ATHLETICS: Northern Ireland Masters tops bill at Mary Peters Track

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The Mary Peters Track will be the mecca for athletics on Saturday as the Northern Ireland Masters hold their championships with top performances expected up and down the age scale.

Former internationals Paul McKee and Roger Sexton can strike gold in the sprints with Keith Shiels, Declan Reed and Nigel McKibbin expected to go well along with 800 runner Mark Wright.

Natasha Adams can score in the 3000 with Helen Stockdale and Denise Toner also fancied.

In the field Bosco Reid from Finn Valley can take a treble in the M50 group with Strabane’s Damien Crawford likely to win the M45 javelin.

The action opens at 11am with the hammer and high jump while the 100 metres starts the track at 12.15pm.

Meanwhile, the 10th and last round of the Pure Running, ‘ChampionChip’ Ireland Series is being held today at Silent Valley in the Mournes when Born 2 Run promote the Dam Busters Half Marathon and 10K.

Don Travers from Newry, a winner over 10 miles on this course last year could be the one to watch along with Richard Coey, Edward Hanna and Nigel Grier, while Mark McKinstry can hold on to his 10K crown.

In the Ladies tri-athlon star Jolene Mellon from North East Runners can win from Amanda Perry.

Catherine Roberts and Janice White while ultra specialist Gillian Cordner is another possible.

The half marathon starts at 11am at Silent Valley Mountain Park with the 10K run and walk going at 12 noon.

A strong Ulster team of 14 athletes are competing in the England Athletics U17 and U15 Championships in Bedford this weekend.

Megan Marrs from City of Lisburn can take a medal in the U17 100 after tremendous season with schools triumphs at both sprints and hurdles.

Two more Lisburn athletes can also medal. Ulster schools champion and record breaker Andrew Barkley is ranked third in the U17 discus with 53.65 while another age group winner Ben Fisher is also third in the U17 long jump at 6.94.

There can be rostrum finishes for U15 Finn Valley pair James Kelly at shot and Aaron McGlynn at 800.

Patricia O’Hagan should be the star of the second Lurgan Park 10K and 5K meeting at Lurgan Park on Sunday.

The Les Jones winner can take the honours ahead of Lagan Valley pair Suzanne Higgins and Julie Murphy. Entries will be taken at the park with the action starting at 11.30am.

Also tomorrow the final of the Youth Development League for boys and girls at U13, U15 and U17 levels is being held at the Mary Peters Track starting at 10am.