Logistics for tomorrow's cross country are at:
Best of luck to all of our athletes who are travelling :-
- U12 boys team
- U14 girls: Rachael Hughes on the county team
- U16 boys: Brian Loughnane on the Connacht team
- U18 girls: Ciara Greene on the Connacht team
- U18 boys: Jamie Fallon and Damien O'Boyle on the Connacht team
- U20 Men: Neil Greaney and Paul Joyce
- Senior Men: Ollie Mullins and Rob Hogan on the county team
The races get underway at 11.30am with the u12 girls followed by the u12 boys 11.43. Full timetable and course map is at:-
Congratulations to our leading athlete Cathriona Farrell who has been selected as the Galway Bay FM Athletics Sportstar of the year following her incredible performances in the high jump this year where she broke the Irish Universities Indoor Track & Field record with a leap of 1.81m and won numerous National titles throughout the summer.
Cathriona is also in the running for the Young Sportstar of the Year Award.
Please support her by texting YOUNG 3 to 53133. For more details, check out
After years of dreaming, the dream is finally becoming a reality. For this Tuesday at 7.30pm we are going to officially start using our new 8-acre field adjacent to the school. We are going to do a low-key ‘switching on the lights’ ceremony at that time and will be trying to get all training groups there at the same time this Tuesday to be part of that. We’d like to invite all of our athletes, parents and coaches to this on Tuesday and we will adjust training times for this Tuesday only to have everyone there together.
Age group coordinators will be in touch with their groups to arrange with them to come at different times this Tuesday - U8s and U9s groups should park in the school as normal and just on this occasion, older groups should park in the GAA who have kindly given permission to use their carpark this Tuesday.
So what have we done?
- During September, we bought an 8-acre site next to the school – mostly funded by loans.
- We’ve put a pedestrian gate in from the school.
- We’ve put up 15 floodlights on 5 poles.
- We’ve fenced it off to keep out animals and keep in kids!
- We’ve done some work on the adjoining roadway as a condition of our planning permission.
- We’ve marked out some running loops on the land.
And what are we going to do?
Craughwell AC U15 Boys Cross Country Team
Silver Medallists at the Connacht Championships in Westport
L-R: Oisin Lyons, Gavin Forde, Conor Lee, William Fitzgerald, Luke Finn
It was back to good old-fashioned cross-country at Westport House today for day 2 of the Connacht Cross Country Championships. While a run in the park at Westport House may have sounded easy, they never told us about the hills! It made the challenging Loughrea course seem flat! Well done to Mayo and Westport AC on hosting a terrific event!
Our U11s were first into action in the 1500m race. Caoimhe Connolly was our leading runner and despite a fall on the slippery Himalayan slopes on lap 2, Caoimhe had a fine run to place 10th and lead the Craughwell AC team to team silver with 66 points. Caoimhe was followed closely by Emily Miskella in 14th and Saoirse Moore in 16th (battling bravely despite carrying an injury). Rebekah Flynn had a strong run to come in next in 26th place with U10 trio Aoibhe Carr, Jade Moorhead and Katie Scully next in 31st, 33rd and 41st place.
Craughwell U11 Girls Cross Country Team
Silver Medallists at the Connacht Championships
It’s time to dust down the passports again because the club is planning to travel to the Scottish Indoor Championships next February with some of its secondary school athletes. You can read about previous trips on our website. Scottish Athletics confirmed the date of their championships just last Friday as being on the weekend of 14/15 February 2015. This is just before the mid-term break so hopefully it will suit athletes and doesn’t clash with mock exams for those in JC or LC.
Ciara Greene on the podium after winning the Scottish U15 1500m title in 2012
The club reached a HUGE milestone last week when the latest membership figures were announced by Athletics Ireland. Having been in the top 3 largest junior clubs in the country for a number of years now and briefly the 3rd largest overall membership back in 2011, the latest membership figures published by AAI show that Craughwell AC have now the largest junior membership of any club in the country and in fact have more members than 11 counties and are twice the size of all bar 11 other clubs in the country! When you take overall membership numbers into account, the club is the 4th largest in the country and also has the 26th largest adult section.
