Galway athletes will compete across the 10-race programme of this season National Cross Country Championships in Abbottstown, Dublin.
GCH junior men’s squad will be challenging for honours, with Eanna Folan, James Frizzell, Joe Tannian and Michael Healy on the team, backed by U18s Thomas McStay and Aaron Brennan, who all have the potential to make the podium.
The Galway senior men’s team is also strong, with new GCH signing Brendan McDonnell tipped for the top 10. Andrew O Donnghaile, John Moroney, Timmy Jones, Michael Kerrin, Brian O'Connor and Niall Murphy are all also running from the city club, while Tuam AC will field a club team with Ian Egan, Sean Burke, Ger Hartnett and Paul Kearney competing. Castlegar AC adds the strong running Stephen Casserly to the team, and the squad is completed by Dublin-based athletes Brian Furey, Vinnie McGuinness and Ciaran Diviney.
Galway women's squad will look to Kathryn Casserly and Tara Whyte, Jane Ann Meehan and Tammie Corrigan to chase county medals over the 8k course.
Meanwhile Galway athletes performed well at the recent Connacht Primary Schooland Senior League cross country finals in Roscommon. Aoibhe Joyce of Scoil Ide took the Connacht title in a highly-competitive field in the fifth/sixth class girls' race, while Scoil Caitriona Renmore’s Isabella Burke won bronze. Cian Halligan, St Patrick's School and Tuam AC, won the third/fourth class with a superb front-running performance, and Oisin Phelan of Brierfield won bronze in the fifth/sixth class event.
Craughwell National School won two team medals. Its third/fourth class girls won bronze, and the fifth/sixth class girls won silver. Ballinderry National School won silver in the third/fourth class girls' team category.
Castlegar AC took bronze team medals after three rounds of the Connacht Cross Country League. The squad comprised Paul Giblin, Sean McDermott, Stephen Casserly, Damian Ryan, Frank King and Rynal Browne. Damien Ryan of Castlegar AC took silver in the novice men’s race, while Sean McDermott won senior men’s bronze after consistent running throughout the series. Neill Keane of GCH impressed on his cross country debut, placing fifth overall in the novice category, with Michael Kerrin fourth in the masters.
Masters Cross Country
Two of Galway’s top veteran athletes, Martin McEvilly and Christine Kennedy, both of Galway City Harriers, ran for Ireland at the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International in Derry. Kennedy finished third taking bronze in the M60 category, scoring on the Irish M60 women’s team which took second place. McEvilly finished seventh in the competitive M65 category, scoring on the Irish M65 men’s team, which claimed third position.
Gary Thornton of GCH returned to action with a victory at South Galway AC'S annual 10km in Ballinderreen, which incorporated the Galway 10k Road race championships for 2017. Niall Shanahan of Limerick was second with an excellent run in 31.37, with Colm Turner, also Limerick, in 33.21. The first woman home was Jane Ann Meehan of Athenry AC in a fast time of 37.04, with Barbara Dunne secondm running 38.34m and Hilkka Kronos of Limerick AC third in 40.05.
Fit for Life 10th Birthday
The GCH Fit4Life group celebrated its 10-year anniversary last week, having been established by club supremo Bernie Kelly in November 2007. The group has encouraged thousands of Galwegians take up and enjoy running in a group environment around the city - Westside/Newcastle areas in particular - and has been a huge success. The hugely dedicated Ms Kelly continues to lead and organise the twice weekly sessions with a team of dedicated group leaders.