High hopes for athletes heading to national cross county champs

Liam Shaw Athenry AC , bronze medallist at the Scottish indoors Combined Events.

Liam Shaw Athenry AC , bronze medallist at the Scottish indoors Combined Events.

Galway teams travel in force to the last major national cross country championships, which are being held in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, on Saturday.

The intermediate men’s team for the 8k race is a strong one, led by Abaas Edris of Castlegar, with strong GCH representation from David Carter, David Bohan, Naoise O Gibne and Conor Deane who will be in contention for a medal.

The intermediate women's race will be held over 5km, and the squad includes Caron Ryan of Craughwell (third in the novice at Christmas ) and Catherine Thornton of Crusaders, with Castlegar AC forming the backbone of the team.

Galway masters women's O35 squad and the GCH club team are both prospects for a medal, with Jane Ann Meehan, Niamh Hennelly and Sinead Foran of GCH among the standout names, while the O50 women, with Mary Kealy and Carmel Brannigan going well, is another squad with definite silverware potential.

In the men’s masters races, Galway will field three teams, at over 35, 50 and 65 level, with all three sides well prepared under team manager Sean McDermott. The O50 team has possibly the best chance of winning medals, with Ian Egan, Dave Evans, Gerry Carty and Niall Murphy, all strong competitors on the country. At O65 level, the legendary Martin McEvilly returns, and along with Martin Kearney, and Tony Fahy, make up a strong GCH team, with a county team also competing.

In the O35 event, Galway will field a strong team in a very competitive event with Ger Hartnett and Sean Burke of Tuam, Bruin O;Connor of GCH, and Mark Davis of Craughwell some of the high-quality team assembled by the selectors.

A programme of juvenile development races and the inter-club relays at juvenile level will also take place.

Maree 8km: The Maree 8km Run is back for its 12th year in 2020, and takes place in the surrounds of Maree, Oranmore, Co Galway, on Sunday at 12 noon.

This picturesque circuit has been measured to AI standards, will be chip timed, and has been approved by the Galway County Board.

The route takes participants from the start point at Maree Community Centre out onto Galway Bay, down the picturesque Tawin peninsula, and back to Maree Community Centre.

The event will raise funds to develop local sporting facilities in Maree, and is organised by Maree Athletics Club in conjunction with the Maree Development Organisation.

Scottish Combined Events Championships: Liam Shaw of Athenry AC travelled to the Glasgow Emirates Arena at the weekend to take part in the Scottish Combined Events Championships and came away with a bronze medal. Shaw impressed particularly in the shot putt as he broke the championship best by over five metres and smashed the Scottish record in the process.

GCH Award: Galway City Harriers was named as the Development Club of the Year by Athletics Ireland for the first time in its history. The award is testament to the excellent work at juvenile level by the club. GCH athlete Conor Hoade was also named as Galway Athlete of the Year.

AAI Games: The AAI Indoor Games take place this Sunday in the National Indoor Arena in Dublin.

Assistant Coaching Course: There is an introductory coaching course being held in St Brigid’s College Loughrea on Friday February 14 and Friday 28 February 6pm to 9.30pm. Etry is now online on https://www.athleticsireland.ie/index.php/coaching.


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