Kate O'Connor wins Somerset Schools Combined Events Championships

Kate O'Connor of Newry AC made an impressive return from an injury lay-off
Malcolm McCausland

KATE O’Connor returned to competition with a flourish last weekend when she was the winner of the Somerset Schools Combined Events Championships in Street.

The Newry AC athlete had been out injured for several months but made a spectacular opening to the season with a score of 5360 for a comfortable victory.

That mark has only ever been surpassed by one UK athlete, Morgan Lake (5474), and is just reward for the many hours spent regaining fitness in all weathers at the Newry track.

Despite the cold and windy conditions in Somerset, Kate opened with a personal best 15.30s mark in the 100m hurdles into a 2.1mps wind. She followed this up with an equally good high jump (1.72m) and 4kg shot putt of 11.61m, before finishing off the first day with an outdoor personal best of 25.90 in the 200m.

The 16-year-old was unrelenting on the second day with 5.69 long jump and a 41.59 mark in the 600gms javelin.

While the opposition was fading, the St Vincent’s schoolgirl had enough left for a superb 2:22.94 in the final event, the 800m. Her score of 5360 points was a Northern Ireland record and currently the fourth best total for the event in the world to date this year.

Kate is coached by her father Michael, with assistance from Athletics NI’s Laura Kerr.

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