14 Oldpark Terrace, Belfast BT14 6NN

North Belfast Harriers Junior Report 17th – 23rd October 2022

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For fans of cross country athletics, there was only one show in town this weekend.  The Even age group Ulster’s were held in Comber and the club had a very strong showing at this major event.  In addition, some great park run performances at the usual venues.  Let’s start with the racing and firstly thanks to all the mentors, coaches, parents, supporters and not least, the runners for making it another great event.

NI & Ulster Even Age Group Championships

Girls Under 10

The girls lined up with big smiles in the rain for their race. They all embraced the mud and ran really well and had so much fun, gaining great experience to bring to future races.

They then enjoyed the craic in the tent afterwards, staying on to cheer on their teammates in later races.

Athlete

Event

Place

Time

Emily Gamble U10 Girls 24 04:13
Phoebe Reid U10 Girls 34 04:26
Eva McLoughlin U10 Girls 47 04:49
Clodagh Fahy Duckett U10 Girls 56 05:52

 

Boys Under 10

We had 5 boys run in the U10 section with the majority making their big race debut. As a team they placed 4th.

Mason Mercer led the team home finishing 6th overall and also qualified for Antrim and Ulster in the All Irelands.

Issac Mooney wasn’t far behind with a very impressive run. Over the finish line next were Milo Purvis and Cillian McConnell, both finishing strongly and only 1 second apart.

Max Curry completed the quintet with all boys doing themselves and the club proud.

Athlete

Event

Place

Time

Mason Mercer U10 Boys 6 03:34
Isaac Mooney U10 Boys 36 04:00
Milo Purvis U10 Boys 58 04:17
Cillian McConnell U10 Boys 59 04:18
Max Curry U10 Boys 81 05:28

 

Girls Under 12

In the U12 girls race the club had three runners – Eimear Coy, Rachel Curry, and Cassie Curran.

After a good warm up and quick lace check the girls were off. There were 102 athletes in this race which started with the usual stampede along the 100m straight and into the long incline.

Cassie started steadily as did Rachel and Eimear, avoiding elbows and fallers in the mud.

By the downhill section Cassie was starting to work her way through the field and with half the race gone was in the top 20. She continued her strong running and produced a very strong finish to come home 4th place (04:40), 3 seconds behind the winner, Kate Kelly from Enniskillen (04:37), gaining automatic selection for Ulster and Antrim at the All Ireland Finals in Donegal on Sunday 20th November.

Behind her, clubmates Eimear and Rachel were also running strong – with Eimear finishing in 79th position (06:06) just ahead of Rachel in 81st place (06:12).

The girls all ran fantastically and hopefully there is more to come from each of them this season.

Athlete

Event

Place

Time

Cassie Curran U12 Girls 4 04:40
Eimear Coy U12 Girls 79 06:06
Rachel Curry U12 Girls 81 06:12

 

Boys Under 12

The U12 boys race had 112 runners in a very competitive field of 14 teams. Our boys managed to score 126 points and finished in 6th place in a race dominated by some strong Donegal teams. However our boys scored higher than local clubs such as North Down and Willowfield.

First home was Cormac Leheny in 10th place in a very tight pack of runners and only 6 seconds off a podium spot. Cormac automatically qualified for the All Ireland final for both Antrim and Ulster.

Second home was Finlay Mercer in 31st place also qualifying for the All Irelands representing Antrim.

We had a lot of debutants in this race and every boy gave it 100%, especially on the home straight doing themselves and the club proud. At the finish area the boys were in great spirits and we hope to see them all back racing again soon.

Athlete

Event

Place

Time

Cormac Leheny U12 Boys 10 04:38
Finley Mercer U12 Boys 31 04:55
Ruarcc Sheridan U12 Boys 40 05:02
Senan McConnell U12 Boys 45 05:05
Tom McEvoy U12 Boys 47 05:06
Dualta McGleenan U12 Boys 60 05:15
Ethan Wiltshire U12 Boys 66 05:17
Lorcan O’Kane U12 Boys 84 05:35
Niall McAuley U12 Boys 86 05:37
Finley McCloy U12 Boys 92 05:44
Theo Haigh Aragao U12 Boys 98 05:52
Pearse Leheny U12 Boys 100 05:58
Jude McMaster-King U12 Boys 109 06:21

 

Girls Under 14

Congratulations to all the girls taking part in the u14 girls race.  Everyone stuck top the task and really battled through this tough course showing how their hard work is paying off against the best talent in Ulster.

Athlete

Event

Place

Time

Isla Wiltshire U14 Girls 37 10:00
Erin J McAuley U14 Girls 64 10:39
Cliona McGinley U14 Girls 66 10:45
Eabha Conway U14 Girls 72 11:18
Aoife Sharkey U14 Girls 80 11:36
Orlaith Fahy Duckett U14 Girls 85 11:45
Eimear O’Regan U14 Girls 88 11:59

 

Boys Under 14

The U14 boys contingent consisted of Alex Reid, Thomas Coy, Jack O’Neil, and Odhran Browne. This was a very tough race for these four year 8 boys who were racing a longer distance of 2.5km alongside year 9s and year 10s. They all ran really well and will only get better at this new age group which they can all run again next year.

