McNeilly Looks ‘Extremely’ Good Again
by Joe McCann
The ‘Extreme 26’ series recommenced on Thursday 13th January after an enforced lay off since 25th November due to the extremely inclement and unpredictable weather. On that occasion McNeilly, McCrickard and Quail had led a clean sweep of the podium positions for Newcastle AC. All three men have been training hard and racing feverishly throughout the winter and so it was no surprise when they completed another impressive 1, 2, 3 in Castlewellan. It was all very close on the first of the two laps of the demanding course. McNeilly and McCrickard, who it would seem share a pulse these days crossed the line together in an impressive 20:04 with Quail very much in contention a mere 6 seconds behind. Was McCrickard thinking he could get one over on his guru? As the race unfolded McNeilly eased ahead of his two main rivals and came home first, winning by 24 seconds. The battle for second was intense as the position changed hands repeatedly. In the end it was Quail who prevailed, holding of McCrickard by 15 seconds to record an impressive second place. Santa obviously brought Newcastle’s other main contender a time machine for Christmas as he appears to have lost a number years in age, judging by his categorisation. Poor Eugene must have had a very long and hard paper round!!! When asked about this, the diminutive athlete simply replied ‘whaaaa’.
Well done to our 3 junior members who travelled to Dungannon on Friday 14th January to compete in the Integrated Schools’ Cross Country Races. Shimna College Minor Boys team took first place. This outstanding result was greatly helped by the individual performances of Newcastle AC athletes Aidan Hawkins, who won gold and Jack Quinn who finished second and claimed an individual silver medal. Shimna College Minor Girls team also grabbed team gold, with Chloe Rooney finishing in 3rd place and winning a bronze medal.
Newcastle’s leading lady, Kerry Harty has returned from altitude training at Font Romeu as she prepares for the indoor season. Her first outing will be the Welsh 1500m event in Cardiff on Saturday 22nd January. She will return to Cardiff the following week to compete in the Welsh 3000m before jetting off to compete in a 1500m race in Vienna. Kerry will be joined by Eoghan Totten in Cardiff as he begins his indoor season with a 3000m race. The Newcastle starlet will view this as ideal preparation for the forthcoming Schools’ Cross Country season. In this his final year at school, Eoghan will be looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Red High student James O’Hare and bring home medals from the county, provincial and national competitions.
Next week the McGrady Financial Services Junior Cross Country Series moves to Castleward with registration from 12.30pm onwards and the first race at 1.20pm. Attention will then turn to the highly popular ‘Rollercoaster’ races organised by east Down AC which will take place on 29th January on the paths around the Downpatrick Racecourse. Races begin for juniors at 12noon with the main event, 3.1 miles, 5K or 25 furlongs depending on the measurement system you prefer, being called to starters orders at 2pm.