Belfast Telegraph

Athletics: Katie Kirk sets a new best to claim English title

By Brian Hill

Katie Kirk and Zoe Brown produced spectacular performances at the weekend to set personal bests ahead of this summer's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

In Bedford, 20-year-old QUB student Kirk took the England Athletics U23 title in a new PB of 2 mins 2.78 secs.

The Holywood runner refused to panic after England's Hannah Tarver covered the first 400 metres in a reckless 58 seconds. Kirk forged ahead with 50 metres remaining to win in a Championship Best Performance time.

In the U20 800 metres race, Newry's Aislinn Crossey finished fifth in 2.07.77.

Lisburn AC athlete Megan Marrs (16) snatched silver in the U20 100 metres hurdles in 14.10 secs, behind Derby's Yasmin Miller. The previous day in Dublin the Strathern schoolgirl took .024 secs off her 100 metres PB, setting a new Championship best time of 11.71 secs at the inter provincial School Championships.

In the National League in Athlone record pole vault breaker Zoe Brown added another eight cms to her three-week old record to set a new NI figure of 4.40 metres. This makes the 30-year-old a serious contender for a medal in Glasgow.

Meanwhile North Down's Ben Reynolds took bronze in his high hurdles event at the European Athletics Team Championships in Tallin, Estonia yesterday.

Top Irish hurdler Reynolds had to battle unsettled, rainy conditions when he was timed at 13.82 secs, behind winner Baji of Hungary (13.51 secs) and Douvalidis of Greece (13.56 secs).

There were a number of other solid performances by local competitors many of whom will be competing in the Commonwealth Games. Strabane's Anne Marie M'Glynn rose to the occasion to set another PB of 9.21.19 in the 3,000 metres where she battled her way to fourth place.

Newcastle's Kerry O'Flaherty finished fourth in the steeplechase in 9.53.18, just outside her recent NI record, while Amy Foster of Lisburn AC and QUB's Christine McMahon both had to settle for fifth in the 100 metres (11.59 secs) and 400 hurdles (59.24 secs) respectively.

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