Westport House in Mayo was the venue for the Connacht Even Ages Cross Country. Though the sun blazed down, the course was muddy in spots and incredibly hilly and tough. It consisted of 1 km laps, each containing very steep hills and sharp descents. There were some brilliant performances from the travelling Craughwell AC Athletes as usual.
Probably the best result of the day came from our u14 boys team who won Gold in the 3km in impressive fashion ahead of a strong Moy Valley outfit. Alan Hallinan led the team home in an impressive first place, followed by David Frazer in 3rd, Sean Cleare in 7th, Donal Coyle in 17th and Oisin O’Donovan in 26th.
Luke O’Sullivan was a hugely impressive Bronze medal winner in a top-class U18 5km with two all-Ireland medalists just ahead of him. Luke is still u17 making this a doubly-impressive performance. Mathys Bocquet is just back from a few weeks rest from training and the first lap was a shock to the system and he was in reverse from that point on – he held it together to finish in 9th place. Liam O’Connell continues to improve with a strong 13th place performance.
Claudia Coyle had a sensational performance in the U16 girls 4000m. Claudia worked her way up the field into a commanding lead at the start of the last lap of about 40m. However as she neared the top of the steep hill for the final time it was like a power-switch went and she just could not continue. Thanks to the medical services who gave her attention.
In the Boys U16 4000m race, Declan O’Connell was under instructions from his coach to run easy due so he duly did what he needed to get through to the all-Irelands, coming home with a solid 5th.
Unusually, the u18 and Junior women had to run an extra lap over the senior women – Emily Miskella paced herself well to finish with a good 2nd place in the u20 race.
In the Senior women’s 4km race Emma Boyle, Grainne McDaid, Helena O’Keeffe lined up and ran very well. Unfortunately at the time of writing the results aren’t available for this race but Emma finished well up the field. Helena was not feeling well going into the race but ran bravely, just behind the leading pack when she had to step aside. Grainne continues to get stronger week on week.
In the younger age-groups, the U12 girls team was 4th featuring Laoise Corban 14th, Muireann Kelly 17th, Laoise Colleran 22nd and Emma McGoveran 35th. Donal Cullinan was the sole representative in the boys and finished 32nd in the large field.
Patrick Quinn showed tremendous grit and talent in the u10 boys race, finishing in 3rd place while Freya Wholihan was 42nd in the u10 girls race.