The Galway Community Games cross country took place at the weekend where over 20 athletes from the club took part representing a wide range of parishes including Craughwell, Ardrahan, Athenry, Carabane, Clarinbridge, Oranmore and Loughrea. They did themselves, their areas and the club proud with 4 of the 6 titles on the day going to members of the club.
In the U12 girls’ race, Dearbhaile Walsh had a mighty run at the front to take the Galway title in style, with Derbhla Cronin and Mia Waters narrowly missing out on the top 6 places which will make up the Galway team for the All-Irelands.
James Cahalane repeated this result in the U12 boys with a convincing victory, followed closely by Brian Loughnane in 2nd place with Jerry Keary taking 5th place and several other athletes from the club coming close to the top 6.
The U14 races were up next with small numbers in the girls’ race and sadly no one from the club. But in the boy’s race, champion sprinter Aidan Conneely swapped his sprint spikes for the day and raced to a fine 5th place, just pipping Diarmuid Harvey in the closing stages – great running from both athletes.
In the U13 girls’ race, Grainne McDaid powered her way to the title in a nail-biting finish with GCH’s Maeve Hughes. For most of the 1200m Grainne ran in 2nd place with Maeve leading the way and Athenry’s Shannon Lee close on her heels. All 3 girls have gone head-to-head at numerous cross-country races in the last year so the result was unpredictable until the steep hill approaching the finish – where Grainne raced into the lead and sprinted for home to win in style.
Last but not least, the U13 boys 1200m saw a dominant display of front-running from Oisin Doyle to win comfortably, with the fast finishing Matthew Barrett taking 3rd place in a very strong field. Amazingly Oisin was on a time-out from a basketball blitz and raced back to Oranmore straightaway for the next game!
Overall it was a great day of running and some very strong teams will be representing Galway in the National finals at the end of May. Well done to Loughrea AC on a well organized day! As with the club event last year, everyone was very impressed with the course – one of the best in the country