Ciara Greene representing the Bower Athlone was the top performing athlete from the club on Tuesday at the Connacht Schools Cross Country finals. After the weekend deluges, the St Marys grounds in Galway were surprisingly dry – a great course for both spectators and competitors.
Ciara ran a very strong race to take the individual 3rd place with Sinead Treacy (St Raphael’s) having a fine run also to take 5th place. While official results are not available yet, the provisional finishing places for other athletes from the club are 13th Emma Byrne, 17th Tara McNally and 21st Katie Donohue (all Loughrea VS) – a good team performance that potentially will put Loughrea VS in the medals. In the junior girls 2000m, Derbhla Maloney finished in the top 20 as far as I could tell – a strong performance from the ever-improving St Raphael’s athlete.
In the junior boys’ 3500m race, Calasanctius Oranmore again put in a powerful team performance and while I don’t have the team results, it’s unlikely they will be beaten. Nicholas Sheehan had a strong race in the leading group and finished in 4thplace, followed by Jamie Spellman in 6th, Damien O’Boyle in 9th, Matthew Moran in 13th and John Cormican in 22nd. Keelan Ryan (Pres Athenry) also had a strong run, finishing in 18th and just outside the top 15 qualifying places for the All-Irelands.
In the intermediate girls’ 3500m race, Linda Porter (Loughrea VS) took 6th place in a very competitive race while Muireann Maloney (St Raphael’s) had a great second half of the race to move up and take 10th place overall. Laura Porter had a strong race also to place somewhere in the top 25 as far as I could tell. Sinead Gaffney (Pres Athenry) was having a fantastic race placed 10th after about 2500m when misfortune befell her and she ran into breathing difficulties and had to withdraw.
In the intermediate boys’ 5000m, Conor Gillen (Athenry VS) had a magnificent performance to take 4th place with Finn Stoneman (St Enda’s) taking 6th place. And in the final race of the day, Peadar Harvey took 6th place in the senior 6500m.