The 2019 Galway Cross Country ‘Uneven’ Ages were held in Palace Grounds, Tuam Sunday 6th October.
The day followed in the wake of the county being hit by ex-hurricane Lorenzo, but on Sunday all was calm and the conditions were near perfect for a run in the mud around the excellent cross county course in Tuam. A slightly modified course to usual years was used but still provided the usual Tuam challenges.
There were a lot of first-timers competing for Athenry at these championships, across all the age groups and excited and nervous smiles seemed to be the order of the day.
First race of the day saw Amy Higgins and Hannah Healy take to the field in the U9 girls race with great first time performances from both. Next up was the U9 Boys with Oisin Shaw, Lincoln King and Odhran Madden. Oisin ran a strong race, running towards the front for a long period of the race before eventually leading the team home in 13th spot.
Following our youngest competitors, our first complete team of the day, the U11 Girls put in a solid performance to finish 9th team, with great performances from Isobel Nyhan, Daisy Hynes, Vanessa Madden and Rachel O’Hara. The guts and determination of Rachel to get around the course was commendable and by sticking it out she was able to contribute to the overall team score. Well done Rachel. Oisins older brother Alex was the sole representative in the U11 Boys race which was a very hot contest indeed. Alex came home in 21st which was a fantastic result given the stiff competition in this age group.
At U13 Girls level, it was great to see the return of Aishling Kelly to both the club and to competition, always bringing a smile to whatever she does. Unfortunately for Aishling and debutante Shona Healy the race didn’t go quite according to plan and both were unable to finish the 2500m race but both quickly recovered. Alice Church was left as the sole runner for the girls finishing strong in a race that contains some of the countries finest cross country talent. There was no representation in the U13 boys race, with Aidan Shaw, a stalwart of the cross country scene opting to strut his stuff on the basketball course. A tough decision for Aidan to make, but he will be back.
One of our other stalwarts of the club, Bronagh Deely who is able to turn her hands to all things athletic took on the tough 3500m course, fighting it out with some of the counties top track athletes finishing in 11th place and taking a few very notable scalps along the way. A small field in the U15 Boys race saw our first medal of the day, with Sean Doggett going into battle with some serious heavyweights of the juvenile middle distance world. The race was won by the very impressive Mathys Bocquet, a true star of the future who was followed home by Gearoid King of Castlegar. Sean came home in third, seeing off the 1500m track specialist Andrew Horan of South Galway. Further down the field, Liam Shaw was involved in a battle with Killian Walsh from Craughwell with Killian proving the stronger on this occasion. Hard to think from the photo below that these two are just two days apart in age, and both were on the same maternity ward together 14 years ago.
The day finished up with our second medal of the day, Aine O’Farrell taking gold in the junior womens race which was run in conjunction with the senior womens race. Aine was third overall, behind the impressive Kathyrn Casserly and equally impressive Jane Ann Meehan. Aine continues her preparation ahead of the National Junior XC in November which is her goal race of the season. Following behind Aine in the race was fellow Athenry AC competitior Edel Kelly. Great also to see a senior male team back at the county cross country for Athenry with Chris Deakin, Kieran Staunton, Alan O’Brien and James Lundon taking on the demanding 8Km course.
Results can be found by CLICKING HERE