The weekend was another successful one for the harriers with good numbers competing in the juniors showing that the hard work by the coaches is starting to pay off along with good victories for Connor Magill and Cathy McCourt in their races allied to good performances all around by other athletes.
Jimmy Nolan took the juniors on the long journey to Killybegs on Sunday for the Ulster cross country age group championships. For the second week in a row it was good to see such a contingent of young harriers out further illustrating that the future is bright. In the under 10 boys Adam Lamb, Brendan McCambridge and Sam Carr all had good performances while in the u12 girls Aime Bradley, Lilia Murray and Elie Bradley also had good performances. In the u12 boys Damian Marquess and Shane Carr both took part and did well. Conal McCambridge had another excellent performance for 11th in the u16 boys meaning he gets through to the all Irelands. The juniors can now look forward to a shorter trip to Barnett’s Demesne in 2 weeks time.
A mid-week change of venue due to a waterlogged course at Stranorlar meant a long journey to Killybegs for both the novices and the juniors. In the Novice the runners were faced with a 6 lap course across rather sandy terrain. Connor Magill continued his fine form of late to win by 22 seconds. Connor had been challenged by a city of Derry athlete up until four and a half laps in but his superior strength told and he pulled away to win the race by 22 seconds. Next up was Darryl Blair for 12th position with a solid run while the rest of the team fared well with Eoin McQuillan in 42nd and Travis Todd, in his first cross country, having a great race to finish 44th. The team finished 5th overall.
Gr8 Dundrum run
In the multi terrain race in Dundrum a sizeable contingent of Harriers took to the line with the highlight being Cathy McCourt’s victory in the women’s race. Cathy won by over two minutes from Karen Alexander over a challenging course. In the mens race Gareth Grew continued his good form for fourth place while Claire Prenter matched this with a good run for fourth place in the womens. Club secretary Jenni Bill had her first running race in a while to finish 17th in the womens race while Mary Ringland had also put in a good performance.
The usual large contingent of harriers ran in the waterworks with first harrier across the line being Paul Jenkins for 2nd place in 17:58. Jim Newberry finished 7th in 19:03 while Damien Gill was next up for his first PB in a while in 19:13. Angela Burns won the womens for the second week in a row with 19:55 with event director Matt Shields finishing behind her in 19:56. Aidan O’Reilly ran another PB in 20:40 in his last appearance before Dublin while blast from the past John Lavery finished in 21:38. Jim Clinton, Darragh McNairney and Drew Crawford were the other harriers on duty with Jim running 24:41, Darragh running another new PB in 25:07 and Drew taking part in his first parkrun for 26:20.
Gerry Farnham XC
Paul Blaney had a good run in the Gerry Farnham cross country in Dublin on Sunday. This was the Irish trials and Paul finished 6th M40 to make the Irish team.
Cathy McCourt NI vets female athlete of the year
Last Saturday Cathy McCourt was awarded the NI vets association female athlete of the year in the city hall. This tops off what has been another very successful year for Cathy who was virtually untouchable in the vets category. Cathy is the current NI road 10k champion (open), the british 5k champion, british 5k silver medalist, 3 time NI masters cross country champion, NI track silver medalist in the 3,000, and 2010 1500 and 3000 NI track champion. Cathy has also enjoyed dominance in the local road running scene and has many other honours to her name.