NewsTrack and Field

Athletics NI Team Trophy, MPT Belfast 07/05/23

For the first time in several years, North Down fielded a men’s team in the Team Trophy event that took place at a sun-drenched Mary Peters track, on Sunday 7th May. 

 Jamie Moffatt continued his recent good form and got the day off to the best possible start, scoring the maximum 9pts in the 100m, however, he was pushed all the way by training partner, Toby Thompson of Ballymena & Antrim, but dipped at the line to take victory by the narrowest of margins, equalling his PB of 10.91s, in the process. Cameron McCracken earned a further point by finishing 4th in heat 2 and 8th overall in a time of 11.99s

 In the 800m, Ethan Isles earned a further 6pts and was just outside his PB with 2:04.51 when finishing 3rd, while Chris Belshaw ran a PB to finish 7th (2pts) in 2:13.35.

 Conor Adair is only just returning from injury and was lucky to make the start line at all, following illness earlier in the week, so did extremely well to just miss out on a PB and finish 2nd in his 400m heat in 53.89s (6pts). Daniel Constable equalled his PB of 54.80s in the other 400m heat to finish 5th overall (4pts).

 Oliver Playfair may have been one of the youngest to toe the line in the 3000m but he didn’t let that, or the hot, sunny conditions, get to him and performed admirably in his first 3000m on the track, finishing 7th in the race with a time of 9:49.27 and 4th in the Team Trophy to earn another valuable 6pts.

 Curtis Hughes & Ryan Hamilton finished 4th & 5th in heat 2 of the 200m with times of 25.03s (PB) & 25.33s, respectively

 Ethan Isles and Daniel Dines may be more used to cross-country and mountain running but made a rare outing on the track over 1500m and were both rewarded with PBs. Ethan ran 4:15.15 to finish 3rd (6pts) while Daniel finished in 6th place and improved his PB by 8sec to 4:27.13 (3pts).

 Daniel Constable increased his PB in the long jump by 20cm to 5.86m for 3rd place (6pts), which was followed by another 3rd place in the triple jump with 11.48m while Andrew Brown took 7th place (2pts) in the triple jump with a best effort of 10.74m.

 Cameron McCracken wasn’t even sure whether to take part in the high jump, due to a hand injury, but was glad he did as he was rewarded with another PB with a best clearance of 1.60m for 6th (4pts).

It was tough going for some of the U17s & U20s in the throws events, as all implements were using senior weights, however, that didn’t stop them scoring more valuable point for the team.

Charlie Lawden took an excellent victory and another maximum 9pts in the javelin (800g), adding 4m to his PB with a throw of 51.94m, while Andrew Brown, who is still relatively new to the event and throwing the 800g implement for the first time, finished 7th overall but 4th in the Team event with a best effort of 34.45 (5pts).

Jack Law had only had a handful of shot putt coaching sessions before jumping straight in at the deep end with the senior weight of 7.26kg but earned another valuable 5pts by throwing 7.71m to finish 9th overall but 4th in the team event.

As usual, the day ended with the relays in which the 4x100m team of Cameron McCracken, Ryan Hamilton, Daniel Constable & Curtis Hughes placed 3rd in 46.35s (6pts) and the 4x400m team of Conor Adair, Andrew Brown, Ethan Isles & Daniel Constable finished 6th (3pts) in 3:52.65. 

City of Derry Spartans & Omagh Harriers were well clear in first and second with 140pts & 129pts respectively, however, despite comprising largely of U17s & U20s, North Down finished a very creditable 3rd in the men’s event with 94pts.

Also competing in the open events, Eve Dann was unlucky to stumble and fall as she approached the finish line in her 100m heat but still managed to cross in a reasonable time of 14.95s. Morgan Wilson won the javelin (600g), improving her PB by almost 3m with a throw of 26.59m and in her first shot putt (4kg) competition for a couple of years threw 5.89m to finish 10th. Curtis Hughes ran 12.40s to finish 5th in the open 100m race open race while Jack Russell took almost 13sec off his 1500m PB to finish 11th in a time of 4:20.64.

[photo: Jamie Moffatt 100m, Athletics NI Team Trophy]