After a fantastic performance in the Irish Schools cross-country finals in Cork IT on Saturday, Conor Gillen was selected to represent Ireland in the forthcoming Schools International cross country in England on 27th March. Competing in the junior boys 3500m, Conor put in a blistering race in a top-quality field. Holding 9th place as the race unfolded, Conor slipped back into 12th towards the end but held on to claim the final place on the Irish team for the schools international. Conor becomes the club’s 4th athlete and first middle-distance runner to be selected for Irish international duty.
It’s a big honour for the club to have athletes of Conor’s calibre reach this level and the very best of luck to him later this month in England. Conor is following in his dad’s footsteps in this regard as Mark represented the Irish schools team many many (many) years ago in the 1500m (long before the turn of the century I’m told :-)).
Also in action at the schools finals, Finn Stoneman had a strong race to take 65th place in the internmediate boys 5000m in an exceptional time of 17:06 – a time most of Galway senior runners would be very pleased with. Sineád Gaffney also had a super race to take 54th place in the junior girls 2500m – running what she described as the toughest race of her life. And our Tipperary exile Maeve Curley also had a very good run, taking 28th place in the senior girls 2500m in a time of 8:25.
I can't finish this article without mentioning the fantastic Craughwell 10 race yesterday and our super race committee of Peter, Mark, Patrick, Tony and Val. It was a HUGE success for the club. Hopefully in a few short years we will see Conor, Finn, Sinead, Maeve and many more from the club (Peadar, Linda etc) stepping up into senior ranks and running this race (well maybe some 5ks for the first few years as a senior) and lining out in teams with our current senior members. We want that perpetual trophy back in Craughwell from those Mayo bandits who sped down the N17 with their elite raiding party to sneak the trophy away yesterday.