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Galway U12 Cross Country Champions 2015 !

It was back to the rolling hills of the Palace Grounds in Tuam today for day 1 of the Galway Cross Country Championships where the even age groups were in action. The day got underway with the U10 girls where Craughwell had a strong squad in action. Sophie McIlrath led the team to bronze medals with a fine 5th place finish followed closely by Chloe Hallinan in 6th. All finishing places were as follows:- 5 Sophie McIlrath, 6 Chloe Hallinan, 17 Holly O'Boyle, 19 Abbie Molloy, 20 Sole Lopez, 21 Isabella Boland, 24 Muireen Leen, 26 Nicole Clarke, 28 Erin Doyle, 29 Katie Colleran,  32 Tanya Doyle, 33 Ciara Killeen, 37 Aoibhe Donnelan, 38 Catherine Gorman, 40 Anna Langan, 44 Laoise Gallagher, 45 Carmel Conway.



Craughwell AC's U10 Squad at the Cross Country Championships in Tuam

In the boys 1000m, Mathys Bocquet led the team to bronze medals with a 9th place finish followed closely by Evan Moran in 10th, Liam O’Connell 11th and Cormac McFadden 15th. There were fine runs also from the remainder of the group with Adam Jordan 17th, Jamie Collins 19th, Rian Comer 20th, Sean Lavan, 22nd, Lucas Keane 24th, Tiernan McLoughlin 26th and Thomas Fitzgerald 29th.

In the U12 girls 2000m, Emily Miskella had a terrific run to take 2nd place and led the team to the gold medals. Tied on a points total of 37 with GCH, it came down to the 4th placed finisher to decide the result and a great run from Rebekah Flynn to finish 14th just ahead of GCH’s 4th finisher saw Craughwell take team gold. With Jade Moorhead stepping up an age and taking 12th place, it was a fantastic team performance but the run that really earned the points today was Saoirse Moore’s extraordinary finish where she passed 3 opponents in the last 50m to claim 9th place and help Craughwell to the gold medals by the narrowest of margins. Leah Farrelly finished a fantastic 17th place over the 2k distance, the longer run clearly suiting Leah and all boding well for future runs with the distance increasing each year. And making the big step up to U12s, Sadhbh Irwin, Rachle Burke and Fauve Aylmer all had exceptional runs to place 19th, 22nd and 23rd in their first cross country race for the club.


U12 Boys at their race start

In the U12 boys 2000m no less than 5 u11s made the big step up in distance to accompany Ben Brady to team bronze with some fine running. Ben was unlucky to go over on his ankle during the race but battled bravely around to place 23rd followed closely by Killian Walsh. Evan Hallinan tore into the race finishing a fine 7th with his u11 teammates in close proximity with Luke Flynn 13th, Cian Lavan 15th and Daniel Galvin 16th – all great experience for their own race next weekend.


U14 Girls after their silver medal winning performance!

The U14 girls took silver team medals in their 3000m led by a star performance from the multi-talented Freya Bohan who placed 4th. Freya was followed in by a fine run from Ailbhe Miskella in 7th place. With Sarah Woods thriving on the longer distance and finishing strongly in 11th place, it was looking good for team medals and Ellie Cronin and Lauren McNally made sure of this with 13th and 16th place finishes.


Galway U14 Cross Country Champions 2015 !

The most dominant performance of the day came from the U14 boys in their 3000m where they took all 4 of the top spots in the race to complete the perfect team score of 10 points. Kyle Moorhead led the team home but had to work hard to stay ahead of teammate Sean Cotter in the closing stages who was finishing like an express train. Finbar McFadden had his finest race in a few years when taking the bronze medal behind Sean. And next in 4th place, the star of the show was Jack Walsh who gamely stepped into this team at short notice when they were a man short and revealed an incredible talent that he has been hiding from us for a while now – with an absolutely astonishing run to finish in 4th place and perhaps only 50 or so metres behind Finbar. A fine run from Jack and hopefully a talent that he can now work on improving at training.

Onto the toughest race of the day, the U16 girls 4000m. Having to run the adult women’s distance at age 13/14/15 is tough enough. But having to run an extra lap due to a misunderstanding by officials made this one feel like an ultramarathon for some of the girls and they only wished they had run the easier adult race! But the Craughwell quintet of Sinead Kennedy, Catherine Noonan, debutant Laura Burke, Shauna Tobin and Emma Urquhart showed their toughness when blazing around the course to take the silver team medals with Sinead 7th, Catherine 9th, Laura 10th, Shauna 11th and Emma 12th. Well done girls – the races get short from here on in!


The multi-coloured and multi-talented Craughwell AC U16 Girls Cross Country Team!
Emma Urquhart, Catherine Noonan, Shauna Tobin, Laura Burke, Sinead Kennedy

Next into the action were the U16 boys in their 4000m where we were one man short of a team. Ben Ryan made his debut for the club, stepping up from the U15s and having a remarkable run to take the silver medal. William Fitzpatrick was another with a fine performance. Out of action with illness for several months earlier in the year, William put in a great run to take 4th spot and if the race was a lap longer would have placed higher. Gavin Forde battled hard throughout the race and in spite of a heavy fall during the race, he battled on to place 9th overall.

The U18s went out at the same time as the senior women where Caron Ryan demonstrated her huge talent to take 3rd place in the senior race, yes the senior race! And first U18 home. Grainne McDaid had a strong run to place 19th amongst the women and 4th U18. In the men’s U18 race, Jack Miskella ran powerfully to place 4th overall.

As they say in Cana, we leave the best wine until last and so it was today when the senior men lined up with one of our strongest squads ever taking to the field.

Youth was joined by legends with Damian O’Boyle, Neil Greaney, Peadar Harvey and Paul Joyce having just recently exited the juvenile ranks and the legendary Gerry Ryan making a rare appearance on the cross country turf and seasoned veteran Martin Corcoran making his first appearance for the club in a while having taken early retirement a few years ago. It was a special day for our senior squad to have such an array of talent all assembled in 1 race. Having lost out to GCH by a solitary point in the last few years, this wasn’t going to happen today!


Craughwell AC - Galway Senior Men Cross Country Champions 2015!!
Jack Miskella, Mark Davis, Neil Greaney, Damian O'Boyle, Paul Joyce, Peter O'Sullivan, Johnny Lane, Noel Gorman, Peadar Harvey, Martin Corcoran, Rob Hogan, Jason Broderick (missing from photo Gerry Ryan)

Jason Broderick who is in the form of his life put in an outstanding run at the front of the race to take the victory from former National Marathon Champion Michael O’Connor (GCH). Peter O’Sullivan put in a strong run to take the bronze medal with Damian O’Boyle having a terrific run to place 4th and take the Junior title. Gerry Ryan was next in 5th place taking the M50 title and completing an unbeatable score for the Craughwell team. To see Gerry sharing victory on the same team as some of our young up-and-coming athletes was special for the club. It speaks volumes for Gerry’s talent when he can out run most of the best young athletes in the country. But the celebrations did not stop there with Neil Greaney next in 7th place (2nd man in the novice category) , Peadar Harvey 8th and 3rd novice, Rob Hogan 10th and 1st intermediate, Johnny Lane 14th, Mark Davis 25th, Martin Corcoran 27th, Paul Joyce 34th and Noel Gorman 37th. The performances were so dominant that the club took not just the team gold but also team bronze with Neil, Peadar, Rob and Johnny claiming the second set of medals. Well done everyone, a great day for the club!

Provisional results of the day are here - a big thanks to Loughre's Barry Beirne and Andea Sellars for getting them out so efficiently and to Tuam AC for hosting a great event!

Monday the 17th. .