The event, which focused on track and field events, saw impressive performances in a range of disciplines, including the Senior 400 metres, one mile middle distance and the 800 metre wheelchair race.
The evening was dominated by local athletes representing host club Lagan Valley AC and City of Lisburn AC, with athletes from both clubs cleaning up to take home an incredible 10 gold medals.
Kicking off proceedings was Sophie Stevenson who raced to victory in the U15 Girls 200 metres. The Lagan Valley AC athlete finished the race with a time of 27.70 seconds to claim gold. She was followed by Chloe Vernon and Annie Armstrong in second and third place respectively. Stevenson’s clubmate Madison Hanna ensured it was a club double, as she won gold in the same category, comfortably winning her race with a time of 27.89 seconds. She was joined on the podium by Faith Holden and Izzy Cousley. In the U11 Girls 60 metres, it was also double gold for City of Lisburn AC’s Isabella McBurney and Annabel McKeown, who finished their races in 9.91 seconds and 9.34 seconds respectively.
It was yet another gold for Lagan Valley AC’s Michael Boyera, who has been a fixture on the podium throughout the series. He completed the U17 Boys 200 metres in a time of 23.26 seconds to take gold, with Finn Cross in second place and Saul Thompson joining him in third place. Clubmate Erin McMahon also took home gold in the girl’s equivalent with a time of 26.41, pipping Laura Frey and Talia Corbett to the post.
In the Men’s 200 metres, it was gold for City of Lisburn AC’s Tommy McCay. In what proved to be a nail biting finish, he narrowly beat Eoghan Devlin into second place, finishing with a time of 25.61. Fellow City of Lisburn AC athlete Ajith Joy joined them in third place.
Away from the track, the golds kept on coming as the field events got underway. Freddie Wallace (City of Lisburn AC) finished comfortably ahead of the competition in the U13 Boys Shot Putt, throwing 7.63 metres, 1.5 metres ahead of second place competitor Rocco Steen and 2 metres ahead of Connor Geary who finished in third. In the Mixed Hammer Jude Glover (Lagan Valley AC) also bagged a gold medal for his 11.85 metre throw with the 3kg implement.
There was more success on the podium from City of Lisburn AC’s Fionn MCay who took home a silver medal for his efforts in the U13 Boys Mile race. Caolan McGarry of Willowfield Harriers was victorious, finishing in 05:19.70, with Conan O’Doherty coming in third to take bronze. There was another silver medal winning performance from Luke McCausland (City of Lisburn AC) in the U15 Boys Mile, he was beaten to the finish by Noah Watt and joined on the podium by Harry McKenzie in third place.
The series, organised by Lagan Valley Athletics Club, returns for the final event in the series which takes place on 1st September at Marys Peters Track.
Lagan Valley Athletics Club President, John Glover added: “What a return for the penultimate event in the Fab Five series. We saw some great sporting performances put in by athletes of all ages, with two record breaking performances on the night. Olivia McCusker of Loughview AC provided the best performance in the middle distance events, extending an almost 20 second lead against her competitors to take home a gold medal and third place in the British rankings.
“The best performance in the sprints however was that of Ballymena and Antrim’s Craig Newell. The former Northern Ireland Senior 400m champion produced a lifetime best of 21.58 seconds, the fastest by a Northern Ireland athlete this year.”
Since its debut in April 1991, the series has provided a platform for many local aspiring athletes who have gone on to represent Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain and NI at international level across a range of disciplines.
Online registration for the final event in the firmus energy Fab 5 Series is now open. For more information and to register for the event, visit www.athleticsni.org/Fixtures/Firmus-Fab-5-Meets