Day 1 of the Galway cross-country championships kicked off on the windswept hills of Bushfield on Sunday. It felt like one was standing on the sand-dunes overlooking a stormy Atlantic such was the wind and rain that gradually strengthened as the day went on. But hats off to host club Loughrea AC (not that anyone could keep a hat on today), it’s a fantastic venue and the envy of every other club in Galway and probably Connacht.
We had the usual panic before the races started with getting nunbers and warm-up sorted for the large number of Craughwell AC athletes taking part. But with loads of help, it was quickly sorted and the day got off to a start with the U10 girls 600m. Mia Waters put in a fantastic run to take 2nd place in the race with Ailbhe Miskella on her heels in 3rd place. Mia and Ailbhle were followed closely by the remaining Craughwell athletes to complete a very strong performance
5 Sarah McCartin
In the U10 boys 600m, Finbar McFadden had a very impressive victory with Ryan Gallagher close behind in 4th place, following by strong running from the rest of the U10 boys:-
9 Jack Walsh
Next up a tough battle in the U12 girls 1500m saw Derbhla Cronin take 6th place and led the Craughwell girls team to bronze medals with 47 points with super running from the rest of the squad:-
12 Caolin Milton
The scoring could not have been tighter for 3rd place with Craughwell tying with GCH on 47 points but claiming the bronze medals by virture of a higher-placed 4th scorer – well done Roisin! Another hard-battle in the U12 boys 1500m saw Jerry Keary lead the Craughwell team to silver medals with an individual 4th place finish, followed closely by:-
7 Sean Delaney
It was a particularly strong run by some of our younger U11s and also by Dean Callanan who was placed 3rd after the half-way point but just got caught for stamina on the 2nd lap. In fact in both U12 races, the U11s performed exceptionally well and hopefully it augurs well for their own races in 2 weeks time.
Next up the U14 girls 2000m became a bit of a battlefield for the participants due to the race distance and weather conditions. The first third of the race saw Craughwell’s Grainne McDaid and Athenry’s Grace Cahill go head to head at the front but a bad fall saw Grace withdraw and later in the race, a bad stitch saw Grainne withdraw. This was hard luck for both athletes but they will have other brighter days, Dearbhaile Walsh who was out of age for this race, took full advantage to race to a splendid victory ahead of some notable opponents including Athenry’s Shannon Lee and GCH’s Maeve Hughes. With Orlaith Maloney also having to withdraw due to a stitch, Craughwell’s team did superbly to take the team victory wth Erin Fitzpatrick 7th, Aoife Greene 10th and Andrea Tobin 11th.
The U14 boys saw an awesome display of strength by the Craughwell team, taking 1-2-3 in the individual stakes and 1-2 in the team medals. Oisin Doyle took the individual victory following by Matthew Barrett and James Cahalane in 2nd and 3rd. They were quickly followed by
6 Brian Loughnane
It was a particularly good run for James Delaney in 9th place and for Conor Roche in 11th in his first time out in the club cross country.The U16 girls 3000m saw a strong run from Ciara Greene to take the individual silver, with Sinead Treacy in 5th place and Derbhla Maloney 7th. The boys U16 4000m provided another show of strength with Conor Gillen racing to a fine victory and Jamie Spellman stepping up an age to claim a brilliant silver medal in a battle with GCH’s Padraic Creaven. Matthew Moran took 4th place, with John Cormican 5th and Damien O’Boyle 6th to copperfasten a fine team victory.The U18 races saw Muireann Maloney run strongly to take 3rd place in her 3500m, with Finn Stoneman claiming the title in the boys 6000m, followed by Paul Fitzpatrick in 4th and Pádraic Tobin in 6th.
In the senior races, Peter O’Sullivan had a towering performance to win the senior men’s title by a distance and led the Craughwell team to a narrow victory over GCH with very strong performances from Martin Corcoran (5th), Paul Keane (6th), Mark Davis (8th) and Johnny Lane.
Provisional results are here.