Juvenile and senior athletes from the club took to the field at the Palace Grounds on Sunday in atrocious weather conditions for the juvenile uneven ages and senior cross country. The club had a total of 52 athletes across all of the races – a fantastic participation rate.
The races got underway with the U11 girls 800m race, where the club had a very strong team in action. Tara McNally ran a truly outstanding race to take the individual bronze medal just ahead of club-mate Grainne McDaid in 4th place and Leanne Freaney in 5th place. Fine running from this trio, with the rest of the team finishing strongly also as follows:-
The girls took 2nd place in the team event with 23 points, just behind a strong Athenry team with 20 points. Next up the U11 boys 800m. Craughwell did very well in this race against an exceptional GCH team to take the silver medals with a score of 43 pts, marginally ahead of Ballinasloe with 45 points and Athenry in 4th place. The Craughwell team finished as follows:-
In the U13 1000m girl’s race, the club again had tough opposition and managed to get an excellent bronze medal in the team event, led home by a very strong run from Sarah Molloy. The team’s finishing places were:-
The boys U131200m race proved to be the highlight for the club, where the club took 4 of the top 5 places to easily win the gold medals in the team event with a score of 14 points and also take bronze medals with the B team with a score of 47 points, ahead of GCH’s 2nd team and Athenry. Conor Gillen took the race all the way to the line against GCH’s Colm Hughes, who has a number of All-Ireland track and cross country titles to his name. But for a slight detour when leading the race, Conor might well have claimed the gold medal in this race but had to settle for silver on this occasion. The finishing places from the club were:-
In the same race, Cathal Reidy had to pull out with a knee injury – unfortunate for Cathal as he would have been right up there in the top bunch had he not ran into difficulty. In the U15 races, the club took the two individual titles with Linda Porter and David Concannon running outstanding races to claim the gold in their 1500m and 2000m events. Linda led her team to a fantastic team title also, with very strong finishing from all 6 of the team as follows:-
For Muireann, this was her best race ever and she just nipped 4th place on the line. The longer distances definitely suit this team as all looked very fresh at the end.
In the boys race, the team claimed the silver medals with a strong score of 25 points made up as follows:-
All of the team ran well and in particular Paul Joyce who is returning to top form now. The final juvenile race in which the club had an interest was the girls U17 2000m where Rachel Finnegan and Maeve Curley ran superbly to take 3rd and 4th place. For Maeve, this was her best ever cross-country performance and achieved despite a long trip up from Tipperary where her family have recently moved. The club are delighted that Maeve has decided to remain as a member of the club and continue to take part in team and individual events with the club.
Onto the senior men’s race and I’m sure Mark or Tony will have their own reports on this so I won’t say much. Suffice to say there was a fantastic team performance from the 5 Craughwell runners who lined out. Martin Corcoran took the individual silver medal with Johnny Lane taking the individual bronze – a fantastic performance from both. Mark Davis ran an outstanding race even though tapering for next weekend’s Dublin Marathon to take 5th place and would have nailed 4th place but for a slight detour off the course as it wound down for the chute at the final bend. Tony Nevin, also tapering for the marathon, was in next for the club in 18th place with Diarmuid Quill taking 25th place. When you take out 2 guest runners, our team score was 26 points – exactly the same as Athenry AC. So the result was decided on the higher placed of the 4th finishers for each team … and Athenry just shaded it on this occasion.
But a great performance nonetheless – the best ever from the club at senior level. Full results of the races are available at :-http://www.galwayathletics.com/dmdocuments/2008GalwayUnvenAgesAndSeniorResults.pdf