Friends’ provides every opportunity for all pupils to participate in athletics. The Club runs two days a week after school on Monday and Wednesday, and on a Saturday Morning. We avail of the excellent facilities at Thiepval in addition to those at school. Competitions with other school like Grosvenor Grammar, Methody, Dromore HS, Wallace and Ballyclare HS are held on Saturdays and during games when possible. It is a vibrant club where all pupils can work at their favoured events in an effort to improve personal best performances.

Athletics Report 2019

At the beginning of every season the athletics report normally begins with news of the Ulster Schools Combined Event. Unfortunately, Abby Tate, who in the past had performed so well in this event did not return in time due to an ongoing injury. However, she later gained a well-deserved place on Ulster University’s Speed-Power Academy, one of only 12 places open to 15- 21 year-old athletes across Northern Ireland. This is an exceptional achievement for her.

District Championships

Friends’ pupils competed in the District Championships on Tuesday and Saturday, in the usual 2nd week in May. 28 athletes finish 4th, 5th and 6th place gaining valuable points for the school.

Mini Boys and Girls (Y8)

Alfie Shawe, Ava Mehaffey, Tom Archbold, Josh Mulholland, Derbla O’Donoghue


Minor Girls (Y9)


Madison Sanderman, Omar Akhonzada, Elsa McGall, Anna Warwick,


Junior Boys and Girls (Y10)


Clare Neeson, Toby Curran, Sophie Kidd, Rebecca Elliott, Tom Rowlatt-McCormick


Intermediate Boys and Girls (Y11&12)


Cara Bradley, Alex Murphy, Phoebe Cotton, Peter Brown, Emile Geneviere, Rebecca Irwin, Lara Kennedy, Matthew Cherry, Aimee McConville, Holly Winters and the girls relay team


Senior Boys (Y13&14)

Kyle Gormley, Jack Harte, David Martelli, Sam Scorer

The following athletes qualified for Ulster Championships finals as a result of finishing in the top 3


Mini Boys

Joel Barron                           2nd in Shot

Tom Archbold                      3rd in 100m

Harry Scott                           2nd in 800m


Mini Girls

Ava Mehaffey                     2nd in 800m

Jessica Butler                        3rd in Shot

Sophie Shanley                    1st in High Jump with a new PB

Both of the Relays teams also won medals

Boys team finished 3rd – Tom Archbold, Harry Moore, Harry Scott and Nicholas Cheung

Girls Team finished 2nd – Sarah Black, Derbhla O’Donoghue, Ava Mehaffey and Jenny Waring


Minor Boys

Luke McKenzie                   1st in 100m

Minor Girls

Daisy Donnelly                    3rd in Long Jump

Charlotte Snape                   2nd in Long Jump with a new PB

Sophie Reid                          2nd in High Jump

Grace Fleming                      3rd in Shot

Katie McCleery                   1st in 800m with a new PB and extending her new school record

Not to be outdone both of the Minor Relays teams also won medals

Boys team finished 2nd – Luke McKenzie, Joel Barron, Ben Martin and Kacper Kedziora

Girls team finished 2nd – Daisy Donnelly, Elsa McGall, Charlotte Snape and Isabella Connor


Junior Boys

Patrick Moore                      3rd in High Jump


Junior Girls

Annabelle Millen                 3rd in Discus

Jodi Morrison                       1st in both Shot & Discus

Katie Annett                         1st in 100m


Intermediate Boys

Michael Collim                    3rd in High Jump


Intermediate Girls

Abby Tate                             1st in Long Jump with a new PB and 2nd in 300mHurdles

Mia Furey                             1st in Javelin

Sarah Kelly                           1st in 200m

Sarah Kilpatrick                   3rd in 800m

Hannah Cochrane                 2nd in 300m and 3rd in 1500m


Senior Boys

Sam Le Seelleur                   2nd in Javelin

Kyle Gormley                       3rd in Javelin

Justin Baines                        2nd in High Jump

Ethan Terris                          3rd in Long Jump

David Faulkner                    3rd in 100m


Senior Girls

Cara McEwen                      1st in 100m and 2nd in Javelin

Aoife Doyle                          2nd in Discus

The Mini Girls had a particularly successful competition on Tuesday winning the Team title with 26 points, the Minor Girls 2nd with 37 points, the Junior Girls 3rd with 40 points, the Intermediate Girls 4th with 52 points and lastly the Senior Girls joint 3rd with 19 points

The Mini Boys team finished 3rd with 20 points, the Minor Boys 3rd with 23 points and the Senior Boys joint 3rd with 34 points


Ulster School Championships

The following week Friends’ athletes competed in the Ulster Schools Championships.

Friends’ fortunes were mixed. However, Ava Mehaffey and Harry Scott both won silver in their Mini 800m events and Luke McKenzie was impressive in the 2nd place run in the Minor Boys 100m.

