Bouncing back from a tough weekend’s cross country last Sunday in Meath, many of the same athletes made the short trip from their schools to St Mary’s College in Galway for the 5th Annual Cross Country Invitational held in the college. There were 4 races on the programme – U14 Boys 1500m, U15 Boys 3000m, U17 Boys 4500m and U19 Boys 6000m. The races have been boys only so far as St Mary’s College is an all-boys school.
Most of Craughwell’s cross country squad who are in secondary school were able to take part and proceeded to dominate the 2 races in which they competed.
In the U14 Boys 1500m, Matthew Barrett made a splendid return to form to win the title and lead the Calasantious Oranmore to team victory with the perfect score of 10 points with Oisin Doyle 2nd, James Cahalane 3rd and Liam Moran 4th. Brian Loughnane (Loughrea VS) also ran strongly to place 7th in the 100-strong field, as did Oranmore trio James Delaney 12th, Michael O'Dowd 25th and Andrew O'Boyle 28th who ran despite his arm being in plastercast! It was a super performance from the lads from the club and was particularly pleasing for Matthew who's fiercely competitive spirit has put him right back at the top in his best cross country performance this season.
In the U17 Boys 4500m, the club’s performance was even better amongst the 60-strong field. Calasantious Oranmore again scored the perfect result with a 10 points score. Jamie Spellman cruised to victory at the front by a considerable distance, with Damien O’Boyle having a smashing run to place 2nd followed by Nicholas Sheehan 3rd and Neil Greaney 4th. Conor Gillen (representing Athenry VS) disrupted the Oranmore demolition job when taking 5th place with a strong finish to pip club-mate Matthew Moran (Oranmore) near the line. So 5 out of the top 6 for Calasantious and 6 out of the top 6 for the club – fantastic performances all around and well done to all the lads.