Commonwealth Games hopefuls forced to play patient waiting game

North Down's Ben Reynolds
North Down's Ben Reynolds

Commonwealth Games hopefuls and brilliant young emerging starlets shared the limelight in a rain-soaked Northern Ireland and Ulster Track and Field Championships at the Mary Peters Track.

There were smooth victories for the supreme Ben Reynolds with 13.83 in the 110 hurdles and Jason Harvey clocked 51.72 in the 400 hurdles where he was chased down the straight by Southern visitor Paul Byrne.

Katie Kirk dropped down to the 400 and ran 55.88 as she just lost out to Sinead Denny of DCH. Christine McMahon withdrew before the start of the semi-final.

Jason Smyth won the 100 metres comfortably from former champion Oliver Back of Liverpool but was unable to get the fast time he was chasing due to the torrential conditions. He ran 10.86 in the semi and 10.87 in the final.

Amy Foster clocked 24.32 in the semi-final of the 200 but did not contest the final. Roseanna McGuckian blasted round to win from Joanna Mills. Her time of 24.38 was a World Junior B Standard.

Another schools’ champion Megan Marrs just lost out to Catherine McManus of DCH in the 100 but her clocking of 11.95 was a Northern Ireland Junior record beating Amy Foster’s time from 2005. She later struck gold in the 100 hurdles.

Curtis Woods won the 200, Adam McCombe retained his 400 crown with a personal best of 48.14 ahead of North Down team mate Andrew Mellon who ran 48.38. Mark Hoey at 800 and defending champion Daniel Mooney 1500 came first with the Ladies’ races going to Erin McIlveen and Clodagh O’Reilly, who also won at 3000.

Eddie McGinley took control of the 5000 with five laps remaining and went on to win from Scott Rankin and Declan Reed with former Junior champion Joanne Mills taking the Ladies.

The Ladies’ 400 hurdles was good with holder Mandy Gault defending gallantly but just losing out to Jessie Barr from Ferrybank. Twins Eilish and Roisin Flanagan dominated the Steeplechase.

The conditions meant that the high jump and pole vault were not held on safety grounds but David Tobin from Trim took the long jump from Alan McMullan who then struck gold in the triple.

Robert Moffett produced a World B Standard of 63.06 in the hammer, Josh McIlroy and Matthew O’Reilly led the shot with Chris Reynolds and Andrew Barkley doing the same at discus.

Daniel Mullan, Sean McBride and Damien Crawford gave Strabane a clean sweep in the javelin with Jack Magee taking the U18s.

Hannah McAuley triple jumped 11.38, Hayley Murray retained her hammer crown with 55.73 with Sarah Connolly 5.35, Lydia Mills 5.34 and Naomi Morgan 5.30 going well at long jump.

It is now waiting time for the Commonwealth hopefuls.

The names of the recommended athletes expected to be 12 with have been sent to the full Games Committee who will meet on Monday with the team announced on Tuesday.