SPORTS AWARDS: Roseanna sprints to success for second year

Andrew Barr of Flamingo Fitness presents Roseanna McGuckian with the Junior Sportsperson award. INBT06-221AC

Andrew Barr of Flamingo Fitness presents Roseanna McGuckian with the Junior Sportsperson award. INBT06-221AC

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Sprinter Roseanna McGuckian ran off with the Junior Sportsperson award for the second successive year after another outstanding season on the track.

The Ballymena Academy pupil moved closer to her long-held ambition of running at a world-class level and becoming an Olympic athlete.

As well as winning the Irish under-18 60 metre title and the Ulster Schools’ intermediate 200m title but it wasn’t just among her age group that she excelled as the 17-year-old also won the Northern Ireland and Ulster Championship 200m senior title, where ‘senior’ is for athletes aged 20 and over.

Roseanna admitted her season was disrupted by injury but added: “Considering how much training I actually got, it was OK.”Her stellar performances both nationally and in the European trials in Azerbaijan saw her selected for the Irish team for the Youth Olympic Games in China.

“It was an amazing experience. We were in China for three-and-a-half weeks and even to be away from home for that length of time was a massive experience.

In the 200 metre heats, Roseanna missed out on a place in the ‘A’ final by 0.03 seconds against the fastest girls from countries all over the world, but went on to finish third in the ‘B’ final, making her eighth overall.

“I had no idea what to expect when I got out there. I wanted to get to the ‘A’ final but I ran a bit off my best but to come 11th in the world overall, I can’t really complain.”

As the curtain comes down on her school career this year, Roseanna is already taking the next step towards achieving her dream.

“I’m going to take a year out to see if I can do athletics professionally and see where it takes me,” she added.

Also short-listed: Hannah Thompson (equestrianism); Rhianna Campbell (hockey); Laura McGahey (archery).