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Ben Ryan receiving a gift from Craughwell AC for his first International vest 

(presented by Marion (Chairperson), Craughwell AC)


Ben Ryan (U17) has had a fantastic season so far and is going from strength to strength.

Below is a little background history over the past 6 months resulting in this amazing achievement of making an International Team.

Ben started his Cross-Country season with a superb run in the Connacht X Country championships held in Sligo in November where he came in at 4th position. This qualified him for the Cross Country All Ireland Championships held later in the month in Abbottstown. From the onsight of the All Ireland's race he held a dominate position by immediately charging down the first hill to get a good lead with the front runners, Ben held his strong position throughout the race and with only 300m to go, managed to take over a some of the leaders to storm to the finish in 16th place. This is a fantastic achievement as only a handful of athletes in Galway have such a finishing position in cross country at an All-Ireland Championship. Ireland’s greatest distance athletes meet for these coveted positions. 


Following the All Ireland's Ben jetted off to New Zealand (during his transition year) to spend time with his Uncle and family. Taking full advantage of the mild climate he came back from NZ on fire!!! His newly improved running style coupled with his increased speed had him raring to take on the indoor track season. Unfortunately, he was only home a few days, when out for one of his many long cycles, he took a bad tumble from his bike. This left Ben unable to train for a good period. It wasn't long before Ben was up and running (literally).


His performances in Schools Athletics demonstrated his hard work getting back to training after his injuries where he placed 4th in the South Connacht Schools 1500m and 2nd in the Connacht Schools Finals in the 3000m.

Ben then proceeded to dominate the Galway 5k series. Entering the series Ben had a PB of 17.32 mins. With almost 700 athletes registered for this event he ran his first race in Ballybrit Racecourse storming into a finishing time of 16.51 in 2nd place, taking almost a minute off his original PB.


Below are some of Ben’s times and positions over this series:

Ballybrit:      16.21 (2nd Place)

Craughwell:  16.42 (2nd Place)

Loughrea:     17.55 (10th Place- Ben was a little tired this evening)

Athenry:       16.37 (3rd place).


As if all the above achievements were not enough for this talented runner, Ben decided to give mountain running a go. With little fuss and chat about the race (which we have learned is “his style”), Ben entered a Mountain Running Competition hosted by the Irish Mountain Running Association (IMRA).

IMRA: the governing body of the sport of Mountain Running in Ireland. It is affiliated through the Athletic Association of Ireland (AAI) to the World Mountain Running Association of (WMRA) for the purposes of competing in International Events.

Running as a junior male Ben for the first time in a mountain race, Ben had a tremendous race to come in second place, very close to the winner.

Ben describes his race; “the course was a technical one, 4.5km in distance with a 300m ascent and descent over rough terrain. This was my first mountain race and I didn't quite know what to expect! By halfway I had a comfortable lead but unfortunately after taking a wrong turn I lost my lead falling back to second place, I held this position to the end qualifying me for the international youth cup in Italy this year.

ben running


The International World Mountain Championships are due to be held this coming Saturday 24th June in Cagliano del Capo, Italy.

Ben will have to run a distance of 4.7km with a climb of 580m in soaring temperatures.

We wish Ben every success in this event and will be eagerly waiting to hear his news after the race.

As a result of making this International Team, Craughwell AC presented Ben with a gift marking this success of achieving his first International vest in athletics.




2017 06 17 09.59.391

U18 Girls – Connacht 4x100m Relay Gold and Silver Medalists 2017
Left to right: Shauna Tobin, Laura Cunningham Aoife Walsh, Lorraine Delaney, 
Ciana Reidy, Siona Lawless, Arlene Earls, Caoilin Milton

45 athletes from the club made the trip back to Sligo IT yesterday for day 2 of the Connacht Track & Field Championships with some fantastic success for the club on a warm humid day in Sligo. The day kicked off with the U18 Girls 4x100m relay where the club had 2 teams in action – first time ever that the club had 2 teams in action in this grade. The teams were evenly balanced and put in fantastic runs to take first and second place in times of 54.13 and 54.94 with the team of Aoife Walsh, Arlene Earls, Shauna Tobin and Laura Cunningham taking the silver medals and the team of Caoilin Milton, Ciana Reidy, Lorraine Delaney and Siona Lawless taking the gold medals. 

It was a busy early start to the day for the U18s some of whom were competing in triple jump and pole vault at the same time as the relay. Laura Cunningham put in a good series of jumps into the wind in the triple jump with a best of 10.42m to take the Connacht title with Aoife Walsh in second place with a best of 9.00m. Aoife also tackled the pole vault for the first time putting in a remarkable series of jumps to clear a best of 2.05m. It was a brilliant day also for Ciana Reidy in the pole vault adding significantly to her PB with a best of 2.65m to win the Connacht title.

 2017 06 17 14.49.13   2017 06 17 14.50.39 

Double Triple for Craughwell AC in the U18 Girls Long Jump and High Jump
Long Jump 3 Aoife Walsh, 1 Arlene Earls, 2 Laura Cunningham
High Jump 3 Ciana Reidy, 2 Lorraine Delaney, 1 Laura Cunningham

2017 06 17 10.30.28  2017 06 17 14.51.24

Top 2 for Craughwell AC in the U18 Girls Triple Jump and Pole Vault
Triple Jump 2 Aoife Walsh, 1 Laura Cunningham
Pole Vault 2 Aoife Walsh, 1 Ciana Reidy

2017 06 10 12.24.45

Congratulations to all of our athletes on wonderful performances at day 1 of the Connacht Track & Field yesterday in Sligo IT where our U9s to U13s age groups took part. On a windy and sometimes wet day, there were some marvellous performances, plenty of PBs and hopefully everyone enjoyed taking part regardless of where they finished. The standard of athletics at regional level is very high so all of our athletes should be proud of their achievement in getting this far. And best of luck to the many qualifiers from the club for the All-Irelands. The top 3 pairs in the U9, U10 and U11 age groups go forward to the All-Irelands to be held in Tullamore on Satueday 24 June, as do the top 3 relay teams in those age groups. The program for the day for the All-Irelands is on the AAI website.

In the U12 and 13 age groups, the top 3 athletes in the 600m races and the top 4 athletes in all the other individual events go forward to the All-Irelands to be held on 8, 9 and 16 July in Tullamore. Program for those days is on the AAI fixture list while the relays for the U12 and 13s take place on 2nd July in Athlone.

There were many many fine performances throughout the day with the club featuring on the podium 37 times across the 62 events, the most of any Connacht club ... with 10 Connacht titles, 15 silvers and 12 bronze and many other performances well worthy of a podium place but finishing just outside the medals on the day. Results of our athletes finishing in the top 4 in the Connachts are as follows:- 

The club would like to offer its heartfelt condolences to one if its juvenile members Emily Staunton and her brother Eoin who is a former member of the club and to their mum Jenny and extended family on the death of their dad Brian at the weekend. Funeral arrangements Monday/Tuesday are at rip.i.e. Emily trains in our U13 training group and as a mark of respect tomorrow nights Monday U13 training session is cancelled.

Order of events as follows:



Friday the 23rd. .