Saturday saw the biggest cross country of the year with the International combined with the NI and Ulster senior XC taking place at Greenmount. This saw large numbers of harriers turnout in the mens, womens and junior events.
Gladys and girls storm to victory
The womens race was the first senior event of the day with European champion Fionnuala Britton taking the field alongside a number of international athletes. Gladys Ganiel O’Neill started as favourite for the NI & Ulster championship and didn’t disappoint winning by over a minute and a half and in doing so mixing it with several top quality internationals to finish 13th overall. Next up Claire Connor continued her form from last year to finish just shy of the medals in 5th.
With 4 to count and it being nip and tuck with North Down Judi Graham came in 8th winning out after a long battle with a North Down athlete followed by Roisin Hughes who battled it out with 2 North Down athletes to finish just ahead of both in 12th position. This gave the team 26 points winning out in a closely fought battle ahead of North Down who finished on 32.
Club secretary Jennifer Bill was next up closely followed by Nuala Muldoon in 30th with Athanasia Sevastaki also having a good run for 41st.
This topped off a solid few months for the girls winning the NI 10k championship, the NI relay championships and the NI senior XC championship and also getting the best turnout of the season for good XC league points.
Men finish 4th
With 6 to count in the mens race and a few of our better runners missing it was always going to be a tough battle however the men battled well to hold out for 4th place.
First up for 14th local was club captain Alan O’Hara, Andrew Considine took some notable scalps for 25th. Next up there was a battle between 3 harriers with Neil Carty taking 34th, Tommy Hughes 35th and Eddie Cooke 36th. Completing the scoring was ever improving new recruit Marc Jennings in 57th.
There were some good battles going on between the harriers outside the scoring with Simon Reeve next up in 65th, Travis Todd in 69th and Alan Ritchie 72nd.
Robert Irvine continued his good form from the Seeley to finish in 85th with Philip Donnelly and Joe Norney battling it out behind him for 89th and 90th respectively. Gerry Gribbon finished 88th, Mark Shields 100th, Greg McClure 104th and Paul Williams 155th.
With 16 runners and 4th place this leaves the harriers in 2nd place going into the last race of the NI XC league at Stormont 2 points behind City of Derry who got maximum participation points and finished 3rd.
In the vets race there was a good turnout of harriers. Paul Elliot was first harrier finishing 8th and first 55, followed by Laurence Johnston in 11th, Jim Newberry was first M60 in 14th and Gerard McNamara finished close behind for 16th.
Good junior turnout
Several junior races also took part at Greenmount with good numbers of harriers turning out.
Mollie O’Hare ran well in the under 13 girls while in the under 14 boys Tony McCambridge finished 10th with good runs also from Thomas Reid(13th) , Damian Marquess and Odran Catney. In the under 15 girls Katie O’Hare and Rioghnach Catney ran well. In the under 17 girls race Catherine McGinnity and Katie McCambridge ran well. In the under 17 boys Conal McCambridge finished 35th – finishing in the top 5 local under 17s among several good international athletes.
In the primary school boys there were good runs from Fionn Nagle, Adam Lamb and Brendan McCambridge.
With the XC a few less took part in the parkrun than normal.
At Queens Eoin McQuillan finished 11th in 21:43, John Lavery 17th in 23:07 and Damien Gill 21st in 23:42.
At waterworks there was the usual large contingent of harriers. The Grew brothers battled it out for victory with Brendan winning in 17:08 and next up Gareth in 17:46. Simon Reeve, Gerry Gribbon and John Murphy all finished top ten with Simon 5th in 19:04, Gerry 7th in 19:17 and John just missing his PB in 8th for 19:19.
Greg McClure finished 12th in 19:43, John Black 16th in 20:27, Killian Woods 18th in 20:51, John Burns 30th(smashing his PB by 25 seconds) in 22:05. Jack Carberry finished 40th in 22:57, John O’Hare 97th in 26:01 and Matt Shields, Sean McShane and Jim Clinton(his 97th parkrun) finished 139th, 153rd and 157th respectively.
At the Falls Paddy Hamill finished 3rd in 19:07.