Commonwealth Games Standard For Harvey in Oordegem

Jason Harvey

Jason Harvey's track season seems to just get better by each passing day.

At the weekend's big international meeting in Oordegem, Belgium the Crusaders athlete smashed his own personal best time in the 400 metres hurdles event by no less than 0.38 secs to finish 3rd in a time of 50.27 secs. His time is well within the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games guideline standard of 50.50 secs.

This consolidates his 3rd place on the Irish All Time list and will no doubt help in his bid for Irish selection for the European Team Championships in Dublin in 3 weeks time. 
Jason's achievement is reflected by the fact that the only two hurdlers ahead of him were former world bronze medallist Lj Van Zyl of South Africa who won in 49.83 secs and top GB hurdler Richard Yates who was 2nd in 49.92 secs.
The Belgium venue is clearly a luckily omen for Harvey as he set his 400 metres flat PB here 2 years ago. His current form has been such that he also set new figures in that event recently of 47.15 secs in pouring rain in Letterkenny.
Harvey's success was not the only good news for local athletes in Belgium. City of Derry's Conor Bradley set an outdoor PB with a gritty 4th place in the 1,500 metres in a time of 3 mins 45.19 secs. Hot on his heals was Danny Mooney of Letterkenny who was 5th in 3.45.28 which was less than a second short of his PB set on this track a year ago.
Another classy Letterkenny athlete is 20 year old Mark English who recorded his 4th fastest ever time over 800 metres of 1.46.82 secs. The Irish National Indoor champion finished 2nd behind South Africa's Andre Oliver who won in an impressive 1.44.74.
In the Men's 400 metres Lagan Valley's Ben Maze set a new PB  of 48.55; training partner Curtis Woods continued his successful comeback with a 6th place in his race in a time of 48.67 secs-his fastest in 5 years. Quickest time in the event was Tallagh's Brian Gregan who beat GB's Andrew Steele in a fast 45.82 secs. Christine McMahon finished in fourth in 55.56 secs.
Other local performances included a 3.53.32 time for Ballymena's Gareth Hill over 1,500 metres which is less than a second outside the 34 year old's PB.  Paralympic champion Michael McKillop was timed at 4.11.38.

Newcastle's Kerry Harty had an unfortunate experience in the steeplechase where she was injured because of a loose water jump barrier. Despite her bruises she ran on to finish in 10.26.60.  The Men's event was subsequently cancelled. Results

There was success for local athletes at the BMC Grand Prix in Sportcity in Manchester. In the Men’s 5000m, Stephen Scullion took 3rd place, setting a new PB of 13.58.55. Annadale’s Eddie McGinley followed suit with a PB of 14.07.60. Results

In Geneva Ballymena's Dean Adams was timed at 10.94 secs for 3rd place in his 100 metres race; Liverpool Harrier’s Oliver Back seat a 100m SB of 10.90 secs. Results

In the Home Countries Throws competition in Bedford Finn Valley's Fellan McGuigan finished 2nd in his hammer event with a throw of 65.95 metres. Brother Dempsey was 6th in the heavier weight event with 61.44 metres. NI's Hayley Murray was 3rd in her hammer event with 57.04 metres. Results

In the All Ireland Schools Championships there were Ulster Intermediate victories for Patrick Robb of St Malachy's in the 1,500 metres (4.14.19) and Jack Magee of Ballyclare in the javelin (53.27 metres). In the Inter Boys Discus, Andrew Barkley of Belfast High School topped the podium with a best throw of 44.17m setting a new PB in the process.

In the Intermediate Girls there were wins for Roseanna McGuckian of Ballymena Academy in both the 200 and 300 metres. In the 200m Roseanna took first place in 24.54 secs, setting a new Irish Schools record, followed by gold in the 300 metres (39.40 secs).

Megan Marrs of Srathearn took first place in the 80 metres hurdles (11.68 secs); Hannah McAuley of NWI in the triple jump (11.37 metres); BRA's Emma Kelso won the Senior Pole Vault (2.90 metres.). In the Senior Girls 800m, Aislinn Crossey of Sacred Heart Grammar took silver and set a new PB of 2.07.87. Results