Academy athletes on Ulster podium

Elizabeth Little (right) takes her place on the podium with her silver medal in the 100m. Inset: Rebekah Nixon (right) with her 800m silver medal.
Elizabeth Little (right) takes her place on the podium with her silver medal in the 100m. Inset: Rebekah Nixon (right) with her 800m silver medal.

Three Banbridge Academy Athletes stole the plaudits last weekend at the Ulster Schools Athletic Championships held at the Antrim Forum track.

Elizabeth Little (Double Silver), Rebekah Nixon (Silver) and Robert Mathers (Bronze) were the best of the seven athletes from the Academy who had qualified for the Championships after their fantastic performances at the district heats.

Rebekah Nixon (right) with her silver medal.

Rebekah Nixon (right) with her silver medal.

Talented Elizabeth silvered in both the Minor Girls 100m and the Long Jump. Lizzy equalled her personal best with a stunning 4.70m jump in the long jump. She even led the competition for much of the day only to be agonisingly pipped by just three centimetres in one of her competitor’s last jumps.

Lizzy also ran an excellent 100m race in a time of 13.18 seconds to claim the silver there as well.

Meanwhile, Rebekah Nixon also claimed a hard-earned silver in the Inter Girls 800m. She went out hard and ran a 60 second first lap to start off in great style. She then managed to hold on at the last to claim her silver in a school record time of two minutes 24.58 seconds.

Making sure the boys were on the podium was Robert Mathers, who threw a 27.58 metres in the Junior Boys discus. That was enough to land himself a well-earned bronze medal.

Robert Mathers (left) was the third Academy athlete on the podium, his bronze medal coming in the discus event.

Robert Mathers (left) was the third Academy athlete on the podium, his bronze medal coming in the discus event.

These three athletes will now travel to Tullamore in Conty Offlay on Saturday (30th May) to compete in the Irish Schools Championships against the best athletes in Ireland.

If they can keep up their impressive performances, who knows what might lie in store.

Other notable displays at the Ulster Championships came from Suzy Neill, who jumped a personal best 4.17 in the Mini Girls Long Jump to finish a fine fifth place.

Thomas McIntosh was a late call up in the 800m and ran brilliantly to a personal best time of two minutes 19.39 seconds to finish eighth in the Junior Boys race.

Tom Stannage had a good day, qualifying for the finals in both the 100m and the 200m, where he placed sixth and fifth respectively in times of 12.29 seconds (12.28 in heat) and 25.50 seconds.

Mollie Mathers ran well to finish sixth in the Mini girls 100m in a time of 14.45 having previously qualified in her heat in 14.0, an excellent achievement for such a young athlete.

All-in-all, it was a good day for the Banbridge Academy athletes and with all but one of the local school’s qualifiers taking part in the younger age categories, the future looks bright for athletics in the Academy.