The 3rd race in the McGrady Financial Services Junior Cross Country Series was held at Kilbroney Forest Park on Sunday 29th November 2015 at 1pm. Burren Athletics Club hosted Race 3 out of 5, and there was a great turn out by competitors & their supporters, even with the stormy conditions.
The wind and rain were hitting the Newcastle registration jeep sideways, giving Pauline a tough task to keep the sheets dry for the race. The soggy ground made race conditions challenging, but the eager competitors braved the weather and completed their warm up with Burren’s coach.
Alas just before the start of the P4 race, it did stop raining and the competitors were able to take their coats off, to line up for the start of their cross country race. Many competitors wisely wore football boots or spikes to get some grip on the muddy course.
The P4 girls race was a mass start, and on the first corner, the runners had stretched out, with a strong lead from Lyndsey Kelly of 3Ways, who went on to win by 14 seconds, with Jodi Foster from East Down in second, and then Caoimhe O’Hare from 3 Ways in third, closely followed by Newcastle runners of Ellie McCabe of Newcastle, in 4th and also Rachel Hodge in 8th. Lyndsey’s time of 1.44 was quicker than the P4 boys, by 8 seconds which was tremendous over the 500m course.
Niall McCauley (Newcastle) led the P4 boys race from the start, and was just piped at the post by Leo Madine from East Down on the final hill, in a close finish. Top 4 completed with 2 more East Down runners coming in from Kieran Trainor & Alexander Robinson.
P5 girls race started with a break -away 3 person group including Amy McCartan, Laura Hanna & Pheobe McCreesh, over the 1.5 laps. Amy broke away and set the pace for the final lap to win in 3.03 mins, with Laura finishing strongly on the hill, and sprinting to the finish line in 2nd. Amy has had 2 consecutive wins in this year’s series.
P5 Boys were next up with a strong team from 3 ways of Tiernan O’Hare and Donal Coffey who took the first two podium places and then Conor Fearon of Burren one second behind, as he fearlessly fought Oliver Robinson (East Down) & Noah Sheridan of Newcastle to defend third place.
P6 Girls was won by Lauren Madine (East Down) who glided round the course effortlessly to beat the boys time in 3.54. Aoibheann Mynes (Burren) had a good run to stay in front of 5 East Down girls galloping behind, with Anna Gardiner finishing in 3rd.
P6 Boys had a great run from 2 Newcastle boys of Daniel Sheil & Cathaoir King to finish 1st & 2nd consecutively. Cathaoir is in training to help Kings Dairies deliver the milk to the people of Castlewellan in record breaking time. 3 ways took 3rd & 4th with Eoin Cunnningham & Cormac McGovern in this closely contested race.
P7 Girls race saw Lara MCCarthy of Burren take the 1st podium position, with Kirsti Foster (East Down) hot on her heals in 2nd with only 4 seconds difference, and Lianna Farrelly in 3rd.
P7 Boys race was had a 1st & 2nd from 3 ways Caolan O’Hare & Brian Watters with 2 seconds in it, followed by three East Down runners led by MacKenzie Murray.
Year 8 Girls was a 3 Ways club clean up with the 1st 4 athletes from the club led by Caitlin Coffey with her 3rd win of the series, and then battles for 2nd & 3rd between Siofra McAteer & Olivia Hall in each series race, and then Shannon Devlin in 4th.
Year 8 Boys saw Odhran Hamilton (3 Ways) take his 3rd win of the series this year, with Ultan O’Callaghan (3 Ways) in 2nd followed by 2 Newcastle athletes in 3rd & 4th positions of Ronan McVeigh and Cormac McKibben.
Year 9 Girls – As seen in the photo this week Aoife McGreevy of 3 ways and Eve Kenneally of Newcastle (No. 609) battled out 1st & 2nd positions in the stormy conditions in Kilbroney Forest set at the edge of Carlingford Lough. Newcastle Athletics Clubs’ 12 year old Eve Kenneally recently qualified at the Northern Ireland and Ulster Cross Country trials to run for the County Down team in the Under 14 all Ireland Championship.
Year 9 Boys saw Caitlin Coffey take his 2nd win of the series , and Christoher Neill of Newcastle Ac in 2nd.
Year 10 Girls had Edie Carroll of East Down take her third win of the series in front of Hannah Gilliland also of East Down. The photo shows the year 10 boys & girls race with Edie Carroll No 617 and Adam McKibben no 119 leading.
Year 10 Boys had a tight finish with only 4 seconds between the first 3 places. Adam McKibben (Dromore) got his first win infront of Andrew Elwood of Dromore and Oisin Coffey of 3 Ways.
Year 11+ Girls – Laura Gardiner took pole position for East Down with her second win of the series ahead of Aoife Cochrane of East Down (1st in Castlewellan) and Rachel Collins of Dromore.
Year 11+ Boys Ethan Dunn of Dromore, lifted the pace and made the break to win against James Smyth of East Down, and Adam Hilditch was 3rd. Ethan has now 3 wins under his belt in the 2015 series.
Well done to all who participated in this race and many thanks to all the organisers and the parents who make it a great experience.
The fourth race in the McGrady Financial Junior Cross Country Series will be held at Delamont Country Park, near Downpatrick on 17th January 2016.