Excellent Performances in Tough Connacht Primary Schools Cross Country Finals
Spirits were high as our athletes headed north to Sligo on a bright and sunny morning – another fine day for cross country. Wrong! The early morning sunshine that stretched the whole way to Sligo town was quickly replaced by misty grey clouds which occasionally decided to shed a few drops of rain to soften up the ground for the athletes.
Not that the ground needed to be softened up! It was a baptism of fire for some of our young athletes with underfoot conditions extremely wet. Even to walk the course proved to be an exercise in nautical navigation with runners well mucky by the time we had circled the 2 fields. It brought back memories of 2009 at this same course. In fairness to the organisers, it’s impossible to legislate for the weather and the course was in perfect condition when this event was held here in 2010.
Anyway, back to the races.
It was yet another fantastic day for athletes from local schools with Oranmore Boys NS reclaiming the senior boys’ team title and taking individual bronze in the junior race, Craughwell NS medalling in both the junior and senior girls’ team races, Killeeneen NS taking 2 individual top-3 medals with gold in the junior girls and silver in the junior boys, and Clarinbridge NS taking individual bronze in the senior boys’ race.
Both Oranmore and Craughwell have huge traditions in these races featuring in the team medals on many occasions and were joined by Ballymana, Killeeneen and Clarinbridge over the years.
The Miskella sisters Ailbhe and Emily led the way for Craughwell NS in the Junior Girls 800m with Ailbhe taking a commendable 12th place and Emily placing 31st, followed closely by Rebekah Flynn 32nd, Sarah Woods 43rd, Penny Wells 52nd and Emma Jane Moran 78th. Jennifer Hughes representing Claregalway NS placed 39th and in the process helped her school to the gold medals, while Niamh Niland representing Killeeneen NS had a splendid race to take the individual gold medal.
In the Senior Girls 1000m, Jane Trehy led Craughwell NS to bronze medals also with a fantastic 15th place finish, followed by Roisin Hansbury 35th, Sandra Greaney 38th, Sarah McCartin 40th, Tara Farrell 47th and Aoife Raftery 65th. For Craughwell NS, these victories make it 4 times in 6 years that the school have medalled in both the junior and senior girls races – a fantastic achievement at Connacht level. Clarinbridge’s Amy Touhy also had a fine race when placing 16th overall.
Oranmore Boys NS also have a proud tradition in these races having won the junior boys race each year for the last 4 years and having medalled in the senior boys race in each of those 4 years also, including 2 Connacht titles. This year, the Oranmore senior team put in another exceptional performance to take the Connacht title with Conor Lorghain leading the team home in 5th place followed by Cillian Doyle 21st, Brendan Cummins 25th, Sean Delaney 30th, Estavio Filipe 32nd and Alex Fernon 41st. Clarinbridge’s Oisin Lyons also had a fine run in the senior boys race to take the individual bronze medal, as had Killeeneen’s Patrick Noonan when placing 26th.
In the junior boys race, unusually there was no luck on this occasion for the 3 Galway qualifiers (Killeeneen, Oranmore and Craughwell) despite all 3 schools fielding very good teams. Highest placed finishers were Phelim McCann (Killeeneen) and Sean Cannon (Oranmore) who took the individual silver and bronze medals. Ardrahan’s Eoin Murphy and Oisin McMahon placed 8th and 15th while Craughwell’s Kody McCann placed 23rd. Killeeneen’s team placed 5th overall with Phelim followed by Adam White 30th, Daragh Mullins 54th, Michael Donoghue 62nd, Fionn McArdle 70th and Christopher Brennan 81st.
Oranmore Boys placed 6th with Sean followed by Evan Grealish 45th, Daniel Cahalane 55th, Ben Taylor 60th, Sean McDermott 76th and Conal Doyle who suffered a bad fall 118th. Craughwell placed 10th with Kody followed by Kevin Molloy 46th, Kyle Moorhead 57th, Gavin Kelly 68th, Shaun Gilligan 69th and Jack Farrell 84th.
Full results of the races are at:-
Next event for many of these athletes will be the Galway uneven ages cross country championships in Loughrea on this coming Sunday, while there is another schools cross country organized by Cumann na mBunscoil in mid-November.