Galway athletes enjoyed success on the final day of the National Cross Country Championships were held in muddy Cow Park in Dunboyne, Co Meath, on Sunday.
Despite the tough conditions, there were two superb individual bronze medal winning performances from Sean Cotter of Craughwell AC at U17 level, and his clubmate Caron Ryan in the novice women’s race.
At juvenile level Sean Cotter continued his good form with a strong performance in a highly competitive U17 event, Tuam AC’s U13 boys also won team bronze with a great combined effort via the scoring four of Cian Halligan, Ross Mitchell, Oisin Kelly and Odhran O'Hare.
In the novice women's race over 4km, Caron Ryan’s produced a highly impressive medal-wining performance. Ryan was always in the front group and broke away along with eventual runner-up Hilary Hughes in chase of the winner, Dublin’s Cliona Murphy. Ryan finished strongly, having to hold off fast-charging international Nadia Power to win a well-deserved bronze.
Barbara Dunne of GCH had a super run to place 11th, picking her way through the field with ease, while her clubmate Olive Gleeson had a storming race to place as Galway’s third scorer, with Aine O Farrell of Athenry fourth. GCH and Castlegar AC both fielded women's teams, placing 15th and 19th overall.
In the men’s race over 6km NUI Galway student Donal Devane was the star of the show, winning the novice men’s race in the colours of his club Ennis Track.
James Frizzell of GCH had the run of his life to place sixth overall, with good runs also from Damien O'Boyle of Craughwell and David Carter of GCH. Galway County men's team won bronze in the novice ounty competition, via Frizzell, O'Boyle, Kevin Mooney, Jack Miskella, Mark Davis and Jack Maher.
GCH men and Craughwell teams were always in contention for club honours, with Craughwell claiming fifth on countback ahead of GCH in sixth. South Galway and Castlegar AC also fielded strong teams to place 14th and 21st overall.
There will be a busy series of Athletics fixtures over the Christmas and New Year period.
As always the well-established charity fundraising Goal Mile takes place in Dangan on Christmas morning from 10 am to 1pm.
The annual Fields of Athenry 10k race will be held in Athenry at 11am on St Stephen's Day, with registration open on line on www.athenry10k.com
The Resolution Run 5km takes place at 11am in Galway city, with registration available on https://www.njuko.net/resolution-run. Race headquarters is at the Claddagh Hall on South Park.