Galway clubs target success at National Cross Country Championships

Top three women in the Ballinderreen 10k: L to R Neasa De Burca, GCH, winner, second Sinead Foran, GCH, and third Rita Keirce, St Mary's. 
			 		Photo: John O Connor

Top three women in the Ballinderreen 10k: L to R Neasa De Burca, GCH, winner, second Sinead Foran, GCH, and third Rita Keirce, St Mary's. Photo: John O Connor

The highlight of the domestic cross country season, the National Cross Country Championships, takes place on Sunday at the National Sports Campus, Abbotstown, in Dublin.

Galway clubs will be well represented across both juvenile and adult programmes. The juvenile programme features even age group races at U12, 14, 16 and 18 level, with the mens and ladies' junior and senior races on the adult schedule.

Galway juvenile clubs will be well represented, with Tuam AC, Craughwell AC and South Galway AC all having teams competing, along with strong individual entries across other Galway clubs. GCH junior men will target national team glory in the junior men's race over 6km, and they will field a talented squad capable of medalling. Thomas McStay, Aaron Brennan and U18 Barry Murphy have been in great form this season on the road, and they, along with Jack Maher and Rian De Bairead will ensure that the city club will be right in the mix for honours, along with Clonliffe Harriers of Dublin and St Malachy's Belfast.

Galway will field a strong senior team to target county honours in the men’s 10km event. Damien Landers, Vinnie McGuinness, and Ciaran Diviney are among the top runners competing for the county, allied to a GCH contingent led by John Moroney and Naoise O Gibne.

GCH will also field a strong club team with Neill Keane and Brian O'Connor in good form this season to date. Caron Ryan of Craughwell AC will look to place highly in the U23 section in the women's race over 8km.

NUIG make history

NUI Galway won a first bronze medal in the men’s race at the University Road Relays on Saturday in Maynooth University - the first time the college has medalled at this event.

The squad, under the guidance of coach Matt Lockett, was anchored by Pierre Murchan, with Jack Miskella, Thomas McStay, Jack Maher, and Aaron Brennan all combining well on the medal winning team.

NUIG Men’s B team finished in sixth place in a sign of the strength and depth of the college, while the women placed seventh overall in their race. Caron Ryan of Craughwell AC continues her good run of form, as she led the Trinity College Dublin ladies’ team to victory.

Ballinderreen 10k

South Galway AC held its ninth annual Ballinderreen 10k on Sunday, and a large field assembled for the event on a fast course. First home was Colm Turner of Limerick AC in 32.32, with Rob Lennon of Castlegar second and Ciaran Divine of Crusaders AC third. Neasa De Burca of GCH won an exciting women’s race, just pipping clubmate Sinead Foran in a time of 39.06 to Foran's 39.09, with Rita Kierce of St Mary's AC, third.

British and Irish Masters

Three Galway athletes represented Ireland at the British and Irish Masters Cross Country international in Aintree, Liverpool, on Saturday. Mark Davis of Craughwell AC had a fine race at V45 level and was second Irish athlete home, as the squad captured team silver behind England. Ian Egan of Castlegar AC competed in the V50 race, with Martin Keane of Athenry AC competing in the V75 category.

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