Galway’s Gary Thornton continues his Olympic bid

Galway athletic eyes turn to the Netherlands this weekend and the Amsterdam Marathon where top Galway City Harrier Gary Thornton is making a bid for an Olympic marathon qualification time.

Regarded as one of the top 10 marathons in the world, it will prove a tough task for the Galway native, but hopes are high the talented Newcastle native will pull it off this weekend.

On the domestic front, last weekend was day one of the County Cross Country Championships featuring the even ages and adult, hosted by Loughrea AC.

In the senior men’s race, Peter O’Sullivan, who has made exceptional progress from recreational jogger to competitive runner since joining Craughwell AC about five years ago, took the race by the scruff of the neck. Heading out at breakneck speed for the first of the five one-mile laps, he was pursued by GCH recent signing Alan Kelly, formerly of Sligo AC, from the second lap. However the Craughwell man handled the pressure and prevailed by a distance in the end.

The senior women’s race was dominated by GCH with nine of the 11 finishers coming from the club, the race being won by Irene Gorman ahead of Nicola O’Cealligh and Helen Corbett.

The u-10 girls’ 600m was won by Ciara Murray of East Galway from Craughwell AC, ahead of Mia Waters and Aoibhe Miskella. The u-10 boys was won by Finbar McFadden of Craughwell AC from Christian Flaherty and Robert McDonnell of GCH. Athenry’s Lydia Doyle finished ahead of Lidia Sheehy of GCH and Athenry’s Finola Kelly in the u-12 girls’ 1500m. Enda Tynan Daley of Ballinasloe won the u-12 boys’ 1500m, ahead of Brandon Lee of Athenry and Shane Jennings of Ballinasloe.

Lee’s sister Shannon finished second in the u-14 girls’ 2k race, just behind Dearhbaile Walshe of Craughwell and Grace Finnerty of Loughrea. The Craughwell boys had a great day in the boys’ u-14 2500m with Oisin Doyle, Matthew Barrett and James Cahalane finishing first, second and third respectively. In the u-16 girls’ 3k Maeve Brannigan of GCH finished well clear of Ciara Greene of Craughwell and Veronica Burke of Ballinasloe.

The u-16 race was led from the start by rising star Conor Gillen of Craughwell AC, while Sive Brasil of Ballinasloe ran strongly to pip Michelle Maher of GCH in the u-18 girls’ race with Kate Burke of Ballinasloe third. Finn Stoneman of Craughwell AC was the u-18 boys’ winner, ahead of John Moroney and Paul Vahy of GCH.

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