Amy Oster spearheads strong Northern Ireland challenge in Sheffield

Amy Foster
Amy Foster

Amy Foster leads a strong Northern Ireland squad competing in the Sainsburys British Athletics Indoor Championships at Sheffield on Saturday and Sunday.

The City of Lisburn athlete competes over 60m after winning at that distance in Athlone last week. She clocked her fastest ever seasonal opener with 7.40 and will no doubt have her sights on Commonwealth and European selection later in the year.

Nineteen-year-old Leon Reid, who has recently declared for Northern Ireland, goes in the 200m. He took silver in the European juniors last summer after running 20.62.

Inter-Counties cross country champion Paul Pollock is in action over 3000m along with Conor Bradley while Danny Mooney and Gareth Hill will run at 1500m.

Katie Kirk will hope to follow up her best of 2:06.32 for 800 set in Athlone. Erin McIlveen and Mark Patterson also go at that distance.

Zoe Brown will be trying to match last year’s bronze medal in the pole vault.

Meanwhile, the cross country action on Saturday is at Necarne Estate in Irvinestown, where Enniskillen Running Club in association with Fermanagh District Council promote the penultimate round of the Athletics Northern Ireland League.

Stephen Duncan from Omagh and Declan Reed from City of Derry will be frontrunners in the men’s race along with Scott Rankin of Foyle Valley and home pair Conan McGaughey and Stephen Prentice. City of Derry lead the league standings.

Northern Ireland and Ulster champion Eimear Mullan spearheads the Springwell team who will be hoping to maintain their team lead over City of Derry.

Michelle Sturm of Omagh - the Ulster intermediate champion - will challenge along with clubmate Julie Butler, Karen Alexander of Sperrin, Danielle Fegan of Armagh and Denise Toner from Clones.

The meeting opens at 12 noon with U14 and U16 boys and girls races. The senior ladies event is at 1pm with the men at 1.45pm.

Almost 1000 athletes will be in action on Saturday and Sunday at the Meadowbank Arena, Magherafelt, for the Northern Ireland and Ulster Age Group Indoor Championship.

Registration is from 9am with competition on both days starting at 10am.