NI & Ulster XC Championships 2016

Successful Day for Newcastle AC at NI & Ulster Cross-Country Championships at University of Ulster, Coleraine

Photos on Facebook HERE

Women’s Intermediate

Two weeks ago Shalene McMurray (Newcastle AC) made her Northern Ireland debut on the country at the Antrim International at Greenmount College where she finished a very creditable 17th. Today, in a biting cold gale on the University of Ulster Campus in Coleraine, where the earlier snow had melted, she literally ran away from the field. The going was tough, but McMurray was even tougher. There was hardly a firm step on the 1,350m lap (which had been shortened due to the waterlogged conditions down towards the River Bann) but that did not deter McMurray as she ploughed around the course at great speed. 

The gap was 30 metres by the end of the first lap and it grew from there, finally coming home in 16:33, 42 seconds ahead of second placer junior Aoife McSheffrey from the local Springwell club (Coleraine) with Karen Alexander from Acorns AC (Cookstown) 3rd in 17:31 nearly a minute behind. Mari Troeng showed a continuing return to form in 8th place in 17:57 with solid runs from Sam McNeilly and Rita Devlin in 32nd (20:13) and 33rd (20:24) respectively backing up for 4th place for the team just missing out on the medals.

1  Shalene McMurray Newcastle & District AC F35 00:16:33
2  Aoife McSheffrey Springwell Running Club FJ 00:17:15
3  Karen Alexander Acorns AC F35 00:17:31
8  Mari Troeng Newcastle & District AC FO 00:17:57
32  Sam McNeilly Newcastle & District AC FO 00:20:13
33  Rita Devlin Newcastle & District AC FO 00:20:24

Men’s Masters

Alan Bogle of City of Derry Spartans also tried to run away from the field in the 5-lap Masters race over 6,700m but was hauled in by the incredible Pauric McKinney of Inishowen AC (Donegal). McKinney turned 50 last May and ran an incredible 2 hours 30 for the Berlin Marathon in September and beat all-comers today some 15 years younger than him. Team captain David McNeilly led the red and yellows home in 8th place with David Steele producing a solid run in 10th. Deon McNeilly was 2nd in the M50 category and Eamon McCrickard completed the team that picked up an excellent bronze medal behind Finn Valley and North Belfast.

John Kelly was only 5 seconds behind McCrickard at the end having been passed with 200 metres to go and just missed out on making the scoring 4. Eugene McCann in 58th overall picked up the silver medal in the M55 category. All in all a great turn out from the Newcastle ‘old boys’ with 10 competing.

1  Pauric Mc Kinney Inishowen AC M50 00:24:02
2  Allan Bogle City of Derry AC Spartans M35 00:24:17
3  Eamon  White North Belfast Harriers M45 00:24:42
8  David McNeilly Newcastle & District AC M35 00:25:18
10  David Steele Newcastle & District AC M35 00:25:25
18  Deon McNeilly Newcastle & District AC M50 00:25:49
44  Eamon McCrickard Newcastle & District AC M45 00:28:15
45  John Kelly Newcastle & District AC M45 00:28:20
57  Richard Rodgers Newcastle & District AC M50  00:29:35
58  Eugene McCann Newcastle & District AC M55  00:29:37
82  Stephen Rice Newcastle & District AC M45  00:31:59
95  Gary Cairns Newcastle & District AC M45  00:34:11
102  Declan Rice Newcastle & District AC M50  00:36:08

Men’s Intermediate

Newcastle AC won this title two years ago and many of those runners will look to try and secure a medal at the NI Championships in Lurgan Park on the 20th February. This year’s vintage gave it a real go in the mud over 7 laps (9.35km) with the ever-improving Marty Melville coming home in a very good 12th place in 37:20. Just over minute behind him, again in his best place in the race at the finish line was London-based Brendy Donnelly in 22nd (38:28) – again representing a best ever run for him over the country. Reasonably recent recruit David Hicks had a very good run in 31st (39:21) with Jack O’Hare donning the xc spikes for the first time ever, storming through the field on the last lap to finish 39th in 40:06. Still recovering from a serious bout of Christmas influenza in Sweden, Patrick Higgins worked hard to finish 43rd in 40:28 with PJ McCrickard completing the scoring six in 46th in 40:56.

The team race was won by North Belfast (the second year in a row that they have secured the Intermediate title – no mean feat) just a point ahead of Acorns. Foyle Valley was 3rd with 118 points and City of Derry 4th (160 points), Springwell 5th with 175 points and Newcastle 6th with 193 points.

12  Martin Melville Newcastle & District AC 00:37:20
22  Brendan Donnelly Newcastle & District AC 00:38:28
31  David Hicks Newcastle & District AC 00:39:21
39  Jack O’Hare Newcastle & District AC 00:40:06
43  Patrick Higgins Newcastle & District AC 00:40:28
46  PJ McCrickard Newcastle & District AC 00:40:56