National Cross Country Championships
It was an historic day for Galway in Santry on Sunday last at the National Even Age Juveniles and Senior Cross Country championships with individual and team medals, and international selections all achieved. Held in perfect conditions on a superb course, the crowds in attendance were treated to some top-class racing across the ten-race programme.
Craughwell AC Juvenile Boys U14 team took pride of place at Juvenile level as they claimed individual, and club team golds, and Connacht interprovincial silver medals at the All-Ireland Championships
Declan O Connell won the U14 National championship for Craughwell with an imperious display, covering the 3km course in 9.54. Clubmates Steven Joyce in 10th overall and Stephen Ruane in 11th place and Keelan Moorhead in 71st, all ran great races secure first place for the club, under the guidance of coach Ronnie Warde.
Galway also won County gold at U14 level via the squad of O Connell, Joyce, Ruane, Luke Walsh and Liam Bailey of South Galway AC, and Odhran O Hare of Tuam AC, with Connacht also taking silver medals at regional level
Earlier, Galway’s U12 Boys got the county off to a flying start, as the talented Alan Hallinan of Craughwell AC won bronze, with Alan Corcoran of Castlegar AC having a stormer to place fifth. These performances helped the Galway County team to silver medals, with Brendan McGuane of South Galway, Eanna McGrath of Tuam, Oisin O Donovan of Craughwell and Ryan Scully of Clare River Harriers the scorers.
Galway athletes also secured further Connacht team medals in the Girls events, as Tuam U12 Girls Eimear Fallon and Rachel Treacy claimed Connacht medals as third province in that event, while Eva Ruane of Ballinasloe and District had a great run-in 17th overall in the U16 Girls to help Connacht to a team bronze at regional level
At Senior level, the race was one of the best in years, with European Cross Country selection the prize on offer. The races did not disappoint with Olympian Michelle Finn of Leevale and Hiko Tonosa of DSD claiming the Women’s and Men’s crowns respectively with commanding performances at the front of affairs.
Thomas McStay of Galway City Harriers delivered on his great potential once again, placing a superb 8th overall in the hotly contested Men’s race, and gaining an Irish cap at U23 level for next month’s European Cross-Country championships in the process, and also securing bronze at Under 23 Level.
McStays GCH team mates Aaron Brennan – in 31st-) & David Carter in 95th were also inside the Top 100 Seniors, while David Bohan & Conor Byrne were not far behind in 125th and 163rd overall
Craughwells Jamie Fallon ran a strong race for 32nd overall with clubmate William Fitzgerald impressing in 46th, while Abbas Edris Adam ran well into 76th overall for Castlegar AC
Aine O’Farrell of GCH showed great form in the stacked Senior Women’s race to place 86th as the sole Galway representative.
Irish Schools Multi Events
Galway had a number of athletes competing at the National finals of the Secondary Schools Combined Events which were held in Athlone on Saturday
Craughwell AC fielded six athletes over the various age categories. In the Minor Grade, Sean Hoade took 5th place in the boys’ event with a fine score of 2522 points. Ella Farrelly and Emma O’Donovan competed well finishing in 6th and 9th places respectively in the Girls event
In the Intermediate Grade, Jade Moorhead was in incredible form on the taking 6th place overall with points total of 2995, while Leonore Church added an impressive 230 points to her Connacht total to accumulate 2418 points across the 5 events, taking 11th place overall. Not to be outdone, Evan Hallinan was also in tremendous form in the Intermediate Boys events with personal bests s in four of the five events points score of 3063 and 6th place overall.
Liam Shaw of Athenry AC placed 9th overall in the Intermediate Boys event, while Matthieu Madden of GCH completed three of the five events before he had to withdraw.
The Galway County Road 10km championships takes place this weekend in conjunction with the Ballinderreen 10k hosted by South Galway AC.
The event starts at 12.30pm Sunday 28th November next with Race HQ at the Community centre in the town. Entries are available online and on the day from 10 am