Antrim to host NI track and field athletics championships
THE NI & Ulster Senior Track and Field Championships will return to Antrim once again next week.
The event takes place on bank holiday Monday 4th June in the Antrim Stadium and will be part of a momentous week for Northern Ireland as the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay arrives the previous day to tour the Province.
On hand to help launch the event was 400m runner John Houston from local club Ballymena & Antrim and discus thrower Beth Wilson from North Down AC.
Houston recently set a personal best at the Olympic stadium in the 400m when competing in the British University Championships with a time of 49.04 and will be hoping to take the senior title on June 4th.
Wilson was a recent gold medal winner at the Irish Schools in the Shot with a throw of 9.33m and also took silver in the discus (37.23m). She is likely to compete in the AAA Championships later in the summer. At her school districts she threw 39.55m in the discus which ranks her joint 4th in the U20 UK rankings.
Mayor of Antrim, Councillor Paul Michael said: “We are delighted that Athletics Northern Ireland has chosen Antrim Stadium as the venue for this prestigious event.
“There is no doubt that an event this size will contribute significantly to the Borough. With visitors travelling from across the north and south of Ireland, this is an excellent opportunity to showcase the top class facilities, many visitor attractions and beautiful scenery that Antrim has to offer.
“Antrim Borough Council is proud to support this event and wish Athletics Northern Ireland and all the competitors every success.”
The North’s best athletes will be competing including Portaferry’s Ciara Mageean. The 1500m star will compete in a 1000m race in Morocco this week and then will have little difficulty in defending her 1500m title.
Letterkenny AC’s Daniel Mooney has had a blistering start to 2012 improving his 1500m PB to 3:44.83 and will race over 800m at the Championships. Hot on his tails should be Michael McKillop (St. Malachy’s) who opened his season recently with a 1500m personal best of 3.52.19. McKillop recently set a World Record in the same event of 3:59.54 at the Visa London Disability Athletics Challenge in the Olympic Stadium.
City of Derry’s Conor Bradley set a seasons best of 3:47.80 at the BMC Grand Prix and will be hoping to take the 1500m title after being just pipped on the line last year by Danny Mooney of Letterkenny AC. Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn) should take the 800m title to add to her title won recently at the AAI Games.
There should be an interesting battle in the 200m between Joanna Mills (Ballymena & Antrim) and Hannah Lewis (North Down) as both athletes have shown good form this season. In the absence of Amy Foster, Mills also looks likely to take the 100m title while Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim) looks favourite for the 400m and 400m hurdle titles.
Declan Reed (City of Derry) and Conor Magill (North Belfast Harriers) should battle it out over the 5000m as will Claire Wilkinson (Ballymena & Antrim) and Zoe Brown (Raheny) in the Pole Vault.
Other title contenders include Alan Kennedy (long & triple jump), Hannah Lewis (long jump), Gareth Moffitt (hammer), Damien Crawford (javelin) and Mary Devlin (triple jump).
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Weather for Antrim
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 12 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: West