Craughwell AC's massive U9 cross-country team in Kilcornan
The second day of the Galway club cross-country took place today in Kilcornan, Clarinbridge in ideal racing conditions on a challenging course.
Hats off to the County Board and also to neighbouring landowners Ciaran and Gussy on some last minute work to roll parts of the field to reduce the bovine footprint. And just in case the Director of Climate Change in the United Nations is reading this – what I mean is flattening out the cattle hoof marks and recycled grass to make it more comfortable for runners! Well done also to Athenry's Iain Shaw on getting the results out so promptly.
This year’s participation rates in the Galway club cross-country have been at their highest in at least 12 years with close to double the numbers from 2006 taking part. A fabulous day for the club saw its athletes race to individual victory in 7 of the 12 races.
Some members of the Craughwell U11 and U9 Boys teams in Kilcornan
The races got underway with the U9 Girls 800m where Craughwell AC had a huge number of participants with 26 girls taking to the field. Saoirse Mullins again showed her super talent for cross country running with a brilliant victory and leading her team to gold with Lauren Morgan 7th, Aisling Lavan 9th, Mia Hollingsworth 11th, Emily Hewitt 15th, Ellen Stenson 20th, Gemma Cloonan 23rd, Alva Horan 25th, Laura Flynn 29th, Erica Coye 30th, Madison Ryan 34th, Abbi Donoghue 35th, Ava Doyle 37th, Melissa O'Connor 41st, Sarah O'Gara 42nd, Leona Coye 45th, Kayleigh Rabbitte 47th, Megan Smith 48th, Caoimhe Moynihan 49th, Caoimhe O'Connor 50th, Rebecca Doyle 54th, Asha Knight 55th, Ava Whyte 56th, Emily Rabbitte 57th, Caoimhe Harrington 58th and Ciara Byrnes 59th.
The U9s boys 800m race was off next with U8 athlete Alan Hallinan (a semi-reluctant participant!) racing to an incredible victory and leading Craughwell AC to team silver and bronze with Eanna Morrissey 5th, Eóin Middleton 9th, Tom Malone 10th, Ethan Whyte 11th, Liam Reilly 12th, Iarlaith Doyle 15th, Leo Molloy 17th, Ethan Horan 19th, Darragh Higgins 25th, Patrick Carr 27th, Darragh Farrell 35th, Jake Barry 36th and Ethan Stace 40th.
Craughwell AC's U11 Girls cross country team on the start line
In the U11 Girls 1500m, the Craughwell team ran brilliantly to place 5th led home by Sara Craven 6th, Claudia McGuinness 15th, Amelie Grogan 22nd, Amelie Bouquet 32nd, Erin Dillon 39th, Aoife O'Meara 40th, Isobel Doyle 41st, Jessica Ross 42nd, Erin Fahy 44th and Ayla Hollingsworth 57th. While in the U11 Boys 1500m the team raced to the silver medals with Fionn Higgins leading them home in 9th place followed by Sean Lavan 10th, Darragh Riedy 16th, Darragh Kelly 17th, Keelan Moorhead 18th, Luke O'Sullivan 22nd, Riley Stenson 29th, Eoin Woods 43rd, Peter Martyn 44th and Rian Middleton 49th.
The U13 Girls 2500m got underway where another brilliant run by Clodagh O’Meara and Fauve Aylmer in 5th and 6th place led the team to silver medals with strong running also from Aoibhe Carr 8th, Siofra Davis 19th, Jade Moorhead 21st, Erin Kelly 33rd, Claire Coulahan 36th, Muireen Leen 37th, Sarah Byrne 38th and Grace Leen 39th. The U13 Boys also raced to silver medals in their 2500m led home by a magnificent individual victory for Mathys Bocquet with Cian Lavan just missing out on the top 3 with a 4th place finish, followed by Luke Flynn with an impressive late surge in 9th, Daniel Galvin 11th, Evan Hallinan 13th, Cormac McFadden 21st and Michael Woods 28th.
Craughwell AC's U13 Girls cross country team prior to race start
Craughwell AC's Ross McGuinness and Oisin Davis
Silver and bronze medallists in the Galway U15 3500m Cross Country in Kilcornan
Aoibheann Keane and Lauren McNally both ran really well in the U15 Girls 3500m. Aoibheann ran strongly throughout, starting the last lap in bronze position and ran down her oppponent over the last lap to claim a magnificent Silver. Despite not having done much distance training this year, Lauren McNally showed amazing character to run strongly throughout and finish in 6th place. Ross McGuinness and Oisin Davis were in the leading group of 3 throughout the U15 Boys 3500m, eventually claiming excellent Silver and Bronze respectively.
Craughwell U17 Boys Galway 4000m Champions 2017 and Luke Evans Galway U19 Champion 2017
Finbarr McFadden, Ben Ryan, Patrick Noonan, Luke Evans, Kyle Moorhead, William Fitzpatrick
(missing from photo - Sean Noonan)
Ailbhe Miskella stormed to victory in the U17 Girls 4000m with Ciara Sheppard in 4th place while Ben Ryan also took an excellent victory in the U17 Boys 5000m with William Fitzgerald taking silver and followed by Patrick Noonan 5th, Kyle Moorhead 6th, Finbarr McFadden 7th and Sean Noonan 8th to take the team victory.
Caron Ryan added the U19 Galway title to the Junior crown that she won last weekend in Tuam and Luke Evans continued his fine progress in cross-country with victory in the U19 Boys 5000m.
Craughwell AC's Ailbhe Miskella (Galway U17 Champion 2017), Ciara Sheppard (4th place)
and Caron Ryan (Galway U19 Champion 2017)
So another great day out for the club in times of increasing competition from the other clubs as evidenced by the huge increase in participation. Connachts now to look forward to next with the Primary Schools om Saturday 21st October in Roscommon, the club even age groups on Sunday 29th October in Sligo and the club uneven age groups on Sunday 5th November in Longford.
And just a quick note for parents of our younger athletes in U9s and U10s. There are no races in the Connacht club competition for those age groups but U10s may step up to the U11s if they wish.
Full results of the day are here.