2015 - 2016
Friends’ pupils competed in the District Athletics Championships on Tuesday and Saturday, in unusually great weather conditions.
The following pupils finished in the top 6 gaining points for the school.
Rachel Follis, Matthew Walker, Peter Brown, Jude McMullan, Alex Topping, Matthew Cherry, Dawson Patterson plus the Mini Girls relay team
Zack Hall, Kate Erskine, Seren Mageean, Abby Tate, Aimee McConville, Joel Whitten plus the Minor Boys relay team
Sarah Sandford, Ethan Terris, Ellie Bamford, Jack Harte, Cara McEwen, Ben Greenhill, Sam Scorer, Aoife Doyle, Rachel Andrews, Sam Le Seelleur, Stuart Patterson, Hannah Wilson, Aaron Peden
Victoria Hunter, Shannon McCleery, Conor Taylor, Christopher Kane, Ruby McElhinney, Rachel Collins, Tyla Eley
The following pupils qualified for the Ulster finals on Saturday by finishing in the top 3.
Lara Kennedy 2nd in High Jump
Sasha Quinn 3rd in 100m & 800m
Aoife Doyle 1st in Discus
Ben Greenhill 2nd in Long Jump
Kate Boomer 3rd in Javelin
Matthew Thompson 3rd in 800m
Emma Greer 3rd in 1500m Steeplechase
Victoria Hunter 2nd in Discus
Rachel Barnes 1st in Shot
Joshua Armstrong 1st in Triple Jump and 100mHurdles
Bradley Mulholland 1st in 400mHurdles
Sarah Ferris 2nd in 800m
Holly Stewart 2nd in 200m
Kate Gourley 1st in 1500m & 2nd in 3000m
James Edgar 1st in 1500m & 5000m
Zoe Carruthers 1st in 800m
Mini Boys Relay – Joel Wilkinson, Alex Murphy, Alex Topping, Matthew Cherry finished 2nd
Minor Girls Relay - Imogen Erskine, Seren Mageenan, Abby Tate, Aimee McConville finished 2nd
Junior Girls Relay – Cathy Fox, Cara McEwen, Darcy Brittan-Dissont, Hannah Wilson finished 2nd
Junior Boys’ Relay – Sam Scorer, Stuart Patterson, Ben Greenhill, Samuel Le Seelleur finished 3rd
Mini Girls finished 2nd with 21 points
Mini Boys finished 2nd with 20 points
Minor Girls finished 4th with 14 points
Junior Girls finished 4th with 14 points
Junior Boys finished 4th with 42 points
Intermediate Girls finished 3rd with 58 points
Ulster Schools Championships
The following week Friends’ athletes competed in much better conditions than normal at the Ulster Schools Championships. On the Friday evening, James Edgar maintained his winning distance running streak when he won the Ulster Senior title in the 3000m with consummate ease. Josh Armstrong was in commanding form when he won the first of two gold medals which had eluded him for 5 years in the Intermediate 100m hurdles.
This was followed on Saturday with more impressive performances by Friends' pupils. Points are awarded to the top 8 in each event. The Friends' pupils who gained points were
Sasha Quinn finished 6th in Mini Girls 800m, Sasha had previously beaten the school record in the District Championships
Lara Kennedy finished 4th with a personal best performance in the Mini Girls High Jump
Mini Boys, Minor Girls and Junior Boys Relay teams qualified for the final
Mini Boys team finished 8th
Minor Girls and Junior Boys teams finished 6th
Aoife Doyle finished 6th in Junior Girls Discus
Holly Stewart finished 5th in Intermediate Girls 200m
Rachel Barnes finished 4th in Intermediate Girls Shot
Zoe Carruthers finished 4th in Senior Girls 800m after 7 years of competition
Emma Greer finished 8th in intermediate Girls 1500m steeplechase
Bradley Mulholland won Bronze in the Intermediate Boys 400m hurdles
Sarah Ferris won bronze in Intermediate Girls 800m
Kate Gourley won silver in Intermediate Girls 1500m
Josh Armstrong completed the set when he won the gold medal in the Intermediate Boys Triple Jump
James Edgar won gold in the 5000m and silver in Senior Boys 1500m
As a result of these performances James, Sarah, Joshua and Kate qualified for the Irish Schools Championships. This is a tremendous achievement for Friends' pupils and just reward for their commitment to athletics training all year round.
Irish Schools Championships
In hot and humid conditions all Friends' athletes performed magnificently at the Irish Schools Championships at Tullamore on Saturday.
