Dungarvan native David McCarthy and the 2010 National Inter Counties winner in Gransha, Fionnuala Britton, were emphatic individual winners at Sunday’s Gerry Farnham cross country meeting in Dublin.
McCarthy has close North West connections through his uncle, Declan McCarthy but the local interest was focussed on Christy McMonagle and Roisin Lynch who were chasing places in the Irish squads for next month’s Masters International in Belfast.
Both were successful, Lynch finishing third F60 and won selection on her four woman age group squad while McMonagle fought off a debilitating stomach bug to snatch the fourth and final spot on the M65 squad for the November 10th International which has been moved from Stormont to the Queens University Malone playing fields in Belfast.
Lynch was happy with her performance, claiming that she stepped up on her run last Saturday in Belfast and will travel to Belfast in just over two weeks time confident of helping the Irish F60’s to another International medal winning effort.
McMonagle went down with a mystery stomach bug on Saturday and was very relieved to get the precious last place on the M65 squad. He will now take time to recover and set about getting back to his best in advance of next month’s big test.
New Mill’s 10k
Closer to home, Ivan Toner and Fionnuala Diver of Letterkenny AC topped the leader board at Saturday’s New Mills 10k road race, clocking 34m 14s and 37m 25s for their wins ahead of over 120 finishers.
East Down’s Benny Teer of East Down AC improved on his third place finish at last weekend’s NI Masters open meeting to take top spot in the GR8 Dundrum road race, clocking 44m 49s for an easy win ahead of the unattached Phil Wood and North Belfast’s Martin Rea.
Female runner-up last week, Karen Alexander of Sperrin Harriers was equally impressive in taking the women’s honours on 52, 05s, well ahead of Lagan Valley pair, Shileen O’Kane and Hazel McLaughlin.
Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor is this weekend’s major venue as it hosts the NI/Ulster even age group cross country championships with around 700 juvenile athletes expected to participate.
The age groups to be contested are U10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 and the local clubs will be among the contenders on Saturday.
The Seniors and Masters will also be involved in a further two races and these will have an added significance as this meeting kicks-off the 2012/2013 NI Cross Country League scoring races.
Both City of Derry and Foyle Valley are expected to have athletes in action with the Spartans hoping to field in good numbers to kick-start their challenge for League honours.
On Sunday Gransha will host a new event, the Beacon 5K road run/walk with a 11.30 a.m. start. Race HQ will be the U3A Foyle building which will be open from 9.30 a.m. to accept entries.
The entry fee is £8 or E10 and the course is that used at the annual St Patrick’s Day 5K.
The event is organised by the Clarendon street Beacon House Centre and Planet Youth and is expected to attract participants from around the North West.
There will be prizes in all the usual categories and good post-race refreshments. For further information contact Maria on 07517041707.
Ulster Star Awards for Young Locals
A trio of City of Derry Spartans’ talented Juveniles have been rewarded for their 2012 performance levels with selection among the Ulster Stars County Awards.
Lisa Bradley, Harry O’Neill and Mark McGarvey are the trio and they will recieve the awards at a function in Monaghan at the end of November.
Each county has four awards and the locals will be joined at the ceremony by Holly Clarke of Springwell.