Galway athletes Thomas McStay and Damien Landers both put in excellent performances at the European Cross Country championships in Lisbon, Portugal, on Sunday.
In what was a top class event on a demanding and hilly course, GCH Junior athlete Thomas McStay was third scorer on a very strong and unlucky Irish junior men’s team that placed fourth overall, only losing out on countback to hosts Portugal for bronze.
McStay ran another tactically excellent race, coming through strongly on the last lap to place 24th overall, on a day when junior athlete Efrem Gidey won bronze individually for Ireland .
Damien Landers, currently competing for the Galway County Cross Country team, ran a solid race in an exacting senior men’s race over a 10km distance, to place 71st overall and fifth of the Irish team home.
Athletics Ireland team management were led by two Galway members, high performance director Paul McNamara, and national endurance co-ordinator Matt Lockett of Galway City Harriers, and both were delighted with the excellent Irish team medal haul of two individual bronze medals and two silver team medals.
The second day of the national cross country championships take place in Dunboyne, Co Meath on Sunday.
The event will feature juvenile championship races from U11 ages through to U19, with many of Galway’s top young athletes competing for honours, including individuals and club teams from Tuam, GCH, Craughwell and South Galway among others.
At adult level, the always exciting national novice cross country championships also will be held. Galway County will field strong teams in both mens and women’s races. The Galway squad features Keith Fallon, Eanna Folan and James Frizzell of GCH and Damien O'Boyle, Mark Davis and Jack Miskella of Craughwell AC, as well as Stephen Casserly and Lonan O'Farrell of Castlegar. GCH, Craughwell and South Galway will all field strong club teams.
In the women's event over 4km, Galway County and Galway City Harriers will field strong teams, including Caron Ryan and Sinead Gaffney of Craughwell, Barbara Dunne of GCH, and Aine O'Farrell of Athenry.
Keith Fallon of Galway City was first home in the Claregalway 5k Jingle Bells Fun Run on Sunday. Fallon crossed the finish line in 16.06, with Aaron Brennan of GCH second. Third home was Brian Furey of Rathfarnham.
Kathryn Casserly of GCH won the women's event by a clear margin, with Sinead Gaffney of Craughwell next, and Tara Whyte of GCH in third place.