A number of Irelands most promising up and coming athletes competed at the Aviva England Athletics U23 and U20 championships. The event incorporated the world junior trials for the British athletes so standards across the board were very high. The Irish athletes competing were not to be deterred and performed with distinction.
Ben Kiely (Ferrybank AC) claimed second position in the U20 400m hurdles final, his time of 53.31 was inside the world junior B standard. This is the second time that Kiely has run below the standard this season. Joanne Mills (Ballymena & Antrim AC), who has been pre selected for the upcoming World junior championships also finished second in the 400m. Mill’s clocked a time of 55.37 to finish just behind Kirsten Mcaslan (Sale Harriers Manchester) 54.11
Other athletes to make it onto the podium were Sarah Collins (Finn Valley AC) who placed third in the U20 3000m in a time of 9.42.37 and another third place finish came from Sorcha Murphy (Ferrybank AC) in the high jump when she cleared 1.67m.
Marcus Lawler (St. Lawrence O’Toole) finished sixth in the U20 100m in a time of 10.86. Lawler has had a very successful season so far becoming Irish youth record holder over both the 100m and 200m. In the women’s U23 100m, there were two Irish athletes competing. Catherine McManus (Celtic DCH) finished fifth in a time of 11.83 and Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank AC) was just behind in sixth place 11.97. The race was run into a headwind of (-1.9), so both athletes are likely to go significantly quicker as the season progresses. Whelan returned to the track the following day to claim a silver medal in the 200m in an encouraging time of 24.11