Ballymena and Antrim Athletics Club hosted their annual dinner and prize presentation night at the Ramble Inn recently.
Guest of Honour was club member Christine McMahon who competed in the 400m hurdles at the Commonwealth games in Glasgow and the European Championships in Zurich.
The evening started with the Juvenile presentation, with the overall sports performer in each primary age group receiving an award.
The club had up to 164 primary school pupils in attendance every Tuesday evening at the Antrim forum track which commenced in April and continued until the end of August.
Overall athlete in each primary age group:
P1 Girl: Erin May Mitchell, P1 Boy: Rio McKee
P2 Girl: Lauren McCullough,
P2 Boys: Canice McIntosh & George Thomas
P3 Girl: Lysiane Dillan,
P3 Boys: Paidin Mitchell & Edward Thomas
P4 Girl: Rebecca Reid, P4 Boy: Tom Neill
P5 girl: Rachel Steele & Tory Hopkins
P5 Boy: Freddy Young
P6 Girl: Kyra Kelly,
P6 Boys: Seanie McIntosh & Tyrone McKee
U12 Girl: Erin McMahon
U12 Boy: Jonathan Cochrane
This was then followed by the main cup and trophy awards:
Best U16 Girl: Emma Hutchinson, Best U16 Boy: Jonathan Cochrane
Most improved female: Lauren Roy, Most improved male: Stephen McCorry
Best cross country performer female: Emma Hutchinson, Best cross country performer male: Sam Ross
Best indoor performance female: Christine McMahon, Best Indoor performance male: Caleb Moore and the U19 relay team
Best junior sprinter: Craig Newell, Best Senior sprinter Jonathan Browning
Best horizontal jumps athlete: Lydia Mills, Best vertical jumps athlete Claire Wilkinson
Best Hurdler: Charlotte Braithwaite
Best throws athlete male: Robert Moffet, Best throws athlete female: Hannah Allen
Best middle distance athlete: Emma Hutchinson
Best masters athlete: John Totten
Best multi event female: Mia Coffey, Best multi event male: Daniel McCullough
Service to club male: Paul Strange, Service to the club female: Pauline Thom
Captains cup: Jack Lewis
Most outstanding female performance: Christine McMahon
Most outstanding male performance: Robert Moffet
President of the club Mr John Stewart completed the evening with a question and answering session with Christine McMahon. This gave the younger athletes a great insight into what is required to become one of the best in your sport and also in Christine’s case, succeed academically as well. Christine is currently studying to become a dentist
REVIEW OF 2014
The Athletics calendar started as usual with the Cross-country and Road races.
As is the norm now, Jarlath Falls won the New Year’s Day race over the Glens for the eighth time.
Matt Wray was once again selected for N. Ireland to compete in the masters Home Nations cross country championships, where the team won a bronze medal.
The U 13 boys team: Isaac McCollum, Sam Ross and Gavin McCafferty won the Belfast international cross country championships.
The club also had a number of representatives who qualified for the Irish schools cross country championships: Rachel Brown, Emma Hutchinson, Lauren Strange and Sam Ross. A special mention to Emma Hutchinson who carried her form from the cross country season to the outdoors, winning the Irish school 1500m title
The Indoors this year saw the Irish Championships once again held at the fabulous new IT International Arena in Athlone.
Claire Wilkinson vaulted well to finish 2nd in the Pole Vault, Joanna Mills was 3rd in the 200m and Jonathan Browning ran very well to make the final of the 60m.
In the Under 23 Champs Christine McMahon won the 400m. Not to be outdone Bob Douglas and Philip McKinney won medals in the Masters Champs (Bob being crowned 60m champion). Seamus Agnew just missed out on a medal in the 200m
The Outdoor season started with the University Championships. Claire Wilkinson retained her Irish Title with a fine vault, while Robert Moffett started his university career well, also being crowned champion in the Hammer. Jonathan Browning won a bronze in the 100m.
Both Robert & Jonathan represented Ireland at the Celtic Universities Match later in the Summer where they both performed very well.
Across the water at the British University Championships, Christine McMahon carried her fine indoor form to the outdoors, finishing second in the 400m hurdles
The Northern Ireland Senior Championships combined the under 23/ 20 age groups. Competing against the more senior athletes we had some great performances by the “younger” athletes.
We had “Senior” medal winners in – Lydia Mills (2nd Long Jump & triple Jump), Hannah Allen (2nd Hammer) and Joanna Mills (2nd 200m) while just missing out were Gareth Hill (5th 800m), Jonathan Browning (4th 100m).
The most notable performance was from Gareth Moffet winning the Hammer. Although not winning a “senior” medal the following won medals in their age groups – Jack Magee (javelin), Robert Moffett (hammer), Connor Lunnun (Long Jump), Craig Newall (400m & 200m) and Anna Lawther (400m)
The Irish National Championships in July saw Christine McMahon crowned Irish Champion in the 400m Hurdles while Claire Wilkinson took a bronze in the Pole Vault.
A special mention must go to Jonathan Browning, who was the fastest qualifier for the 100m Final, however a false start meant we’ll never know if we would have had another Champion that day! A time of 10.75 is great running though!
An “extra” event this year was the Belfast International Games. Several BAAC athletes were asked to compete and they all performed brilliantly against international athletes who were heading for the Commonwealth Games.
Claire Wilkinson finished 2nd in the Pole Vault while Christine McMahon & Jonathan Browning both finished 3rd in their races. Robert Moffett won the U20 Hammer and Jack Magee won the U18 Javelin
Once again the club had great success in the Masters/ Veterans track championships.
At the Irish champs John Totten just missed out on a medal finishing 4th in the 200m, while at the N. Irish Champs Frank McCrystal won the Javelin (2nd Discus), John Totten won the 200m (2nd 100m/400m) and Julian Kennedy won the Shot Putt.
The Senior Irish rankings for 2014 shows six of club athletes ranked in the top 10 for their preferred event – Christine McMahon tops the 400mH rankings – the others who also feature are Claire Wilkinson, Robert Moffett, Lydia Mills, Jack Magee and Jonathan Browning. This is some achievement – all looks good for the future of the club.