34 harriers travelled to Scotstown on saturday for the NI/Ulster Junior, Intermediate and Masters XC in what proved to be successful day for all involved.
Junior team victory / Alan second
The men sent down a large team with the hope of winning and also with the hope of a few individual medals and weren’t to disappoint.
Alan O’Hara had a great race to win the silver medal. Alan took 2nd place early on and despite attempts from three different athletes to close the gap he held on comfortably. Next up was Connor Magill ,who despite only recovering from the flu, had a great run for 5th.
Darryl Blair and Gregory Walsh had a good battle between themselves for 3rd scorer with Gregory holding on for 16th and Darryl getting 17th. There were two scorers left and Conor Curran and Eamon White battled it out with Conor finishing strongly for 20th position and the rehabilitating Eamon getting 21st.
Andrew Considine, who’s new to XC, had a great race finishing strongly to get 23rd place just outside the scorers. Travis Todd continued his rapid improvement for a great race in 29th holding off Alan Ritchie in 30th. Marty McIlkenny did well for 32nd while Gareth Grew was just behind him in 33rd and will have the bragging rites for a while now with birthday boy Jim Benson finishing just behind in 35th. Stevie Walker in his first XC finished 47th while Michael McAlinden started the race but unfortunately succumbed to a back injury.
This was a comprehensive squad victory with the team finishing on 81 points and the next team, Foyle Valley, finishing a distant 2nd on 145 points.
The masters were first up with a few strong contenders for medals.
Neil Carty was first harrier over the line had a solid run for 7th place, this gave him the silver O45 medal, with chairman Matt Shields having a good race for 24th and gold in the M55 category. Laurence Johnston and Paul Jenkins had their usual battle with Laurence just winning out for 32nd and Paul finishing 35th. Simon Reeve , in his first ever XC, had a great race to finish 40th with John Patience completing the A team lineup for 51st.
For the B team there was a lot of inter club rivalry with Tony McNulty finishing 55th, Robert Irvine 56th, John McGuigan, in his first XC, 57th, Greg McClure 61st and Francie McCaffrey, after some early toing and froing with Robert finishing 63rd.
For the C team all the runners were taking to XC for the first time so it was all a new experience for them and every one of them performed well. Mark Shields had a good race for 68th with Lance Breen 74th,Gerry Gribbon 76th and John Burns also competing.
Cathy victorious in ladies XC
In the ladies race it was masters, juniors and intermediate all in one. After some early vying for the lead Cathy McCourt took charge from half a lap in and her lead grew from then to the finish for a facile victory. This is Cathy’s fourth victory in a row in the masters XC.
Athanasia Sevastaki was next harrier and had a great race in her first XC for 25th with club secretary, after an ongoing battle with her footwear, next harrier in 34th. Nuala Muldoon and Michaela Murphy both looked very comfortable in their first XCs for 40th and 41st respectively.
Pictures can be found at https://picasaweb.google.com/117832901260553051970/JuniorXC2011.
In the slightly less competitive environment of the parkrun several harriers took to the line. First up was Greg McClure in his first outing of the day for 11th with Mannix McAllister next up in 34th. Ita McCambridge was next up for 3rd lady with Killian Woods just behind in 43rd.
Veteran John Lavery finished 46th with regulars Damien Gill and Jim Clinton next up for 59th and 60th respectively. Special mention must go to Jim who completed his 50th parkrun on saturday and becomes the 3rd person at the waterworks to reach that milestone.
Young Darragh McNairney was next in 81st with junior Catherine McNicholl next and William Beattie finishing in 90th. Juniors Brendan McCambridge, Conor McNicholl and Jack O’Dwyer Henry all had good races to complete the harriers finishers.