This is an incredible achievement for the club when you consider it is operating from a rural base with a relatively small population compared to large urban areas. It’s a reflection of the ethos of the club on participation and on helping its athletes succeed to their potential. And it is an achievement that our coaches should be very proud of – we have more than 50 coaches who are down at the astro-turf routinely 1 or 2 or 3 days a week patiently coaching scores of children. Undoubtedly these coaches and their enthusiasm are the club’s most important asset, as well of course as our dedicated athletes and parents who bring them to training and competitions right through the year.
Following provides some more information on the makeup of our junior membership. It shows another statistic that we are particularly proud of – there are 167 teenagers in the club. This is a fantastic statistic in this day and age and particularly impressive if you look back to 2002 when we had 10 teenagers in the club.
Best of luck to all of our athletes taking part tomorrow in day 2 of the Connacht cross country in the grounds of Westport House. The races kick off at 1pm with the U11s followed by U13s, 15s, 17s, 19s and seniors.
According to googlemaps, shortest route is to go through Claregalway and then Ballinrobe:-
Following are the directions once you get to Westport:-
Please access Westport House via the Westport Quay gates (less than a mile from town centre).
GPS Co-ordinates are N53.80581 W9.539. http://www.westporthouse.ie/find-us/
On arrival at Westport House, please use Car Parks P4, P3 and P1 for parking. Parking stewards will be there to help.
Registration and toilets / changing area at the Go Karting Area on the walk between the Parking Area and the course.
The course is beside the main house itself on the front lawn (approx. 400m walk from the parking areas).
Westport House are offering discount tickets on the day for entry to the house: €9 for adults / €4 for children (reduced from €12.50 adult/€6.50 child normally)
The course layout is as follows:-
The club had a massive group of 43 athletes in action at the Connacht Secondary Schools Multi-Events which were held in Athlone IT on Thursday. The club’s athletes came mainly from Calasanctius Oranmore (23), The Pres Athenry (12), Loughrea VS (5), St Raphael’s Loughrea (2) and The Bower Athlone (1).
There were huge numbers in both minor girls and boys with over 60 in each age group. In the girls, the club had following in action:- Finola Kelly, Tara Slattery, Niamh Creane, Alison Leahy, Ciara Murphy, Erin Mullins and Martha Haskett (all Calasanctius), Anna Farrelly, Sarah Callanan and Shauna Tobin (Pres Athenry), Leanagh Gilligan, Eva Kelly and Sinead Kennedy (Loughrea VS). While in the minor boys grade, the club had Jack O'Neill, Conor Hughes, Ultan Sheeran, Oisín Lyons, Paul Molloy, Louise Molloy and Luke Finn (all Calasanctius), and Oisin Shannon, Finbar McFadden and Gavin Forde (Pres).
In the junior girls, the club again had large numbers with Caoilin Milton, Laura Keane, Lorraine Delaney, Maeve Cannon and Emily Timmons (Calasanctius), Laura Cunningham, Michelle Duggan and Ciara O'Boyle (Pres Athenry) and Aoife Greene (The Bower) while in the boys the club had Peter Martin, Dylan Finn (both Loughrea VS), Daniel Callanan-Forde and Jerry Keary (St Raphael’s) and Cian Waters (Pres). Numbers were much smaller generally in the intermediate grades where Aisling Keady (Pres) was our sole representative in the girls and Adam Flynn (Pres), Aidan Conneely, Mathew McKernan and Nathan Lynskey (all Calasanctius) contested the boys, while Damian O’Boyle (Calasanctius) was our only representative in the senior grades.
Presentation Athenry's Aisling Keady
Silver Medallists in the Intermediate Girls Pentathon
at the Connacht Schools Multi-events in Athlone IT
We don't normally advertise races on the main page of our website but this race is a special one. Way back in 2005, the club had only a dozen or so adult members, mostly coaches. That autumn, the club launched its very successful circuit training program in the hall in Craughwell and adult membership blossomed to over 75 adults.
