Academy girls get the golds as squad shines

Elizabeth Little.
Elizabeth Little.

Over 30 Banbridge Academy athletes competed over two separate days at the recent County Down District Athletics Championships held at the Mary Peters’ track in Belfast.

The undoubted stars of the show were gold medallists Elizabeth Little and Rebekah Nixon, claiming three golds between them.

Rebekah Nixon.

Rebekah Nixon.

Elizabeth repeated last year’s fantastic Ulster double when she won both the Minor girls 100m and the Long Jump. Both of these results were made all the more impressive as she set new school records in both events.

She ran a mightily impressive 13.01 seconds to win the 100m crown and jumped 4.70m to break a 31 year old school record and win the Long Jump.

Rebekah also impressed with an accomplished performance in the Intermediate girls 800m, setting a school record in this event for the Fifth Year running with a time of 2 minutes 26 seconds and winning comfortably into the bargain.

Tom Stannage sprinted to a silver medal in the Junior Boys 200m race and this was all the more impressive as he had already run his 100m race and claimed a bronze in it as well.

Suzy Neill jumped brilliantly in one of her first ever long jump competitions, the Mini Girls’, and claimed a well-earned silver medal. Robbie Mathers set a new PB in the Junior Boys discus to throw 30 metres and claim silver, agonisingly missing out on gold by just 20 cm.

Finally, Molly Mathers showed she is a star of the future with a brilliant bronze in the Mini Girls 100m and was unlucky to miss out on the medals in the Mini Girls Shot Putt finishing in fourth place.

Of course, these medallists were not the only Academy athletes competing and while there were too many to report on individually, two performances in particular stood out; Thomas McDowell ran to a superb fourth place in the Junior boys 800m race and Rose O’Neill jumped well in both the long Jump and the Triple Jump where she set a new school record of 8.18 metres.

Unfortunately another of the Academy’s star turns, Patrick McNiff, was unable to compete due to injury and his absence was felt as he would surely have featured at the front in both the 1500m and the 3000m.

All the above medallists will now go on to represent the Academy at next week’s Ulster Championships held at the Antrim Forum track.

If their performances at the Districts are anything to go by, they are sure to do well even at this elite level.