Galway Athletics report November 19

National Cross-Country championships

The blue riband event of the national cross country season takes place next Sunday, in the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown in Dublin, when the national senior, junior, and even age juvenile races from U12 to U18 will be down for decision.

At juvenile level, many of Galway’s top athletes will compete and contest for national honours, in what is the most competitive event of the season. The Tuam AC U12 boys' squad will be aiming for a podium finish in the team event, while at U14 girls' level, Connacht champion Fauve Aylmer of Craughwell will also look to do well on the national stage. At U16 level, Sean Cotter of Craughwell AC impressed in winning the Connacht title and will be targeting a strong run on Sunday, as will his Craughwell AC team mates at U16 level. GCH U14 and U16 girls' teams, who won Connacht gold, will also seek national glory next weekend.

GCH junior men’s team will aim to emulate last year’s historic victory when they won the national title for the first time, and the squad will certainly be in the mix again for honours. Coach Matt Lockett has assembled a strong team featuring Thomas McStay, Eanna Folan, and Aaron Brennan from last year’s team, with Jack Maher, Barry Murphy, and Rian de Bairead among the new additions to the squad this year.

At senior level, Galway will look to Laura Shaughnessy of DSD who will be targeting a top six spot, and GCH will have a strong ladies' team out, featuring Jane Ann Meehan, Aisling Joyce, Kathryn Casserly, and Niamh Hennelly, and this squad has the potential to medal on the day.

In the hugely competitive senior men's event, Galway will field a talented squad with Jamie Fallon and Damien O Boyle of Craughwell AC, and Naoise Gibney, Keith Fallon, David Carter, and John Moroney of GCH, all forming the backbone of a youthful Galway squad with great potential.

British and Irish Masters Cross Country

The 31st annual British and Irish Masters International Cross Country was held in Singleton Park Swansea in Wales last Saturday, on a really testing cross country course. The event featured three of Galway’s top veteran athletes; Ian Egan of Castlegar impressed in winning team bronze on the Irish V50 team and placing 20th overall, Martin McEvilly of GCH won individual silver and team silver at V70 level with another impressive display, while Athenry’s Martin Keane was on the Irish M75 team that placed fourth overall.

IUAA road relays

NUI Galway teams performed credibly at the Universities Road Relays held in NUI Maynooth last Saturday. NUIG Men’s team placed fifth overall, with a strong run on the three-mile leg by the talented Damien Landers almost getting them a medal, with Jack Miskella, James Frizzell, Aengus Meldon, and Donal Devane in support, while NUI Galway Ladies, led by Aisling Joyce, placed eighth, with Orna Murray, Rhona Pierce, and Maebh Brannigan comprising the ladies quartet. NUIG Ladies second team placed 15th overall.

Ballinderreen 10k

South Galway AC hosted the eighth annual Ballinderreen 10k last Sunday, and the race doubled as the 2018 Galway AAI 10k road race championship event. A high quality field was present and the race was won by Kevin Mooney of Craughwell AC in 33.30, just ahead of Limerick AC's Colm Turner who clocked 33.35, with Conor Dolan of GCH third in 34.27. Jane Ann Meehan of GCH had a superb run to win the ladies' title in a fast time of 36.50, with Hilkka Kronko of Limerick AC second and Avril Hurley third.

Athenry Fit for Life 5k

The Athenry Fit for Life 5k was held last Saturday, with Claire O Shea first lady home, ahead of Sinead Gallagher and Brid Daly, all three of whom run with GCH. Sean Folan and Thomas Cushen, both of Galway City Harriers, had a great battle at the front of the race with Folan just taking the honours in 21.13 to Cushen’s 21.19.

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