Helen Hallinan and her best friend Mary Prendergast were 2 of the new recruits to the club who participated in the circuit training sessions in its first 2 years. Helen is now a coach in the club (coaching our terrific U10 age group) and emailed the following to me today:-
"As some of you are aware, I lost my best friend to breast cancer on January 2nd of this year. She was Mary Prendergast and a fabulous person whom I was very fortunate to have called my friend.
In June 2012, Mary lost her beautiful son Zach unexpectedly at only one week old. A few months later she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was so positive throughout and a real inspiration to everyone who knew her.
Her birthday was on 25th October and her close friends have organised a 5K charity Run/Jog/Walk in her memory. It will be taking place on Saturday, 8th November in Peterswell village at 12 noon and all are welcome to come and participate.
You can register on the day or through Active website:-
All proceeds will be donated to the Galway Hospice and to the Paediatric unit in UCHG in memory of Mary and Zach."
I'd like to encourage our members and parents to run for Mary this coming Saturday - its a special cause and even more special because of its close association with the club.
Well done to all participants today and to host club Loughrea AC. The weather worked against us today but hopefully everyone enjoyed the day if that's the correct word for it in such wet conditions!
Provisional results are at:-
Well done to all of the Craughwell AC participants. We are some super performances which yielded team gold in the U18 girls, team silver in the U12 boys, U14 boys and U16 boys, and team bronze in the U16 girls. It was a particularly proud day for the club to field an U18 girls cross country team for the first time, who took the Connacht title by a small margin ahead of Sligo AC. The girls were joined in the same race by the senior women's team, only the second time that the club have had a senior women's team contest a Connacht championships - so well done to both teams, it was great to see 10 Craughwell AC singlets in the field of 66 runners in a Connacht senior championships.
Craughwell U18 GIrls Cross Country Team
Connacht Champions 2014
Ciara Greene, Leanne Freaney, Andrea Tobin, Caoimhe Reidy, Grainne McDaid
Craughwell AC Senior Womens Cross Country Team at the Connacht Championships in Loughrea
Rena Deely, Louise O'Rourke, Jane Reeves, Niamh Flavin, Deirdre Devane
Just a quick lookahead to next Sunday in Loughrea where the Connacht even ages and senior cross country takes place. The day commences at 1pm with the U12 girls. The races will take place in the following order:-
- U12 Girls 2000m
- U12 Boys 2000m
- U14 Girls 3000m
- U14 Boys 3000m
- U16 Girls 4000m
- U16 Boys 4000m
- U18/Junior Girls 4000m
- U18/Junior Boys 6000m
- Senior Women (all grades) 4000m
- Senior Men (all grades) 8000m
Please arrive at least one hour before your race. Allow approx
- 20 minutes for the two U12 races
- 30 minutes for the two U14 races
- 40 minutes for the two U16 races
- 40 minutes for the two U18 races
Above is my guesswork at times. If races are combined, the schedule will move quicker than above, so allow for that possibility.
And a quick recap on our history in the juvenile events. I have a list of our performances in these championships since 2002 on our statistics page:-
Last year was a bumper year with 95 participants over the 2 days of the Connachts and 13 sets of team medals including 9 Connacht titles. Our previous bests were 10 sets of team medals achieved in 2005, 2010 and 2012. The most impressive statistic from last year was that we had almost double the number of participants compared to previous years.
It will be hard to surpass last year's achievements but our athletes love a challege so best of luck to everyone on Sunday, both juvenile and senior.
The medal winning Craughwell NS Senior Girls Team
(missing from photo: Aoife Kelly)
Athletes from the club put in some huge performances at the weekend in the Connacht Primary Schools Cross Country Championships which were held on a narrow course in Summerhill College Sligo. On a windy day with a sprinkling of rain, the narrow course around the boundary of a football field proved to be a very tough course due to the tightness of the running route and the fields of 120 or so athletes. The club’s athletes coped well with the blustery conditions and featured strongly on 5 of the medal winning teams across the 4 races.