Matt Bidwell of GCH romped home in a time of 33:36 to finish well clear of second-placed James Maher, Templemore AC, who clocked 35:22 in the Colmanstown 10k at the weekend.
Daire Comer of Tuam AC was third in 36:19. In the senior women's category, pre-race favourite Jane Ann Meehan of Athenry AC led the field in a fast 37:09, with Sinead Brody of Galway City Harriers second in 39:45, and Yvonne Fehily, Athenry AC third in 42:47.
Almost 400 athletes competed on day one of the 2017 County Galway cross country competition in the Palace Grounds, Tuam, on Sunday.
In the U10 girls' 1000m, Craughwell's Saoirse Mullins from Ardrahan produced a superb run to take individual gold, while Tuam AC took the team title. In the U10 boys, Ciaran O'Donnell from host club Tuam AC won the title, with Craughwell AC taking team gold.
At U12 level, Mathys Bocquet of Craughwell AC had a stormer, taking an early lead and winning the Galway title in style, while Aoibheann Fitzpatrick led all the way to take gold in an impressive performance, while Tuam AC won the team championships.
At U14 level, Emma Moore eased to victory, and led her Galway City Harriers team to victory, with the GCH girls taking the first four places. Oisin Keane of East Galway AC looked strong in claiming the boys' honours, with Craughwell AC taking the team title.
The U16 boys' race was dominated by Craughwell AC athlete Sean Cotter, who led from gun to tape to claim the county title, and also led his club to team gold. Jennifer Hughes of GCH won the girls' event after a hard-fought battle with Ailbhe Miskella of Craughwell AC, with GCH also taking team victory.
Thomas Mcstay of GCH won the most exciting race of the day, the combined U18 and junior men’s race. GCH, with four athletes in the lead pack, along with Ben Ryan of Craughwell, stayed together for three of the four laps before Eanna Folan of GCH broke away. However he was caught and overhauled by the fast-finishing Mcstay, who claimed the U18 crown ahead of first junior, James Frizzell of GCH.
Junior athlete Caron Ryan of Craughwell AC powered to victory in the women’s 4000m race, establishing an early lead and running out a comfortable winner of the combined U18, U20 and senior races, with Aine O'Farrell of Athenry in second (first U18 girl ) and next home Kathryn Casserly of GCH first senior athlete home.
Paul Giblin of Castlegar AC produced the run of his life to take the county senior title, with a strong run over the last two laps. Niall Murphy of GCH took the silver medal, with Paul Kearney of Tuam AC running a steady race to take bronze. Castlegar AC won the Galway team title after a great battle with local club Tuam AC, with Giblin, Lonan O'Farrell, Sean McDermott and Damien Ryan combining to win the team prize.
Day two takes place on Sunday in the Kilcornan Estate in Clarenbridge for juvenile uneven ages from U9 through to U19.
Schools Cross Country
The Galway Primary Schools Cross Country finals were held Tuesday last in Renmore. Nearly 500 students qualified from the semi-finals, with the top 15 individuals and top three teams going forward to the Connacht finals on October 21.
Race winners were Danielle Moynihan (Ballinderry ), Darragh Fahy (Bullaun ), Isabella Burke (Renmore ), and David Mannion (Kiltiernan ).