NI & Ulster Senior Track & Field Championships (inc Under 18 & Under 20 Age Groups) 2017:
Hundreds of athletes descended on the home of athletics in Northern Ireland, the Mary Peters Track in Belfast, for the NI & Ulster Senior Track & Field Championships, which also incorporated the Under 18 and Under 20 age group Championships (Saturday 10th June 2017).
The stars delivered as expected, with Leon Reid (Menepians AC / James Hillier), Emma Mitchell (QUB AC / Eamonn Christie), Ben Reynolds (North Down AC / Tom Reynolds), Ciara Mageean (UCD AC / Jerry Kiernan), Adam McMullan (Crusaders AC / Alan Kennedy), Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley AC / Niall Wilkinson) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC / David Reid) all securing gold – but that wasn’t the only highlight. There was a new Northern Ireland Hammer record from Hayley Murray (Rugby & Northampton AC / Christopher Murray), a new Under 18 400m record for Davicia Patterson (Beechmount Harriers / Paul Magee) and a new Under 18 Pole Vault record for Ellen McCartney (City of Lisburn AC / James Alexander). There was also a European Under 23 qualifying standard for the in-form Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Ian Neely).
Numerous other strong performances not only added to an excellent day of competition, but proved that local athletics is in a very good place going forward; the exceptional support from the gathered spectators re-enforced this.
Hayley Murray claimed gold in the Hammer (4kg) competition with a new Northern Ireland record of 59.49m, while youngster Davicia Patterson produced a performance beyond her years to take 2nd place overall in the ladies 400m – the Beechmount Harriers star recorded a new Under 18 record of 54.50; Catherine McManus (Dublin City Harriers AC) won in a new personal best of 54.36.
In the Pole Vault, Ellen McCartney impressed with a 3.70m effort – this was a new Under 18 record and enough to see Ellen claim silver overall and gold in her age group competition. Following on from his massive 400m personal best of 47.87 in Belgium last week, Craig Newell bettered that with a new personal best of 47:31 to secure the NI & Ulster title in impressive fashion; his time was also a European Under 23 qualifying standard. Shane Irwin of Finn Valley AC took the Under 20 gold with an excellent 48.43.
In a closely contested 100m final, Leon Reid sprinted to victory in 10.59 (-1.1), finishing ahead of Derry Track Club’s Jason Smyth (2nd place – 10.76) and North Down AC’s Aaron Sexton (3rd place – 10.76). The England based athlete then added the 200m title to his CV with a 21.12 (-1.8) for 1st place.
City of Lisburn AC’s Under 18 competitor Lauren Roy won the ladies 100m outright in 12.40 (-1.9), then went on to win the Under 18 200m in 26.59 (-1.1) – club mate and NI record holder over the same distance, Amy Foster, claimed the senior 200m title in a comfortable 24.13.
Ben Reynolds powered to victory in the 110m hurdles, breaking the beam in 13.99 (-0.3), while Mollie Courtney (Cheltenham AC) edged a close ladies 100m hurdles final. Molly crossed the line in 13.61, just seeing off City of Lisburn AC’s Megan Marrs (2nd place – 13.68) and Dublin City Harriers AC’s Catherine McManus (3rd place – 13.87).
In the ladies 1500m, NI 5,000m and 10,000m record holder Emma Mitchell burst clear of the field on the bell to win in 4:24.18, while in the men’s equivalent, Letterkenny AC’s Danny Mooney ran out victorious in 3:44.40.
Alan McGinley (Strabane Lifford AC) led the age group athletes home in 4:12.62 and then went on to claim 3rd place overall in the 800m in 1:58.93; this saw Alan win his age category gold.
Less than 48 hours after achieving Commonwealth Games and IAAF World Championships qualifying standards, multiple NI record holder Ciara Mageean toed the line in the 800m event – despite the best efforts of the field, the Portaferry woman sealed a comfortable win in 2:07.49. Finn Valley AC’s Mark Hoy won the men’s 800m in 1:57.80.
Crusaders AC man Jason Harvey jumped well to win the 400m hurdles in 51.42, while Letterkenny AC’s Ciaran Doherty was a convincing winner in the 3,000m Steeplechase; he completed the distance in 9:39.28. In the 5,000m event, City of Lisburn AC’s Under 20 athlete James Edgar followed on from his recent All Ireland Schools success with a strong performance to claim gold in 14:54.81. QUB AC’s Sinead Sweeney topped the ladies podium with a 17:39.91 clocking.
Multi-event star Kate O’Connor (St Gerard’s AC) picked up gold with a 41.06m Javelin throw and then went on to clock 25.52 (5th place) in the 200m final and 14.95 (5th place) in the 100m hurdles final.
In the field, Sommer Lecky looked a class act in the High Jump as she breezed over 1.70m to take top honours. Adam McMullan looked just as dominant in the Long Jump, leaping to victory with a 7.64m effort. Leevale AC’s Sam Healy (2nd place – 7.61m) and City of Lisburn AC’s Ben Fisher (3rd place – 7.40m) pushed Adam well – Ben was rewarded with Under 20 gold. Under 20 athlete Lydia Mills (Ballymena & Antrim AC) won the ladies Long Jump overall with a 5.63m jump.
Finn Valley AC pair John Kelly and James Kelly were also in good form, with John winning the 7.25kg Shot Putt competition having thrown 16.11m and James taking gold in the 5kg competition with a 17.98m throw.
Marco Pons (DMP AC) launched the 2kg Discuss 50.31m to achieve gold, while Unattached athlete Matthew McCullough won the 1.5kg Discuss event with a 33.55m throw. Sarah McKeever (Sale Harriers) won the Pole Vault with a 3.90m vault, while Jack Magee (Ballymena & Antrim AC) topped the podium in the Javelin event with a 60.28m throw.
Jack Agnew (Torque Racing) celebrated victory in the Wheelchair 200m (29.18) and the Under 19 1500m (4:07.06). Patrick Monaghan (Unattached) won the 1500m event in 3:20.26.
Earlier in the day, there were some notable performances in the junior age group races. Conall Browne (Unattached) won the 3,000m in 9.33.92, while Joseph Haynes (Armagh AC) won an epic battle with Dylan McBride (Willowfield Harriers), to win the Under 15 1500m in 4:29.29. Under 14 athlete Victoria Lightbody (City of Lisburn AC) again showed her potential with a 4:55.37 effort to win the Under 14 1500m comfortably.
Full results from the NI & Ulster Senior / Under 18 and Under 20 Track & Field Championships can be found HERE.
A link to the live streaming of the event can be found HERE.
Note: Article compiled for use by Athletics Northern Ireland.