Odyssey NI & Ulster age group champs day 1

Sun 20 February 2011--admin

Saturday saw the much anticipated Indoor championships in the Odyssey finally arrive! Supporters of City of Lisburn AC will certainly feel it was worth the wait after a string of exciting performances and PBs which made all those winter training sessions at the Mary Peters Track worthwhile (why does it seem to start raining EVERY Monday and Thursday at 5.30pm?).

The equivalent weekend last year yielded 7 individual plus 1 relay medal for Lisburn. That total is set to be smashed this year after 11 individual and 2 relay medals on the first day, with hopefully more to come tomorrow. This shows great progress by this section of the club.

The star amongst the Lisburn boys was undoubtedly Ben Fisher who took home a haul of 3 individual medals. This included a gold in the long jump where he nailed a big 4.61m in the first round to claim the title and go within 1cm of his outdoor best. He later took an unexpected bronze in the hurdles plus a silver in the 60m to complete his set despite having to run the sprint final just moments after his relay leg.

The U14 boys relay team of Ben, Nikolai Koplewski, Ben Sterritt and Zach Jordan ran bravely only to be denied a silver due to an unfortunate disqualification after a changeover infringement. There was however a Lisburn silver medal in the 1997 boys shot from Jamie McCann who extended his PB by over 30 cms to 10.78m. Not far behind was Josh Jordan who had never thrown over 9 metres in competition previously but threw a great 9.68m today for 6th. Finally from the boys, Jonathan Whan was 6th in the 800m in 2:25.
The Lisburn girls excelled themselves as usual with a load of PBs and medals. Roseanna McGuckian stood out in the 1997 age-group with golds in the 60m in a flying 8.15s PB plus gold again in the long jump with a great 4.87m jump.  Talented all-rounder Katie Larmour took a deserved bronze in the long jump with 4.10m and just missed out on a place in the 60m final.

In the same age-group Caitlin Rose had a great day, pushing her high jump PB from 1.35m to 1.43m to take silver, plus she won a surprise silver in the shot. Natalja Ritchie produced a huge 8.23m final round effort to extend her 2010 PB by half a metre. Natalja was most unfortunate to miss out on a podium place as on another day this performance could easily have secured a medal. In the same competition Kirsten Evans threw an indoor best of 7.31m for 6th place.

In the 1998 girls shot competition Annie Alexander led the way for Lisburn, throwing over 7 metres for the first time for 4th place (7.30m). Sarah Woods improved massively from the previous week at UUJ with 6.80m for 6th. Lauren Rea was unfortunate to fall foul of some very strict officiating early on, only to see a solid final round effort fall just outside the sector.
Jane Anderson’s U15 60m hurdles victory was one of the best track performances of the first day, her 9.47s demolishing her PB which means she’s taken half a second off her indoor best already this season. Anna McIlmoyle ran well for silver in the U16 hurdles with 9.44s (PB).
In the U14 800m Madison Bowyer, Niamh Madden, Harriet Matchett and Natalie Fair placed 9th to 12th in that order out of a very large field with Zoe Carruthers a good fifth out of another field of over 20 athletes in the U15 800m. Jessica McMaster was just 1cm outside the medals in a very tight U14 long jump competition with a 4.26m indoor PB.

The finale on the first day was a pair of relay silvers from the 1996 and 1997 girls. For the 1996 squad, Aoibhin, Jane, Jessica Robinson and Erin were only one second away from gold while the 1997 squad of Natalja, Jessica McMaster, Roseanne and Katie ran brilliantly to also finish just over one second away from first place.

Overall a very good day for Lisburn with fingers crossed for more medals in day 2!