Craughwell AC’s athletes had a fantastic weekend of cross country action – with Peter O’Sullivan yet again gaining selection for the Irish Masters international team with a top notch performance to place 34th in the prestigious Gerry Farnan cross country and second in the O35 category while Martin Corcoran placed 6th in the O45 category.
Meanwhile at Loughrea AC’s grounds in Loughrea, Craughwell AC’s juvenile athletes put in a remarkable series of performances to dominate the second day of the Galway cross country championships – taking victory in the boys U11, U13, U15 and U17 team events, gold and bronze in the U11 girls team event and bronze in the U13 girls team event as well as individual gold and silver in the U11 boys, individual bronze in the U11 girls, gold and bronze in the U13 girls, silver in the U15 boys 3000m and U17 girls 3000m, and gold and silver in the U17 boys 5000m.
It was a remarkable sequence of performances with many many highlights – none more so than the incredible runs from the Noonan triplets who all stepped up an age from the U12s to the U13s and put in terrific performances with Patrick taking individual 3rd place over the 2000m distance, Sean not far behind in 8th place and Catherine placing 19th and 3rd scorer on the Craughwell U13 girls team. Read on for a full report on all races.
As with 2 weeks ago, the course was in impeccable condition for the races and had the added benefit of lovely sunshine.
The day kicked off with the U11 girls 1000m where Jane Trehy had a fine run to place 3rd in the U11 girls’ race. Jane was followed closely by Aoife Leahy 4th, Sarah McCartin 7th and Jennifer Hughes 9th to give the club the team victory by a margin. Sarah had to battle hard in the chute to keep her place with pressure from opposing teams.
The club’s strength in this age group was underlined with Ailbhe Miskella placing 11th, Eva Kelly 15th, Bryna Milton 16th, Sarah Woods 17th, Caoimhe Dalton 19th, Sinead Keane 23rd and Ruth Dillon 28th. When the team scores were totted up, this placed the club’s second team in the medals also taking the bronze medals narrowly ahead of East Galway.The U11 boys repeated this dominance in their 1000m, with Sean Cannon racing to glory to take the individual gold medal, chased into the chute by Finbar McFadden who took the silver. Finbar was followed closely by Phelim McCann who placed 4th in his first race for the club, Kody McCann in 10th, David Lee 11th, Ryan Gallagher 16th, Conor Roberts 25th and Dylan Fowler 30th. Craughwell took the team title with 18 points, ahead of a strong GCH team on 24 points.
The U13 girls 1500m was one of the toughest races of them all but the girls really excelled themselves with a set of bronze medals led home by Rachael Hughes in 9th place, Sinead Kennedy 12th, Catherine Noonan 19th, Fiona Commins 20th, Tara Farrell 21st and Aoife Raftery 22nd.
In the U13 boys 2000m, Oisin Lyons continued his rich vein of cross country form with a fine victory ahead of Ballinasloe’s Shane Jennings who is top class athlete having medalling in both National cross country and track last year and this year. Patrick Noonan had an incredible performance to take individual bronze, only being passed by the Ballinasloe athlete in the final 200m. Patrick was followed home by Jerry Keary 6th, Sean Delaney 7th, Sean Noonan 8th, Dean Callanan 11th, Conan McCann 14th, Brian McKermitt 15th, Cathal Walshe 16th, Brendan O’Keefe 20th and Luke Roberts 24th.
In the U15 girls 2500m, Aoife Greene put in a tremendous performance to take 9th place having stepped up an age. This was Aoife’s best race in a long time, pacing herself well right from the start and finishing very well amongst these older girls. Unfortunately Dearbhaile Walshe had to withdraw with injury in the same race.
A tough U15 boys 3000m saw our U14 team step up an age to join with our U15s. A long battle saw James Cahalane and Matthew Barrett battle it out in the top 4 with James taking 2nd place and Matthew placing 4th. James Delaney put in one of his best runs to date over the country with a 7th place finish, followed by Brian Loughnane 8th, Diarmuid Harvey 9th and Andew O'Boyle 11th to easily win the team title.
Ciara Greene was the club's only competitor in the U17 girls 3000m and ran a stormer of a race, taking 2nd place behind GCH's Maedhbh Brannigan.
In the U17 boys 5000m, Craughwell's elite young men put in a series of superb performances with Jamie Spellman landing the Galway title followed by Conor Gillen in 2nd place. Damien O'Boyle ran strongly to take 4th place, with Matthew Moran 5th and Keelan Ryan 6th. There was some concern when Nicholas Sheehan had to withdraw midway through the race with a very bad stomach cramp but thankfully it was not serious.
In the final race of the day, Paul Fitzpatrick ran strongly to take 4th place in the U19 boys 6000m, not far off the leading 3 GCH athletes.
Full results are on the Galway athletics website.