Galway secured a number of team and individuals medals National Health Intermediate and Masters Cross Country events in Avondale Forest Park in Co Wicklow on Saturday.
It was a truly demanding hilly course, and windy conditions meant it was a real test for the Galway athletes who had travelled in great numbers. Nonetheless, Galway City Harriers team, and Caron Ryan of Craughwell and Martin McEvilly of GCH all produced outstanding performances to claim medals.
The team medal for Galway City Harriers was won by the women's O35 squad. They claimed the National Masters club title with a superb all-round performance with the four scorers Kathryn Casserly in 12th, Jane Ann Meehan in 16th, Deirdre Gibbons in 35th and Olive Gleeson in 43rd. The county squad placed fourth overall. GCH O50 women were also fourth overall in their category and were led home by Carmel Brannigan
The intermediate women's 5km race saw Caron Ryan of Craughwell continue her great cross country season with a brilliant performance to finish second overall, and win her second National cross country medal of the season after her Novice bronze win in December. Galway’s Catherine Thornton, running with Crusaders AC, secured team gold for her club, with Galway women placing fourth in the county competition.
In the men’s masters races, Martin McEvilly of GCH made a winning return to action, taking gold in the O70 category with a storming run. In the team competition. Galway fielded three teams, with the O65 team winning silver, via McEvilly, Martin Kearney of GCH, Frank Power of South Galway and Andy Talbot of CRH, and the GCH men’s team won bronze club medals via McEvilly, Kearney and Tony Fahy.
The O50 GCH men’s team placed fourth. Gerry Carty was first home for the team, while the county team, led by Ian Egan, placed fifth. In the O35 men’s event, Galway was fifth with Brian Furey of Rathfarnham and Matt Coffey of Castlegar finishing in the top 40 overall. Castlegar AC men’s team was 17th overall in the club event.
The GCH intermediate men’s team of Conor Deane, Conor Byrne, David Carter and David Bohan was seventh overall in a very competitive event over 8km.
At Juvenile level, Alan Hallinan of Craughwell AC ran a great race to place fourth in the U11 race.
Maree 8km: The Maree 8k run, due to be held last Sunday, was cancelled due to Storm Ciara. The race will now be held on Sunday, February 23 at 12 noon.
AAI Games: The AAI Indoor Games were held on Sunday in the National Indoor Arena in Dublin with several Galway athletes competing. James Frizzell of GCH ran a superb 3.59 over 1500 metres, with clubmate Jack Maher not far behind in 4.01. Paul Joyce of Craughwell AC won his 800m race in 1.59.
Gort 5km: The annual Gorgeous Gort 5km takes place on Sunday in Gort. The race will start at 1.30pm and race entrants are asked to assemble outside Gort Community Centre at 1.20pm prior to being walked to the start line by race marshals. Registration will open at 11.30am in Gort Community centre and is also available online on Active.com Connacht Schools Cross Country: The Connacht Schools Cross Country finals take place in Bushfield, Loughrea, on Saturday.
Intervarsities Indoors: The Irish University Indoor Track and Field Championships will take place this Saturday in Athlone. NUI Galway will field strong teams across all events under the guidance of coaches Brendan Glynn and Matt Lockett, with Pierre Murchan, Thomas McStay, Sarah Quinn and Nicole Walsh likely to be among the favourites in their respective disciplines.
Assistant Coaching Course: There is an introductory coaching course being held in St Brigid’s College Loughrea on Friday February 14 and 28, 6pm to 9.30pm. Entry is online on https://www.athleticsireland.ie/index.php/coaching.