Charting Our Cross Country Progress

Charting Our Cross Country Progress

After a great day last Saturday, I just thought I’d pull out the performances of two of our athletes in the U16 boy’s 4000m. Jamie Spellman and Matthew Moran have been regular participants in many cross-country seasons since a young age. On Saturday both had their best ever cross country performances at Connacht level. Read on for their progress to this point from earlier years.

Before you think that the numbers are smaller so of course you do better – well think again because the standard in this age group is sky-high with the leading 2 athletes in this race routinely win track medals at National level while the 4th place athlete was our own Conor Gillen who ran 37.34 for a 10k during the summer. Matthew has a 5k PB of 18.07 under his belt from the summer, while Jamie has something similar although I can’t locate the specific time at the moment.

The intention of this article is to illustrate that dedication pays off so that our younger athletes (u11, u12, u13 etc) won’t be discouraged and will see how you can make progress year on year. Both Jamie and Matthew worked their way up through the years from finishing positions of 35th and 30th as U11s to their current level. The message is that dedication and persistance pays off!

So if you are a younger athlete and finishing back in the 30s or 40s in Connacht cross country, take heart – you're a great runner! In a few years time, you will be beating your mum or dad in the 5k series if you keep it up!

2006U11: 35thU10: 6thU11: 17th U11: 30th  U12: –U11: 12th U12: –
2007U11: –      U12: 37thU11: 5th U12: 8th U12: –U13: –U12: –U13: –
2008U12: 23rd U13: 22ndU12: 4th U13: 8th U13: –U14: –U13: –U14: –
2009U13: 24th U14: – U13: 7th U14: –U14: 21st U15: 24thU14: –U15: 5th
2010U14: 5th U15: 13th U14: 2nd U15: 4th U15: 15th U16: –U15: 3rd U16: 4th
2011U15:       U16: 3rdU15: 1st U16: 2ndU16: 9th U17:U16: 4th U17: 2nd

Well done to both athletes and hopefully they continue to progress as they enter the senior ranks in a few years time. One other point to note for younger athletes who enjoy cross country – both athletes have often stepped up an age for the race experience. Race experience is invaluable and worth several training sessions – so don’t be afraid to step up for the experience and extra practise if you enjoy cross-country. Often times, the standard is only slightly higher than your own age and the longer distance just means a slower pace.

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