The first round of the NI Youth League, where NDAC competes with six other clubs from
Northern Ireland, took place on Saturday 29th April at the Antrim Forum. Having this competition so
close to the District Schools track and field event meant some athletes were bound to be
tired, but all that competed for the club put in great performances.
The day got underway with the u17 boys’ 1500m. Oliver Playfair, still annoyed with a
mistake that meant he could not compete in the schools’ competition, had a solid run to
finish 4 th in the A race in a time of 4.32.73. Next up was the u15 girls’ 1500m, where Oliver’s
sister, Erin, worked hard to finish 3rd in 5.55.60. Two runners who had not already competed
the previous week then took part in the u13 boys’ 1500m, working their way steadily
through the field to claim two great positions. Carter Rolston was 2nd in the A race in
5.16.86, while Sebastian Mair was 1st in the B race in 5.19.46. The track races then moved on
to the hurdles, where the club only had one competitor. This was the highly versatile
Cameron McCracken, who won the u17 boys’ 110m hurdles in 15.21.
Next up was the u15 boys’ 300m, where Bailey Duncan was willing to take one for the team
and compete against older boys in an unfamiliar event. He still managed to finish 4 th in
52.18. Sebastian Mair also competed over an unfamiliar distance in the u13 boys’ 200m, he
gradually caught most of the runners, who had stormed out of the blocks, to finish 2nd in the
A race in 32.19. In the u13 girls’ 150m, Nyla Hughes was 3rd in the A race in 22.70, whilst
Rachel Chacko won the B race in 22.87. In the u17 girls’ 200m, two very busy athletes took
part in one of what was to be four events. Anna Moran was 3rd in the A race in 29.85, while
Hannah Lawden was 3rd in the B race in 31.74. Finally in the u17 boys’ 400m, Daniel
Constable was 4th in the A race in 56.45.
The track action then moved up to the 800m. In the u17 girls, Becka Laffin was heading for
3rd place, when the week’s exertions caught up with her and she had to settle for a
creditable 4th in 2.29.53. Also running was Ellie Dines, who finished 3rd in the B race in
2.52.53. Next up were the u15 boys, where Ethan Constable and Bailey Duncan were 4 th in
the A and B race respectively. Ethan finished in 2.32.71, and Bailey’s time is not yet
available. Finally in the under 13 girls, Coco Smith was 4 th in the A race in 2.56.43, whilst
Caitlyn Dickenson won the B race in 3.02.86.
The last individual track event of the day was the 100m. In the u15 girls, Ruby Sterrett was
3 rd in the A race in 13.94, while Abbie Irwin was 2 nd in the B race in 14.55. Whilst in the u17
boys, another very busy athlete, Cameron McCracken, was 2 nd in the A race in 11.96 and
Ryan Hamilton won the B race in 12.19. Under 17 athlete Curtis Hughes decided to enter the
senior men’s event and finished a creditable 4th in 12.30.
There was also plenty of field action despite three of the throws events having to be
cancelled due to a lack of officials. In the u17 girls’ long jump Anna Moran was 2nd in the A
competition with a jump of 4.57m, while Hannah Lawden was 1st in the B competition with a
jump of 4.10m. In the u15 girls’ long jump Eva Cupitt was 3rd in the A competition with a
jump of 4.10m, whilst Sophie MacFarlane was 2nd in the B competition with a jump of 3.80m.
Finally in the u13 girls’ long jump, Nyla Hughes was 2nd with a PB of 3.47m, whilst Coco Smith
won the B event with a jump of 3.24m. In the u15 girls’ shot putt another of the club’s very
versatile athletes, Caoimhe Fenlon, was 2nd in the A competition with a throw of 7.42m. In
the u17 girls’ event Hannah Lawden and Anna Moran won the A and B competition
respectively , with throws of 7.62m and 7.30m. In the u15 boys’ high jump, Ethan Constable
was the only competitor with a legal jump and thus finished 1st overall with a jump of 1.2m.
In the u17 boys’ event, the wins kept coming for Cameron McCracken who was also 1st
overall with a jump of 1.55m. Ethan’s brother Daniel competed in the u17 boys’ triple jump
and won the A competition with a jump of 11.65m.
The competition finished with the 4 x 100 relay races. The u13 girls’ team of Rachel Chacko,
Caitlyn Dickenson, Nyla Hughes and Coco Smith were 3rd . The u15 girls’ team of Eva Cupitt,
Abbie Irwin, Sophie MacFarlane and Ruby Sterrett went one better by finishing 2nd . Then in
the u17 races, the girls’ team of Caoimhe Fenlon (moving up an age category), Becka Laffin,
Hannah Lawden and Anna Moran were 3rd , whilst the boys’ team of Daniel Constable, Ryan
Hamilton, Curtis Hughes and Cameron McCracken were 2nd .
[photo, Curtis Hughes, Cameron McCracken, Ryan Hamilton, Daniel Constable]
[photo: Sebastian Mair, Carter Rolston]