Grainne McDaid Leads the Way At National Cross Country Finals

Grainne McDaid Leads the Way At National Cross Country Finals

The postponed Uneven ages cross country championships finally took place today in Tullamore. After yesterday's deluge, one would expect a terribly mucky course but amazingly the course in Tullamore was in perfect condition. Its an exceptional course and with plenty of parking at the nearby Tullamore Harriers track, its a real pity than more of the National cross country cannot take place at central venues such as this.

Today was Grainne McDaid's day with an exceptional 14th place finish in the U13 Girls 2500m. Grainne seems to always reserve her very best for National cross country finals – with a 15th place finish in 2009's U12 1000m and a 24th place in 2008's U11 800m. Grainne was the first Galway and first Connacht athlete over the line – a fantastic achievement for her and a big confidence boost in being amongst the best in the country.

Grainne's finishing position was beaten by 1 place by Conor Gillen when running an outstanding race in the U15 boys 3500m to finish in 13th place overall. The Craughwell AC team got off to a terrific start in this race with Conor and Nicholas Sheehan placed 2nd and 3rd after 800m, and the rest of the Craughwell team placed in the top 40 to 50 – Jamie Spellman, Matthew Moran, Damien O'Boyle and Keelan Ryan. Disaster struck on the 2nd lap when Nicholas had to pull up with a hamstring strain when placed about 15th.

The rest of the team performed superbly with Jamie finishing in 33rd, Matthew 45th, Damien 62nd and Keelan 68th. The team score was 153 points and took 6th place overall – with bronze being won in 98 points. The standard is so high at this level but this team is pretty close to having what it takes to medal at National level – so hopefully the team hold together and deserved silverware will come their way in the years ahead.

Ciara Greene was our sole representative in the U15 girls 3500m race and ran well to finish in 88th place overall. Ciara was part of a strong Galway team who took the bronze medals in the county competition.

The U13 boys had a great race in their 2500m with Oisin Doyle leading the way with a splendid 26th place and James Cahalane right behind him with a fantastic 27th place finish out of his age. Matthew Barret also had an exceptional run in 46th place, with Brian Loughane 76th, Liam Moran 100th and Liam Forde 109th. It was a strong team performance with 175 points takign 6th place. The county team took the silver medals in this race and while I don't have the details yet, a number of our team would have been scorers on the county team and can look forward to medals for that achievement.

The U11 boys 1500m was a hotly contested race where again we had a good team taking part. It was their first time experiencing a National cross country finals and the standard of the race seemed particularly high. Hugh Mulryan had a great race to take 23rd place, with Conor Lee next in 40th, Jerry Keary 70th, Brendan Commins 72nd, Peter Martin 86th, Cillian Doyle 90th and Sean Delaney 109th. The team finished in 8th place overall with 205 points – a very good performance and great experience for the boys.

The senior club fielded a team in the novice men's race later in the day. While I don't have full details of the finishing places, the order of finishing was Peter O'Sullivan, Jason Broderick, Martin Corcoran and Tony Nevin and I understand that both Peter and Tony got some valuable hurdles practise in at the start of the race when they had to vault the barriers as the race started unexpectedly while they were still cheering on Craughwell's Rena Deely and Louise O:Rourke in the women's novice race!

Comments are closed.