Josh Armstrong set the scene early on. He was joint 1st with a PB going into the last round of jumps in the Intermediate Triple Jump competition, only to be beaten by 14 cm. A silver medal, his first Irish medal to add to his 2 Ulster golds.
Less than two hours later he finished 4th with another PB time in 100m Hurdles
Sarah Ferris was next in the track, in full sunshine, for the 800m. She took up the front running in the 1st lap, aware of the finishing speed of a few of the other athletes. This was a courageous move. However whilst not getting on the podium she finished 5th, a great improvement from last year.
Kate Gouley showed great strength in the 1500m to hold off a talented field to finish 2nd for an excellent silver medal.
James Edgar competed in an highly entertaining 5000m which had the whole crowd enthralled. He was forced to pull out of the 1500m because of the scheduling so this was his only chance of gold.
For 12 laps he sat on the shoulder of the Leinster winner. On the last bend he couldn't match the kick of his competitor and took silver. Immediately afterwards he revealed he had been spiked and had run most of the race, with his shoe half off.
This was the most successful performance by a group of Friends' athletes for some years.
Well done to all of the Friends' athletes who have worked hard during the long winter months to perform at such a high level when it mattered. The standard of competition at the championships is exceptional.
The season finished with yet another accolade, that of selection for Ulster in the Inter Provisional Championship. Josh Armstrong and Kate Gourley deservedly earned their Ulster vests competing in the Irish Interprovincial Athletics Championships. Bradley Mulholland was selected but was unable to compete.
At the Interpros Josh finished 2nd with a PB in the Triple Jump and 3rd in the 100mHurdles. This secured his selection for the Irish team to compete in the International Schools event in July and a place on the N.I. squad for the UK Schools Games. A marvelous season for Josh.
Recently Kate Gourley ran in the Ulster U17 won taking 8 seconds off her PB – down to 4:48.18. This is the fastest time for an U17 girl in Ulster this season, which also secures her place for the UK School Games. With such a successful season and having shown such dedication during the winter months Kate Gourley was awarded the Girls’ Club Member of the Year trophy.
Cross Country 2016
In recent years the Northern Ireland weather has severely tested the resolve of young Ulster cross country competitors but this year thankfully it wasn’t too bad. That’s because the ground at the usual venue, Ormeau Park, was sodden and dangerous. So after some delay a less challenging course was set up around the pitches at Ulster University, Jordanstown. Thankfully on this day the skies were blue and the ground in fairly good condition. 2016 saw Friends’ have one of their most successful performances for some years. In the team competition, the Mini Girls, Minor Girls and Mini Boys finished 4th and the Minor Boys 6th but as a result of their performances the following teams and individuals qualified for the Ulster Championships at Mallusk the following week.
The Junior Boys team ofAaron Peden, Oliver Kidd, Matthew Magee, Matthew Thompson, Jamie Howe and Andrew Elwood, Conor Irwin and David Faulknerfinished 3rd
The Intermediate Girls team ofKate Gourley who was 3rd, Sarah Ferris, Rachel Collins, Emma GreerandHolly Stewart finished 1st
Individually, Holly Winters, Darcy McGall, Abby Tate, Seren Mageean, Conal McKee,
Conor Irwin, David Faulkner also qualified.
James Edgar and Zoe Carruthers completed the School double at Senior level – both coming 1st – A very rare achievement
Weather conditions at the Ulsters could not have been in greater contrast, but really just to be expected. The Junior Boys and Intermediate Girls teams are to be congratulated on their performances in the wind and rain at Mallusk on that day. Commendable individual performances came from Holly Winters and Darcy McGall, in their first Championships, finishing 28th and 29th. Abby Tate finished 30th in the Minor Girls race, Rachel Collins was 24th and Sarah Ferris 32nd in the Intermediate race.
Despite their early season training being hampered by injury Kate Gourley and Zoe,Carruthers, both finished 8th in their respective races. James Edgar continued his fine run of performances with another 1st place in the Senior Boys. All three athletes had qualified for the Irish Championships.
Irish Schools Cross Country Championships
The 2016 Championships were held at Sligo Racecourse. The day celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the schools’ athletics organisation and former stars Sonia O’Sullivan and Catherina McKiernan were out cheering on the current generation.
In the senior girls race, Zoe came 13th while Kate finished 16th in the Intermediate Girl’s event.
The Senior Boys race was a closely contested and tough race, with James claiming the bronze medal.
For the 3rd consecutive year James was selected to represent N.I. in the London Mini Marathon . James finished a magnificent 3rd and starred on camera during the BBC coverage of the race… great smile James!