Our Under 10s have been experiencing the joys of fair-weather cross-country via the schools competitions to date - and with much success.  However, today in Loughrea, it was more like the wet weather and damp under-foot conditions one comes to expect.  There has been much more focus this year on endurance and middle-distances in training this term and the end-result was a series of great performaces from all our under 10 competitors.

First up, the girls race saw a top-class field assembled - possibly the best long ditance field yet at this age-group.  There were All-Ireland track medallists at sprints and 500m from GCH and Ballinasloe and some outstanding individuals from Athenry and further afield.  However, it was the all-conquering Rebekah Flynn / Emily Miskella double act who once again came out on top, finishing 1st and 2nd respectively.   It is becoming a joy to witness these fine athletes time their breaks so perfectly.  Rebekah sat once again, just behind the fast-starting Mitchell sisters from Ballinasloe, then pulled clear in the second half.  Emily's second half was equally as stunning, to strongly fend off GCH's Emma Moore - one of the country's top distance runners - in the final metres.  Clearly, they have many great days ahead of them this year in middle distance as their speed and stamina seems to improve visibly by the week.

Caoimhe Connolly from Killeeneen is another athlete who is visibly improving.  She topped her 12th place in last week's Galway schools to finish 7th, just behind GCH's outstanding Aoibinn Costello.  Caoimhe's progress is exciting for the club, and in Jade Moorhead, Molly Sullivan and Rebecca Lynch, we have three girls who have battled and improved over the weeks now for school and club.  Jade was narrowly outside the top ten in 14th place, with Molly 17th, Rebecca 24th and Alex Slamas 37th, whose early fall did not prevent her from finishing the race in a creditable position.

 

If there was a team event Craughwell, with 1st, 2nd and 7th place finishes, would have been clear winners.

Similarly for the boys - a team event would have been won easily by a quartert that all finished in the Top 10.  Liam Mulveen and Conor Hoade ran superbly in a top class field to finish 5th and 6th respectively.  These athletes were 2nd and 4th in the County 500m last May, and these performances emphasised their considerable talent for middle-distance.  Next Craughwell finishers were Adam Stewart (9th), a real star from the schools events who we are delighted to see in club colours, and Darragh McCartin (10th) - whose cross country season just gets better and better.

There was a welcome return to form for Kieran O'Connor, who placed a commendable 12th.  Again, this proves he can probably repeat his County 500m silver at 600m next May. 

Three of our under 9s stepped up in more ways than one for the race; Luke Flynn 11th, Daniel Galvin 28th and Evan Hallinan 14th went stride for stride with the under 10s, all just outside the top 10, which is phenomenal running and augurs really well for the upcoming track season at 500m.

We had another ten or so additional boys in the race and all competed admirably.  Oisin Keane finished strongly as did Eoin Byrne 13th, Mark Egan 32nd, Odhran Keane 29th, Cathal Kelly 31st, Liam McDonagh 40th and Ben Cuniffe 44th.  A team competition might well have seen BOTH a Craughwell A and Craughwell B in the medals

For now, we will be very content with 7 individual girls' and boys' medals.  Well done all. 

 

 

Monday the 27th. .