Local Athletes take on the All-Ireland Uneven Age Groups and the North West XC
14 December 2018
NI & Ulster Junior athletes will be travelling to Navan Racecourse on Saturday 15th December to compete at the Irish Life Health AAI National Uneven Age Group Cross Country Championships. While Senior athletes will be looking towards the North West XC in the next part of the XC League.
This will be the last national Cross Country event of the year and as always, it is expected to have a big turnout as athletes from across Ireland and Northern Ireland compete to gain an All-Ireland title. The event will be co-hosted by Athletics Ireland and Meath Athletics and is sure to be an action packed day of Cross Country, across all age groups.
The U17 Girls 4,000m race has a strong entry with City of Derry Spartan’s Cara Lavery and Aela Stewart both vying for the top spaces. The U19 Girl’s event will feature a top Finn Valley AC team, alongside the NI & Ulster Champion, Niamh Carr (Springwell Running Club); 2nd place Sarah Kelly (Inishowen AC) and Mountain-Running’s British & Irish Junior Champion, Grace Carson (Mid Ulster AC).
St Malachy’s AC will plan to make their mark in the U17 & U19 Boys competitions, with the NI & Ulster Champions, Adam Ferris and Conall McClean, leading the teams in their respective age groups. Also striving for the top spots in the U17 Boys will be Beechmount Harriers’ Jj Gracey and Olympian Youth & AC’s Sean McGinley, after their impressive podium finishes at the NI & Ulster Uneven Age Group Championships in November. Meanwhile in the U19 Boys St Colman’s College’s Micael McCaul and Jack O’Farrell will be offering a decent competition.
In the U15 age group events, NI & Ulster medallists, Amy Greene (Rosses AC), Tara McDonough (North Down AC) and Katie McCleery (City of Lisburn AC) are expected to feature in the Girls event, while the Boys will be well represented with local athletes, Oisin Kelly (Cranford AC); Jack McCausland (City of Lisburn AC) and Joel Chambers (Loughview AC) all set to take part.
The U13 Group will see Boyd Russell (Olympian Youth & AC); Tom Doherty (Monaghan Phoenix AC) and Fionn McNamara (Annalee AC); Amy Jo Kierans (Oriel AC) and Elsa Moore (Lifford Strabane AC) representing the region with Anna Gardiner (East Down AC) also competing as part of her club team.
Representing both Region and County in the U11 Girls, will be NI & Ulster Champion Emer McKee (Willowfield Harriers), accompanied by Emma Bonar (Letterkenny AC) and Isa McCarron (Lagan Valley AC). Also running for their region and county, will be NI & Ulster 3rd place Henry Curley (Mid Ulster AC), competing against his fellow Ulster team mates Harry Shields (Letterkenny AC) and Luke McCausland (City of Lisburn AC).
The full list of competitors can be found here
The provisional timetable can be found here
The Cross Country League Returns to the North West
The excellent Gransha Park course will once again host the annual North West XC races on Saturday 15th December 2018. This will be the fifth event in the XC league timetable and another big entry across all four races is expected with the featured Open 6K set to attract a 200 plus field.
Defending Women’s team champions, City of Derry Spartans Women, will face strong challenges from the North Down AC Women in particular, as they currently sit at the top of the XC League table. They are expected to travel with a strong squad this weekend with valuable ANI XC League points at stake. Rachel Gibson, Katie Moore and Sarah Grant led them home last year and should feature prominently again this weekend with host club, City of Derry Spartan’s own Breege Connolly also likely to make her presence felt up front.
The Foyle Valley Men ran impressively to take team honours in the last year’s event. Chris McGuinness led them home in 3rd place behind Springwell Running Club’s Neil Johnston in 1st and Declan Reed of City of Derry Spartans in 2nd. It is expected that both Derry clubs will mount strong challenges with Acorns AC, Ballymena Runners and Willowfield Harriers looking to upset the odds and add to their XC League standings.
The Open 6K has a 12:30pm start and there are earlier races for U12's, U14's and U16's scheduled from 11:35am. Entries on the day will be available from 10:15am in the U3A Foyle building to the right of the main course.