Head of Boys Athletics: Mr S Johnston
Head of Girls Athletics: Mrs N Taggart
The Athletics Club at Ballymena Academy is open to all pupils in Year 8-14 and meets twice a week, Monday at School 3:30-4:30pm and Wednesday at the Antrim Forum 4:00-5:30pm, beginning at the start of the Spring term.
Everyone is welcome to experience the many different events using the school facilities and those at the Antrim Forum.
The NEBSSA and District competitions take place throughout the months of April and May. Due to the limited number of spaces in each event athletes are selected to compete in these. The Ulster and Irish Schools’ Finals take place throughout the months of May and June and participation in these events are based on medalling at the District events.
Athletics Annual Report 2017-18
On Thursday, 3rd May, Ballymena Academy competed in the NEBSSA Athletics Finals at the Antrim Forum against 31 other schools. Approximately 70 athletes, from Years 8 – 11, took part in a range of athletic events achieving some outstanding results and bringing home an array of medals. To add to this, Ballymena Academy won 9 trophies (the most ever, since the competition started):
- The U13 (Year 8) boys’ team finished 1st overall.
- The U14 (Year 9) girls’ team finished 2nd overall.
- The U14 (Year 9) boys’ team finished 1st overall.
- The U15 (Year 10) girls’ team finished 3rd overall.
- The U15 (Year 10) boys’ team finished 2nd overall.
- The U16 (Year 11) girls’ team finished 3rd overall.
- The U16 (Year 11) boys’ team finished 1st overall.
This meant that the girls were placed 2nd overall and the boys were placed 1st overall.
Congratulations to all of those athletes that took part with a special mention for Etain McGuckian (Year 9) who came 1st in the U14 Girls’ 100m and 200m with a time of 12.64 seconds and 26.12 seconds respectively, breaking both competition records in the process.
Also congratulations to Jonathan Cochrane (Year 11) who came first in the U16 boys’ Triple Jump with a jump of 12.88 metres.
District Athletics Championships
The District Athletics Championships took place at the Antrim Forum on Wednesday, 9th May, with 95 pupils taking part in a range of events from Hurdles to Relay and Triple Jump to Discus. A special mention should go to Jonathan Cochrane, James Wright, Craig Simpson, Matthew Corr, Adam Kirkpatrick, Etain McGuckian, Alice Rodgers and Rachel Brown who came first in their respective events.
A total of 29 individual athletes and 5 Relay Teams qualified for the Ulster Finals on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th May.
Ulster Schools’ Athletics Championships 2018
Record breaking days for the school on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th May which saw 29 individual athletes and 5 Relay Teams compete in the Ulster Schools’ Competition, achieving one of the best set of results in the school’s history.
• Matthew Corr – 1st in the Intermediate Boys’ High Jump
• James Wright – 1st in the Intermediate Boys’ Javelin
• Tori Hopkins – 1st in the Minor Girls’ 800m
• Etain McGuckian – 1st in the Minor Girls’ 100m
• Alice Rodgers – 1st in the Intermediate Girls’ 100m and 200m
• Jonathan Cochrane – 2nd in the Intermediate Boys’ Long Jump and 1st in the Triple Jump
• 1st in the Minor Girls’ Relay – Rachel Black, Elke Hamilton, Tory Hopkins, Etain McGuckian
• 1st in the Junior Boys’ Relay – Sam Booth, Christian Drennan, Jordan Millar, Lewis Wharry
• 1st in the Intermediate Boys’ Relay – Jonathan Cochrane, Adam Lamont, Callum McNeill, Craig Simpson, James Wright
• Jordan Millar – 2nd in the Junior Boys’ (Year 10) 200m
• Craig Simpson – 2nd in the Intermediate Boys’ (Years 11 and 12) 400m
• Joseph Mawhinney – 3rd in the Intermediate Boys’ Discus
• Adam Kirkpatrick – 3rd in the Senior Boys’ Discus
• Katie Agnew – 3rd in the Intermediate Girls’ 1500m
Overall the athletes collected a total of 16 medals
Gold medals – 10 Silver medals – 3 Bronze medals – 3
The Minor Girls’ Team was named as second overall in Ulster.
The Intermediate Boys were crowned overall champions in Ulster for their age group, winning the Ulster Schools’ Athletics Cup which, since it was first awarded in 1949, Ballymena Academy has only won once back in 1968 – 50 years ago!
Irish Schools’ Athletics Champions 2018
Saturday 2nd June marked the end of the school’s Athletics calendar with the All-Ireland Schools’ Track and Field Championships at Tullamore in County Offlay. 10 individual athletes and 3 Relay Teams qualified for the Irish Schools’ Athletics Championships at Tullamore Athletics Arena. The results from the day are as follows:
In the Minor Girls’ age group, Etain McGuckian (Year 9), came 3rd in the 100m with a time of 12.82sec.
Tori Hopkins came 9th in the 800m with a time of 2.31 minutes.
In the Intermediate Girls’ age group (Years 11and 12) Alice Rodgers (Year 11) came 3rd in the 100m with a time of 12.38 secs. and 4th in the 200m with a time of 25.75secs.
In the Junior Boys’ age group, Jordan Millar (Year 10), came 8th in the 200m with a time of 25.27 secs.
In the Intermediate Boys’ age group (Years 11 and 12) Jonathan Cochrane (Year 11) came 5th in the Triple Jump with a best jump of 12.46 metres. He continued this form by coming 9th in the Long Jump with a jump of 5.81 metres.
Joseph Mawhinney (Year 11) came 9th in the Intermediate Boys’ Discus with a throw of 26.88 metres and James Wright (Year 11) came 5th in the Javelin with a best throw of 45 metres. Craig Simpson (Year 12) came 8th in the 400 metres with a time of 54.72 secs.
Katie Agnew came 6th in the Intermediate Girls’ 1500m with a time of 4.57 minutes.
The Intermediate Boys’ Relay Team narrowly missed out on a medal by coming 4th with a time of 44.58 secs.
The Minor Girls’ Relay team performed exceptionally well, coming 2nd in Ireland with a time of 52.42 secs. This meant that the Minor Girls’ Athletics team was ranked 2nd overall on points throughout the day.
This was followed up with an impressive 1st place for the Junior Boys’ Relay Team, made up of Sam Booth, Christian Drennan, Lewis Wharry and Jordan Millar with a time of 47.09 secs. This was only the second time in the school’s history that the Junior Boys’ Relay Team had won this event – the previous occasion being in 1974.
The school’s overall medal tally consisted of:
Gold – 1 Silver – 1 Bronze – 2
Well done to all who took part and well done to Alice Rodgers, Katie Agnew, James Wright, Jonathan Cochrane, Joseph Mawhinney, Matthew Corr and Craig Simpson who were selected to represent Ulster at the Irish Schools’ Interprovincial Championships at Santry on Saturday 23rd June.