Thursday 6th April saw the opening evening of the Northern Ireland 2023 track & field season with the start of the Lagan Valley AC Fab5 series at the Mary Peters’ track in Belfast.
In the 800m races from under-15 upwards, there was a bunch of PBs for North Down AC athletes in still but chilly conditions. In the U15 boys 800m race 2, Alex Downey paced his first 200m well to ease his way up to the leaders by the bell and finish a strong 2nd in a new PB of 2:19.41. Holly Blease held close to the leading four for the whole of her U15 girls 800m race2 to place 5th in a PB time of 2:35.23. In the U17 boys 800m, Chris Belshaw got caught up in the congested start of 13 athletes before moving up well to take a whopping 13 seconds off his PB with 2:15.18 in 8th .
In the mixed U17 girls and senior women’s 800m, Becka Laffin made a bold move to take the lead at the bell before coming home in 5th in a respectable 2:29.78. In the same race, Ellie Dines made her 800m debut in 2:51.19, whilst multi-eventer Anna Moran took her 800m PB down to 2:54.68.
In the under 13 girls 100 metres Nyla Hughes came 4th in her heat in 15.72, whilst Coco Smith came 3rd in her heat in 16.35. In the U13 boys 100 metres, Sebastian Mair came 7th in his heat in 16.32. In the U15 girls 100 metres Ruby Sterritt was 3rd in her heat in 13.79. In the U17 girls 100 metres Anna Moran was 3rd in her heat in 14.17 whilst in the U17 boys 100 metres Conor Adair finished 1st in his heat in 11.84 and Curtis Hughes was 4th in the same heat in 12.46. In the senior men’s race Jamie Moffatt kept up his great form by finishing 2nd overall in 11.12.
In the U11 girls 600 metres Jody Thompson was 6th in her heat in 2.25. Then in the U13 girls 800 metres, Coco Smith finished 4th in her heat in a time of 2.55. In the U13 boys’ 800 metres it was another fine run by Cater Rolston who was 3rd in his heat and 3rd overall in a time of 2.31. Also taking part in this event was Sebastian Mair who finished 1st in his heat in 2.36.
The action wasn’t confined to the track; in the U11 girls’ turbo javelin, Jody Thomson threw 3.79m to finish 17th . In the U13 boys long jump, Sebastian Mair (taking part in his 3rd event of the evening) jumped 2.71m to finish 10th. Meanwhile in the U15 boys javelin, James Blease threw 11.79m to finish 5th . His sister Holly took part in the under 15 girls’ long jump, finishing 7th with a distance of 3.55m. Another athlete who took part in three events was Anna Moran who finally got her reward in the under 17 girls’ shot putt, by winning the event with a throw of 7.79m (3kg). Kurtis McDonagh also took part in the shot putt coming 3rd in the senior men with a throw of 7.19m (7.26kg).
In the Men’s 800m race1, Ethan Isles went through the bell in 4th in around 60s and caught up the leading three with 200m to go. Ethan had to wait until the final 100m for some passing space and came so close to winning in an exciting finish, eventually settling for 2nd in a new PB of 2:03.24. In the same race, Chris Moran made his (long awaited!) 800m debut placing 6th in 2:08.97. In the men’s 800m race 2, Coach Francis Marsh recorded 2:20.56 in the last race of the night, just before 10pm!
[photo – Anna MoranU17 shot putt
photo – Carter Rolston U13 800m]