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Watch: How Ulster star Aaron Sexton became fastest teenager in Europe ahead of double title bid

 

Aaron Sexton
Aaron Sexton

By Brian Hill

Sprint star Aaron Sexton should have little difficulty in securing a 100m and 200m double in tomorrow's NI and Ulster Senior Championships at the Mary Peters Track.

The 18-year-old, who is heading for a career with Ulster Rugby next season, is fresh off the back of his stunning displays in last weekend's Irish Schools Championships in Tullamore.

Sexton, expected to exit the athletics stage altogether when he joins the Ulster Academy ahead of the coming campaign, won both of the short-distance races to add to his Ulster Schools' crowns.

In the 100m, he took full advantage of a favourable wind to destroy the field in a personal best of 10.43 seconds.

Aaron's best performance, however, came in the 200 metres where his victory margin of over a second in an eye-catching 20.69 seconds - a time that is not only a new NI Junior record but also leads the current European Under-20 list.

Watch his record-breaking runs here:

Those times make Sexton a major medal contender for July's European Championships in Sweden. He has experience at the top level as a semi-finalist in last year's World Juniors.

Before casting his eyes abroad, however, he will be intent on making it a clean sweep of six from six tomorrow afternoon at Upper Malone in an event that also incorporates the Under-18 to Under-20 Age Group Championships.

Sexton should easily defend his 100m title, which he won last year by a hair's breadth from multi Paralympic champion Jason Smith.

Sexton's main opposition this time round will be Ballymena's Dean Adams, whose best time this season is almost half a second slower.

The large entry this weekend includes two members of the Kirk family - dad Mark is a former NI 800m record holder.

Son Conall will be defending his title over that distance and ran under 1min 49secs indoors earlier in the year. The opposition includes Willowfield's Andrew Wright.

Kirk is also entered in the 1,500m, which is an event where he recently ran a personal best of under 3mins 51secs. The opposition here includes former Commonwealth Games athletes Danny Mooney of Letterkenny and Derry Track Club's Adam Kirk-Smith.

Conall's sister Katie is making a welcome return to 800m competition after a number of injury disrupted years. The Ulster University athlete, who was a semi-finalist in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, showed signs of her old form with a recent 2mins 9secs time in Manchester.

World Junior high jump silver medallist Sommer Lecky of Finn Valley will be making her outdoors debut this season following her 1.86m indoors jump earlier this year.

Multiple previous winners Kerry O'Flaherty of Newcastle and Lisburn's Kelly Neely are likely to strike gold again in the 5,000m and 1,500m respectively. Lisburn's Lauren Roy will be aiming to defend her 100m title.

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