Local athletes impress during a busy weekend of track and field action:
NI & Ulster 100m hurdles Champion Mollie Courtney (Cheltenham & County Harriers / David Warner) became the tenth local athlete to achieve a Commonwealth Games nomination standard on an excellent weekend for local athletes. Kate O’Connor also smashed three records, while spectators enjoyed a plethora of encouraging performances at the NI & Ulster Age Group Championships at the sun soaked MPT, Belfast.
Great Britain & NI junior international Mollie was in competition over the 100m hurdles at the England Athletics Under 23 & Under 20 Championships (Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th June 2017) at the Bedford International Stadium and went under the CWG nomination standard (of 13.45) when she recorded 13.44 (+0.5) in her semi-final. The Cheltenham athlete then ran 13.51 (-0.4) for 3rdplace in the final.
Mollie now joins Ben Reynolds (North Down AC), Ciara Mageean (UCD AC), Adam Kirk-Smith (Woodford Green Essex), Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley AC), Dempsey McGuigan (Finn Valley AC), Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders), Emma Mitchell (QUB AC), Adam McMullan (Crusaders AC) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) on the list of athletes hoping to make the final Gold Coast 2018 squad.
City of Lisburn AC pair Ben Fisher (Annie Rose) and Megan Marrs (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) were also in good form at the event. Ben picked up a gold medal in the Under 20 Long Jump with a 7.36 (+2.7) effort; this would have been a personal best for Ben had it not of been for the illegal wind reading but had a legal PB of 7.32m to back this up. Megan sped her way to the 100m hurdles final in 13.56 (+2.3) – unfortunately, like club mate Ben, the illegal wind reading rules out what would have been a personal best. Megan ran 13.85 (-0.4) for 5th place in the final.
Finn Valley AC throwers John and James Kelly also performed well in Bedford. The John Kelly Snr coached athletes finished first in the U23 Mens (16.95m) and second in the U20 Mens (15.75m) Shot Putt respectively.
Kate O’Connor produces record breaking performances at Leinster Championships
Multi-event star Kate O’Connor (St Gerard’s AC / Michael O’Connor) again showed her potential with an exceptional display of throwing and jumping at the Leinster Track & Field Championships.
Kate broke the Northern Ireland Under 18 and Under 20 Long Jump record with a personal best leap of 6.10m (0.6); this was also a European Athletics Junior Championships standard and close to the NI Senior record of 6.13m (Linzi Herron – 2013).
In the Shot Putt, the Dundalk based athlete then threw the 3kg implement over 14 metres three times, finishing on 14.46m. This bettered her own record of 14.21m set in March.
NI & Ulster Age Group Track & Field Championships
Closer to home, there was a plethora of notable performances as hundreds of athletes enjoyed an excellent day of action at the NI & Ulster Age Group Track & Field Championships at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast (Saturday 17th June 2017).
Anna McCauley (City of Lisburn AC / Maureen McCauley) was one of at least five athletes who claimed a trio of gold medals. Anna lived up to expectation with an emphatic win in the Under 17 100m hurdles, clocking 14.29 (+0.6) for top honours. She then went on to record 12.27 (+2.2) for 100m gold, before jumping 1.65m for victory in the High Jump.
North Down AC’s Troy McConville jumped well to secure gold in the Under 16 100m hurdles, crossing the line in 14.07 (+1.8). Troy’s jumping excellence continued into the Long Jump (6.15m) and High Jump (1.90m) where he also topped the podium.
City of Derry AC’s Eimear Kelly collected gold in the Under 16 80m hurdles after covering the distance in 12.19 (-1.5). The Spartan athlete then impressed with championship winning performances over the 250m hurdles and the High Jump – Eimear ran 36.81 for the 250m hurdles and jumped to 1.45m in the High Jump.
Under 14 competitor Ben Campbell (Tir Chonaill AC) collected gold for his performances in the 75m hurdles, 80m and 200m – he covered the 75m hurdles in 11.96 (+3.0), the 80m in 10.34 (+1.1) and the 200m in 26.71 (-0.2).
Murray Fotheringham (Giffnock North AC) also enjoyed three wins, taking victory in the Under 15 800m in 2:06.96, whilst also impressing in the field with wins in the Long Jump (5.65m) and the High Jump (1.75m).
There was also double gold medal winning performances for Ethan Williamson (Lagan Valley AC), Rachel McCann (North Down AC), Chris Kearns (Finn Valley AC), Alice Rodgers (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Johnson Bangora (Rosses AC), Zac Monaghan (North Down AC), Katie Kimber (North Down AC), Andrew Greer (Unattached) and Rachel Callery (Glaslough Harriers).
There were plenty more top quality performances on the day. Full results for the NI & Ulster Age Group Track & Field Championships are available HERE.
Note: Article compiled for use by Athletics NI.