Photo Credit: Sean Ryan
A record number of primary school children descended on Renmore on Tuesday last for the annual Galway Primary Schools cross country. This event is growing in popularity each year and particularly so this year. Whether it’s the aftermath of the Olympics or a growing interest in the sport, it’s very welcome. It poses its own problems though as the existing format of the event struggled to cope with the numbers and the format will have to be revised next year. Since the introduction of the current format in 2006, the numbers taking part have mushroomed by almost 3 times as illustrated in the table below:-
Anyway, getting back to the races! As has become the norm, there were some truly exceptional performances from athletes in the club and in local schools.
In the 5th/6th class boys 1000m, the outstanding individual performances came from Patrick Noonan (Killeeneen NS) and Finbar McFadden (Craughwell NS) who finished in 8th and 11th place and from new recruit Oisin Lyons (Clarinbridge NS) who finished in an exceptional 4th place. Patrick led Killeeneen NS to 4th place while Clarinbridge NS took 6th place. Oranmore Boys NS continued their long standing record of silverware in this race with a strong team performance to clinch 2nd place.
In the 5th/6th girls’ race, Sinead Kennedy (Ballymana NS) was the leading athlete from the club when finishing in 20th place. Tara Farrell led her Craughwell NS team home in 34th place, with Sarah McCartin 46th, Sandra Greaney 52nd, Roisin Hansbury 56th, Laura Cunningham 57th and Jade Connolly 64th. The team scoring was extremely tight in this race with Craughwell and Clarinbridge tying for 3rd place on 189 points – with the bronze position going to Craughwell by virtue of having the lower placed 4th scorer. Fiona Commins and Caolin Milton featued on the Clarinbridge team in 54th and 126th place. Ballymana NS placed 6th in the same race only 10 points further back with Lenagh Gilligan 51st, Niamh Treacy 62nd, Eva Kelly 66th, Siona Lawless 87th and Claire Treacy 94th.
In the 3rd/4th class girls 800m, Rebekah Flynn had a fine run in her first ever cross-country to take 5th place overall, with Ailbhe Miskella 13th, sister Emily 15th, Sarah Woods 17th (all Craughwell NS) and Ava Finn (Ballymana NS) 18th. This was a convincing performance from Craughwell and enough to take the team silver medals with a very strong score of 50 points. Ballymana NS was unlucky to finish just outside the medals in 4th place led home by Ava Finn and with Caoimhe Gilligan 23rd, Kate Reilly 25th and Sarah Kelly 57th.
In the 3rd/4th class boys race, former club member Sean Cannon took the Galway title and in the process led his Oranmore Boys team to silver medals with outstanding runs also from teammates Daniel Cahalane (19th), Conal Doyle (20th) and Evan Grealish (66th). Kevin Molloy led a strong Craughwell NS performance to take bronze medals with Kevin placing 14th followed by Kyle Moorhead 24th, Kody McCann 27th, Shaun Gilligan 47th, Jack Farrell 75th and Gavin Kelly 88th. Pride of place in this race went to Killeeneen who took the Galway title and made it a 1-2-3 in the team race for local schools.
There were many more athletes from the club in action, all placing well up in their races amongst the large numbers, Full results of all of the races are available on the Galway Athletics website at the following link:-