As a result of his 2nd place finish Luke McKenzie is Friends’ only representative at the Irish Championships in Tullamore, which is a tremendous achievement.

Other commendable performances with top 8 finishes were

Mini Boys Relay team finished 4th

Ethan Ferris finished 6th in Senior Boys High Jump

Mini Girls Relay team finished 8th

Katie McCleery finished 6th in minor Girls 800m

Daisy Donnelly finished 6th in Minor Girls Long Jump

Sophie Reid finished 4th in Minor Girls High Jump

Minor Relay team finished 5th

Katie Annett finished 4th in Junior 100m

Jodi Morrison finished 7th in Junior Shot

Annabelle Millen finished 6th Junior Discus

Hannah Cochrane finished 8th in Intermediate 300m

Abby Tate finished 4th in 300m Hurdles and 6th in Long Jump

Mia Furey finished in 5th in Intermediate Javelin

The Minor Girls team finished 3rd in Ulster with 15pts.

As a result of their performances in 300m Hurdles and Javelin, Abby Tate and Mia Furey were selected as reserves for the Ulster Inter Provincial squad.


Irish School Championships

The competition on a national level in Ireland is exceptional. Luke finished 8th but can take great pride in his performance and hopefully has got a taste for this level of athletic competition.


Ulster Mini Team Championships

The Mini Girls and Boys Mini teams, as a result of their District performances in 1st and 3rd place qualified for the Mini Ulster Team Championships. 17 schools took part. Harry Scott convincingly won the 800m and Ava Mehaffey was 2nd in her 800m race. The girls relay team finished 5th.

For dedication to practise throughout the year, her performances at District and Ulster level and competing for Ulster in the Inter Provincials Championships, Abby Tate was awarded the trophy for the Club Member of the Year.

This concluded the end to a very successful athletics season. Talent is most definitely evident in the junior school, and with continued commitment the future is bright.


Cross Country Report 2019

Congratulations must go to all the athletes who competed in the District and Ulster Cross Country Championships, which started off in the usual venue of Ormeau Park in February. Results from the District were as follows.

In the Boys Team Competitions

The Minor and Junior boys both finished finished 5th and the Intermediate Boys 6th

The Mini Boys: Harry Scott, Gethin Mageean, Jack Mulholland, Tom Archbold, Rory Simpson, Alfie Shaw, Harry Barbour and Luke Benson finish 3rd in bronze medal position and have qualified for the Ulster Championships.

Individual qualifiers were

Joel Barron who finished 10th in Minor Boys

Stephen Lyster and Edward Walls who finished 11th and 14th in Junior Boys and Jack Netherton and Joshua Lindsay who finished 6th and 11th in Senior Boys events

In the Girls Team competitions

The Mini Girls: Ava Mehaffey, Fay Hatwell, Emma Smyth, Keira Fitches, Derbla O’Donoghue and Charis Faulkner finished 2nd in silver medal position and the Minor Girls: Katie McCleery, Ella Latuske, Charlotte Snape Anna White, Anna Warwick and Kate Callaghan followed their winning success last year winning gold. Both qualify for the Ulster Championships’.

Individual Qualifiers were

Sarah Kelly who finished 9th in the Intermediate Girls event

Sophie Kidd and Sophia Hortiguela-Conn who finished 10th and 15th

The outstanding individual successes were

Minor Girls were Katie McCleery 1st and Ella Latuske 2nd and in Mini Girls with

Ava Mehaffey also 1st

Ulster Finals

In more pleasant conditions than previous years the Friends’ qualifiers to the Ulster Finals at Mallusk.

In the Mini Boys race Harry Scott was the first Friends’ runner to finish with the team finishing a creditable 12th.

In the Minor Boys Joel Barron was 47th out of 122 athletes, in the Junior Boys Stephen Lyster was 54th out 127 athletes and in the Senior race Jack Netherton was 29th out of 64 competitors.

In the girls’ competition Ava Mehaffey repeated her excellent form by winning the Ulster title to add to the districts in the Mini Girls race. The Mini Girls team finished 6th overall.

However, it was the Minor Girls who followed up on their team success last year by winning the team gold. Katie McCleery was crowned Ulster champion and Ella Latuske made it two athletes inside the top 10 with her 7th place finish and the others finishing 37th, 39th, 43rd and 62nd. With the first 3 finishes to count Friends’ had a total of 45 pipping rivals Loreto College, Omagh by 21 points

This win for the Minor Girls team meant they had qualified for the All Ireland School Cross Country Championships at Clongowes Wood. Co. Kildare. With much excitement the girls and parents made the trip down in early March. There were high hopes of a top team finish. However, it was not to be. Two of the team struggled with their breathing and a mix up at the finish resulted in Katie McCleery, who all felt finished 11th, was not recorded. Ella Latuske was placed 20th and the team 7th with 151 points. Still a marvellous achievement.

L Rodgers


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