XC Championships taken by McMurray and Johnston

30 January 2016

Newcastle's Shalene McMurray and Springwell's Neil Johnston were comfortable Intermediate winners at the weekend's ChampionChip Ireland NI and Ulster Cross Country Championships at the University of Ulster, Coleraine.

Shalene McMurray who was an excellent 17th in the Greenmount International 2 weeks ago, was never seriously challenged in her race over a muddy course. In the end she claimed victory in 16 mins 33 secs, which was a huge 42 secs ahead of runner up Aife McSheffrey of Springwell. Bronze went to Acorns Karen Alexander. Aife helped her club to win the team title with 38 points ahead of North Belfast on 55 points.

In the Men's race Neil Johnston’s time of 34 mins 38 secs was 8 secs ahead of Derry's Conor McCaughey who was also 2nd last year. North Belfast's Conal McCambridge took 3rd and led his team to the narrowest of victories on 101 points ahead of Acorns on 102 points. 

In the Men's Masters the evergreen 50 year old Pauric McKinney of Inishowen, showed his younger opposition the way home to go one better than last year by securing victory in 24 mins 2 secs. City of Derry's Alan Bogle was 15secs further back followed by North Belfast's Eamon White who was also 3rd last year. His team lost by one point to Finn Valley who scored 50 points.

Victory in the Ladies Masters went to Finn Valley's Catriona Diver in 17 mins 3 secs some 6 secs ahead of Omagh's Julie Butler. Last year's winner Louise Smith of North Belfast had to settle for bronze. She did have the consolation of ensuring her club retained their strangle-hold on the team event with 46 points ahead of City of Derry.


Team Results

Intermediate Men

North Belfast Harriers 101

Acorns AC 102

Foyle Valley AC 118


Masters Men

Finn Valley AC 50

North Belfast Harriers 51

Newcastle AC 78


Intermediate Women

Springwell Running Club 38

North Belfast Harriers 55

Acorns AC 65


Masters Women

North Belfast Harriers 46

City of Derry AC Spartans 55

Finn Valley AC 62