Friday 19 April 2019 05:46:07 PM

The East Down AC Notes
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The sunkissed surroundings of Antrim Forum on Saturday were in sharp contrast to the monsoon like conditions of a week ago and the warmth of the occasion put a smile on everyone’s face and a spring in the steps of competitors and spectators alike writes Joe Quinn.

Ideal conditions then for top class performances from all the athletes – and the East Down contingent didn’t disappoint in the second round of this Youth Development League.fixture. Though small in number the squad all combined to turn in a remarkable team performance.

Back, Chris Connor, Laura Gardiner, and Chloe Galloway, and front row, Eimear Conor , Emily Forte, Emma Smyth, Daniel Atkinson, and Laura Green.

EDAC junior runners: Back row, Chris Connor, Laura Gardiner, and Chloe Galloway, and front row, Eimear Conor , Emily Forte, Emma Smyth, Daniel Atkinson, and Laura Green.

Wins for Laura Gardiner and Aoife Cochrane with new PB’s in the Under-15 Girls 1500 metres , Eimear Connor in a dazzling 100 metres dash, Emma Smyth in a pulsating 200 metres race, victor by one hundredth of a second in 27.21 and Matthew McGrattan in the Under-13 Boys 800 metres were excellently supplemented by Emily Forte in the 100 metres and Long Jump, Laura Green in the 800 metres and 75 metres hurdles together with points collection sorties by several of the aforementioned into the Shot Putt and Discus arenas.

Apart from his exploits in the 2 lap race Matthew McGrattan completed his one man team effort with 5th in the 100 metres and 4th in the Javelin.  Not to be outdone Chloe Galloway performed a similar role in the Under-13 Girls category, thoroughly enjoying herself  and showing great versatility over 70 metres hurdles, 1200 metres 4.30, and Shot Putt.
All the while the 3 man Under-15 Boys team were working hard to continue the gathering of points with Daniel Atkinson, 200 metres, 1500 metres and Long Jump, Owen Edwards 300 metres, 1500 metres and Shot Putt and Chris O’Connor 800 metres, Long Jump and Shot Putt all working their socks off to gain the best possible placings in often unfamiliar events.
As the sun kept shining the long awaited relays came into view and the Under-15 Girls discussed their tactics for an assault on the 4 x 100 metres. With Eimear Connor opting for first leg duty, handing over to Emma Smyth and then to Emily Forte, anchor leg runner Laura Gardiner  had a narrow lead in 3rd place when the baton reached her, but she  increased the lead over 4th place and dramatically reduced the gap to second to secure the 3rd place points.
All in all a very successful day and one which has led to eager anticipation of the next round on 22 June.
Only two East Down runners made their way to Newry on Sunday  for the annual Half Marathon. Michael McKeown returned a time of 1.32 with James Magennis happy to finish in 1.40 given the hot conditions.
Next local event is the Loughinisland 5.05 Mile race on 26 June. `