen Orr (Vet40). Ronan edged it, winning in 2:05.79 (1st place). Stephen’s 2nd place overall in 2:05.95 was enough to secure the Vet40 gold.
The Vet35 men’s 400m was also an exciting affair with Ross Miotti (Monaghan Phoenix AC), Eoghan Devlin (Mid Ulster AC) and Colin McCambridge (Ballymena & Antrim AC) battling it out right to the line – Ross sealed victory in 53.38 (1st place), with Eoghan (53.61) and Colin (54.59) following in 2nd place and 3rd place respectively. Ross then went on to add the 200m title 24.55 (1st place). Vet40 athlete Brian Boyce (Letterkenny AC) also claimed an impressive 200m / 400m double, winning the 200m in 24.23 and the 400m in 54.58.
Vet35 Karen O’Donnell (Olympian YC Derry) was just as dominant in the ladies track events, winning the 100, 200m and 400m, taking the 10m gold in 13.73, 200m gold in 28.09 and the 400m gold in 1:02.57. Beechmount Harriers’ Catherine Diver (Vet40) looked strong as she led the ladies home over 800m (2:25.35) and 1500m (5:00.82). In the men’s 1500m, Belfast Running Club’s Simon Doyle (Vet40) won overall – he led from the off and despite a late challenge from fellow Vet40 athlete Ed Kelly (Dromore AC), Simon broke the beam first in 4:34.86 (1st place).
Vet55 athlete Shane Sheridan (DSD AC) had a busy afternoon, excelling in the 100m, 200m and 400m – he took 1st place in all three, running 12.57 for 100m, 25.61 for 200m and 1:00.37 for 400m. Unattached athlete Carol Kearney (Vet50) won the 100m in 14.59 and the 200m in 30.98. Multi-event athlete Geraldine Finnegan (Vet50) picked up several medals, with her impressive hurdling leading to 100mH gold (14.25) and 300mH gold in 53.82.
Other athletes who impressed with quality performances and/or multiple medals on an excellent day of competition included: Joy McAleer (City of Lisburn AC), Patrick Forbes (Mid Ulster AC), Seamus Agnew (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Glen Scullion (Mid Ulster AC), David Clarke (North Belfast Harriers), Mary Scanlon (Blackrock AC), Shane Smith (St Anne’s AC), Cathal McLaughlin (Derry Track Club), Gillian Rodgers (Annalee AC), Briege Molloy (Omagh Harriers) and Matt Flannelly (Clonliffe Harriers), amongst others.
Full results for the event will be added to our website as soon as possible.