Eskander Turki and Edel Monaghan Collect Top Prizes at Novice XC Championships
13 November 2017
Eskander Turki (Monaghan Town Runners) and Edel Monaghan (Enniskillen RC) secured the top prizes in the NI & Ulster Novice XC Championships as hundreds of athletes, of all ages, battled their way through the mud at the impressive Finn Valley Complex in Stranorlar (Sunday 12th November 2017).
The event included the Uneven Age Group XC Championships, which added further excitement to an excellent day of traditional cross country running in County Donegal.
Eskander Turki led the Novice Men’s 6,000m race home in 22:51 (1st place), twenty seconds ahead of his Monaghan Town Runners club mate Caoimhin Kelly, who took 2nd place in 23:11. Letterkenny AC’s Dan King completed the top three in 23:47 (3rd place), guiding his club to victory in the team competition, alongside team mates Raymond Birch, Ciaran McGonigle and Gerard McGranaghan.
In the Novice Ladies 4,000m race, up and coming County Fermanagh athlete Edel Monaghan (Enniskillen RC) enjoyed a relatively comfortable victory, breaking the tape in 18:07 (1st place). Derry Track Club’s Kendra McMullan claimed the silver medal in 18:46 (2nd place), while Donna Mone (Monaghan Town Runners) secured the final podium place in 19:11 (3rd place). The Milford AC team of Tara Curran, Gillian Marley and Siobhan McHugh struck gold in the club standings.
NI & Ulster Uneven Age Group XC Championships:
The NI & Ulster Uneven Age Group XC Championships kicked off the race programme in Stranorlar and proved to be a perfect build up for aforementioned Novice XC races.
Conall McClean (St Malachy’s AC), Sean McGinley (Olympian YC) and Cait O’Reilly (Annalee AC) added to their gold medals from the Even Age Group Championships in Kilbroney Park two weeks ago.
Conall led the way, securing victory, as St Malachy’s AC completed a clean sweep of the Under 17 Boy’s podium, while Sean added the Under 15 gold to the Under 16 top prize he won a fortnight ago. Cait, the Under 12 Champion in Kilbroney, won the Under 11 title on this occasion.
The above mentioned trio weren’t the only top performers on a day of top quality action. Patrick McNiff (Newcastle AC) struck gold in the Under 19 competition, after a close race with City of Derry AC’s Fintan Stewart and North Down AC’s Craig McMeechan – Grace Carson of Mid Ulster AC won the Girls Under 19 gold with a strong performance.
Aoife McGreevy of Lagan Valley AC bettered her recent Under 16 silver medal, when she claimed gold in the Under 17 age category. City of Derry AC’s Cara Laverty, who also ran well at the Even Age Group XC, topped the Under 15 Girl’s podium.
Lauren Madine (East Down AC) continued her recent good form with victory in the Under 13 category, while Oisin Kelly of City of Derry AC, won the Boy’s race. Caolan McFadden (Cranford AC) took top honours in the Under 11 Boy’s race.
Elsewhere this weekend…
SIAB Combined Events International:
Three NI & Ulster athletes represented the Irish Schools Team at the Schools Pentathlon International in Glasgow (Friday 10th November 2017), with all achieving top 8 finishes.
Jordan Cunningham (City of Lisburn AC / Phil McIlfatrick) set four out of five PBs as well as a 147 point PB overall to finish fourth in the U16 Boys age group. The Youth Academy athlete set impressive new bests of 8.56 in the 60m Hurdles, 13.03m Shot Put, 24.11 200m and despite running through cramp, 2:17.80 in the 800m for a total score of 3289 points. This was the highest score ever not to medal. Jordan’s impressive performance helped the Irish Schools U16 Boys team to a rare win over the English Schools team.
Troy McConville (North Down AC / Brendan McConville) was just short of his PB set last month in Athlone but jumped and impressive 6.43m in the Long Jump and ran an impressive 800m PB of 2:06.32 for a 3385 total and 7th place in the U18 Boys competition.
Niamh McCorry (Annalee AC) worked her way through the field with impressive PB’s in the High Jump (1.56m) and 800m (2:29.05) for 8th place in the U16 Girls and a PB total of 3059.
International Cross de Atapuerca (Spain):
Newcastle AC club mates Kerry O’Flaherty and Zak Hanna, both coached by Richard Rodgers, were in action at the prestigious International Cross de Atapuerca in Burgos, Spain (Sunday 12th November 2017).
In the ladies 8,000m race, Rio Olympian Kerry took 15th place in 26:50 – fellow Irish international Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole AC) claimed 5th place in 26:13. The ladies race was won by Ethiopian Senbere Teferi in 25:21 (1st place).
Meanwhile, in the men’s 9,000m race, which was won by Molla Getaneh (Ethiopia) in 24:35 (1st place), Zak Hanna crossed the line in 30:13 for 131st place.
British Cross Challenge (England):
Closer to home, another Newcastle AC athlete was in action at the British Cross Challenge in Milton Keynes, England (Saturday 11th November 2017). In the men’s 9.5k race, Eoghan Totten (Richard Rodgers) secured a top ten spot when he clocked 31:02 for 8th place. The race was won by Southampton AC athlete Mahamed Mahamed in 29:18 (1st place).