Athlete

Event

Place

Time

Thomas Coy U14 Boys 23 08:55
Alex Reid U14 Boys 68 09:32
Jack O’Neil U14 Boys 91 10:04
Odhran Browne U14 Boys 98 10:46

Girls Under 16

Athlete

Event

Place

Time

Holly Collins U16 Girls 34 13:38
Treasa McConnell U16 Girls 42 14:15
Niambh McAuley U16 Girls 59 14:52

 

Boys Under 16

The U16 boys race saw 12 entries from the club in the 3.5km race which consisted of 1 lap of the lower lake followed by 1 longer lap including the hill. The boys were brought through the usual track warm up routine with discussion on course tactics before heading down to the starting pens.

As expected, the race began at pace with Max, Eoin and Oscar securing positions close to the front before the first ramp. The remaining boys opted to hang back at the start and save their energy for the harder 2nd lap and the opportunity to pick off runners as they made their way through the pack.

And so it unfolded, by the end of the first lap, the very determined Max, Eoin and Oscar had maintained their positions close to the front whilst the rest of the boys looked in control having steadily progressed up the pecking order.

A good hill, soft under foot, offers no forgiveness to anyone that has gone out too hard and the hill at Comber, deceptive at first glance, has seen many earn its respect. The incline at the start of the 2nd lap signalled the unofficial start line for this race as the runners gritted their teeth and persevered until the downhill section and a moment of recovery. With the runners disappearing out of view behind the tree line the spectators were left in suspense for several minutes as the drama unfolded out of sight.

Then emerging into view at the far side of the lower lake, the NBH vests were clearly visible close to the front with approximately 800m to go as the course levelled off. The experienced heads knew there was one final twist in this plot but would the newcomers recall the race brief and have enough for the final kick up the finishing ramp? Spectators lined the course with 200m to go. Cheering, applauding, roaring the runners to one final effort. Faces etched in fatigue and desire, duelling with each other to the line. Bodies bent double, hunched and gasping, offering congratulations to strangers yet comrades at the finish.

Max, Eoin and Oscar secured automatic qualification whilst Ryan’s finish was enough to see the team place 4th (2 points of a podium finish) and earn a team qualification slot for the All Irelands in Downings, Donegal on November 20th.

Well done to all the runners and in particular the first timers. Some great battles throughout the race and particularly at the finish. You did yourselves proud.

Athlete

Event

Place

Time

Max Reid U16 Boys 6 11:02
Eoin O’Connell U16 Boys 13 11:25
Oscar Purvis U16 Boys 19 11:48
Ryan Donaldson U16 Boys 58 12:53
Charlie McLarnon U16 Boys 63 13:05
Lorcan McCann U16 Boys 64 13:11
Aidan Owens U16 Boys 76 14:00
Cathal McManus U16 Boys 77 14:02
Oscar O’Connor U16 Boys 80 14:12
Cillian Browne U16 Boys 82 14:19
Nathan McKeown U16 Boys 85 14:24
Oran Steele U16 Boys 89 16:14

 

Girls Under 18

Brilliant effort from Orlagh, our sole representative in this category.  Worked diligently throughout and came home to great applause from the NBH faithful.

Athlete

Event

Place

Time

Orlagh McComb U18 Girls 34 22:27

 

Boys Under 18

Having waited around patiently for a few hours it was over to the eldest juniors in the squad. Hugo, Odhran and Matthew waited in the pens for the whistle to sound then the cavalry charge commenced up the straight.

Hugo got the best start and held his position well heading up the first small incline and stayed with the leading group throughout the 1st lap. By the time the 2nd lap started he had dropped a few places however he hung in to secure a 10th place and an automatic qualifier to the All Irelands.

Odhran had a good start also and was mid pack heading into the 2nd lap but slowed a bit on the heavy underfoot conditions and came home in 47th place.

Matthew was so excited about his first ever cross-country race and was admittedly nervous on the start line. As the whistles went, he charged up the first straight after his 2 teammates. He enjoyed the cheers from the crowds as he made it to the home hill and threw his hands in the air as he passed the finish line. Well done!

Athlete

Event

Place

Time

Hugo Reilly-Stewart U18 Boys 10 18:31
Odhran Rafferty U18 Boys 47 22:32
Matthew Purvis

 

Phew! If that wasn’t enough there was also the Park runs…

2km Junior Parkrun – 23rd October 2022

Well done to all who ran this weeks 2km Parkruns, congratulations especially to Tom, Isaac, Eimear, and Carter for their well deserved new personal best times.

Athlete Event Place Time
Tom McLoughlin Waterworks 3 08:04 PB
Isaac Mooney Waterworks 7 08:31 PB
Eimear O’Regan Waterworks 11 08:50 PB
Sadie Sullivan Waterworks 16 09:57:00
Carter McClay Waterworks 18 10:08 PB
Cormac Leheny Ormeau 1 07:24:00
Pearse Leheny Ormeau 11 09:38:00
Ronan O’Neill Musgrave 19 12:47:00

 

Other News

Training continues as normal this week.  Big thanks again to all those who have been helping with lights etc it is very much appreciated.

Last call for entry to the Uneven age group Ulster XC champs is tonight so that registration can co0mplete by 5pm tomorrow!

We will circulate the final list of qualifiers for the Even Age Group All Irelands once they are available from Athletics NI.

Enjoy the rest of the week folks.