Ballymena & Antrim Athletic Club athletes continued their preparations for the new season with some impressive indoor performances recently.
The Meadowbank Arena in Magherafelt was the setting for the NI and Ulster Age Group Indoor Championships over the weekend of February 6-7.
This is an important meeting for the young athletes as it acts as the qualifier for the All Ireland Championships in Athlone.
In a barnstorming performance by the young athletes from the Ballymena and Antrim Club they came away with no less than 37 individual medals, 8 relay medals and 13 individual champions.
While leading in a relay race young Reece McMurray had a track shoe come off down the back straight, tumbled over but managed to get back up immediately with the baton in his hand and finish in second place, minus one shoe and with a broken wrist!
Many other athletes competed with various coughs, colds, bugs and sneezes but each and every one gave every ounce of energy they had and are to be commended for their dedication.
Well done to all and now to look forward to the All Ireland Championships in Athlone in March.
Ulster titles won by Ballymena & Antrim members included: Michael McAuley - U18 Boys 60m & 200m sprints (St. Louis); Lauren Roy - U17 Girls 60m & 200m sprints (Slemish College); Reece McMurray - U16 Boys 60m & 200m sprints (Sperrin Integrated College); Caleb Moore - U14 Boys Long Jump (Dalriada); Sasha Lawther - U19 Girls 200m & 400m; Lydia Mills - U19 Girls Long Jump, Triple Jump and 60m; Ronan Campbell - U15 Boys Shot Putt.
Other notable performances included: Natalie Cahoon - 2nd U18 Girls 60m, 3rd U18 200m; Chris Doherty - 2nd U18 Boys 60m, 2nd U18 Long Jump, 2nd U18 200m; Adam Neilly - 2nd U17 Boys 60m, 2nd U17 200m; Luke Pollock - 3rd U16 Boys 60m; Ronan Campbell - 2nd U15 Boys 60m; Jonathan Cochrane - 3rd U15 Boys 60m, 3rd U15 Long Jump; James Wright - 2nd U14 Boys 60m, 3rd U14 Long Jump; Caleb Moore - 3rd U14 Boys Long Jump; Joshua Courtney - 3rd U16 Boys Long Jump, 3rd U16 800m, 3rd U16 High Jump; Katie McCullough - 3rd U14 Girls Shot Putt; Mathew Corr - 2nd U16 Boys High Jump; Gavin McCaffrey - 3rd U16 Boys 1500m; Lauren Strange - 3rd U18 Girls 1500m; Ryan Thom - 2nd U12 Boys Long Jump; Caitlan Law - 2nd U12 Girls 600m; Eimear Johnston - U13 Girls 600m
GLOHEALTH IRISH INDOOR GAMES
While the Juniors were at Magherafelt, down in Athlone some Seniors were also putting in great performances.
Johnny Browning, Dean Adams & Johnny Carleton ran superbly in the 60m, Craig Newall had another fine run in the 200m, Christine McMahon looked strong in winning the 400m and it was great to see Claire Wilkinson back in Pole Vault action.
In cross country young Ballymena Academy student Katie Agnew came 2nd in the Ulster cross country championships while Eimear Johnston recorded a very creditable 5th place in the Ulster Primary Schools Cross Country Championships.
It’s shaping up to be another exciting year at BAAC with many talented athletes again pushing the boundaries for themselves and the club. Well done to everyone for their efforts so far!