Banbridge Academy’s athletes performed well at the Irish Schools Athletics held at the Tullamore Track in County Offaly. The Irish Championships are the pinnacle of the Schools Athletics season and only the very best athletes in the country qualify to compete at these prestigious championships.
The Academy had three qualifying athletes; Rebekah Nixon, Patrick McNiff and Bethany Nixon. Rebekah ran a strong race in the Senior Girls 3000m to finish in a very impressive 5th position. Rebekah was Ulster Champion at both 1500m and 3000m but elected to only run the longer race as it would have been too much to run both distance races on the one day. His decision was justified as she ran brilliantly, taking some 14 seconds of her best from the Ulster championships, and was in the race throughout.
Patrick McNiff also ran well and finished 7th in the Senior Boys 5000m. Patrick has had a strong season both on the track and in cross country and in what was one of the strongest field of the day he gave his all and was very competitive.
Rebekah’s sister Bethany was selected by Ulster to run in the ‘Mile’ race. This is a race not often run anyway other than the Irish Championships but Bethany’s good performances at the Ulsters in the 1500m earned her a slot. She did not disappoint and ran very well to finish 8th. This is all the more impressive and this is an U16 (year 12) race and Bethany is only in year 10.
All three athletes deserve immense credit not only for their performances on the day but for the hard work and many, many hours of training that goes into being good enough to be able to compete at this elite level. Well done to all!