A weekend of XC Action in the North West and Waterford
18 December 2017
This weekend saw some great cross country action all over the island of Ireland, with the North West XC, part of the Athletics NI XC League, taking place in Derry-Londonderry. As if this wasn't enough, we also saw the Irish Life AAI National Uneven Age Group & Novice XC Championships in Waterford.
Springwell Running Club's Neil Johnston and Rachel Gibson from North Down AC took top honours at the North West XC in Derry/Londonderry this weekend (Saturday 16th December 2017).
The City of Derry AC hosted event took place in Gransha Grounds, the same venue as the recent British & Irish Masters International XC, and was the fourth race of this season’s Athletics NI XC League.
In-form QUB student Neil Johnston saw off a strong challenge from local athlete Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) to win in 18:39 (1st place). Declan picked up the runners up prize in 18:46 (2nd place), with fellow North West man Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC) completing the podium in 19:02 (3rd place).
In the ladies race, North Down AC celebrated a clean sweep of the podium. Rachel Gibson broke the tape in 21:52 (1st place), with Katie Moore clocking 22:10 for 2nd place – Sarah Lindsay crossed the line in 22:24 for 3rd place.
Foyle Valley AC won the men’s team competition, while host City of Derry AC topped the ladies team standings.
Elsewhere this weekend…
Letterkenny AC’s Nakita Burke sealed Novice gold while junior stars Oisin Duffy (City of Derry AC), Cait O’Reilly (Annalee AC), Sean McGinley (Olympian YC) and Conall McClean (St Malachy’s AC) picked up age category gold medals at the Irish Life AAI National Uneven Age Group & Novice XC Championships in Waterford this weekend (Sunday 17th December 2017).
The always improving Nakita Burke edged what was a closely contested ladies 4,000m race, crossing the line in 15:41 (1st place), just two seconds ahead of runner up Sinead Kevany (Midleton AC). In the men’s race, good packing saw the North Belfast Harriers team claim 2nd place and the associated silver medals.
Earlier, Cait O’Reilly got the day off to an excellent start for the local contingent, winning the Under 13 girls race. Spartan athlete Oisin Duffy struck gold after leading the Under 13 boys field home; his City of Derry AC team collected silver medals after taking 2nd place. In the Under 15 category, Olympian YC’s Sean McGinley took top honours.
Conall McClean broke the tape first as the St Malachy’s AC Under 17 boys picked up silver medals in the team category. Letterkenny AC’s Donal Farren finished in 3rd place in the competitive Under 19 boys race.
East Down AC also celebrated victory on the National stage, with their Under 13 girls winning the team gold – Lauren Madine led the team home, taking 3rd place and the associated bronze medal. In the Under 17 girls competition, North Down AC took 3rd place in the team standings.
Finn Valley AC also impressed in the team competition, taking 2nd place in the Under 11 girls and Under 11 boys categories, and 3rd place in the Under 19 boys competition.