Tuesday’s Flavahan’s NI Primary Schools Cross Country League Finals in Mallusk yet again saw local schools dominate proceedings.
Indeed, Broadbridge and St Therese finished one-two in the Girls’ race and St Therese completed a magnificent medal double with victory in the Boys’ event.
Broadbridge secured their emphatic win with a highly impressive performance, fronted by Aela Stewart 2nd, Lily Toorish 3rd, Aisling Walsh 4th and Anya Hockley 5th and backed up by Orla McGeough 26th and Carmen Arbues 87th - the six to score team award deservedly went to the Eglinton area school.
St Therese in contrast had no prominent front runners but superb packing from Leah Moore 14th, Aimee Doran 36th, Sarah Lee Donegan 44th, Toni McCool 47th, Rachel McMullan 65th and Ally Fitzpatrick 82nd secured the team silver medals for the squad.
A brilliant return for the local schools and a tribute to the strength of the local League which sees 15 or so Derry City Council area Primarys contest three races between October and January to determine the qualifiers for the NI Finals, where this week 20 teams and almost 200 runners battled it out for the Girls individual and team honours.
The third local qualifiers Oakgrove, battled hard for a 9th place finish as the Derry schools demonstrated their overall strength.
The St Therese boys squad made it a local double with a terrific win in the Boys’ race, their magnificent packing pushing them well clear of any opposition as in 8th place Liam Quigley led them home.
Sean Harrigan Smyth 23rd, Ciaroun Doherty 27th, Declan Harrington Smyth 31st, Conal Toland 36th and 39th placer Darren O’Donnell impressed with strong efforts to ensure the win.
St Patrick’s and St Anne’s were 6th and 7th with a terrific individual run from the latter’s Oisin Gallagher, an eye-catching 3rd overall as he showed his two wins from two in the local League were indeed a hint of his ability to take on all comers.
There was another big turnout in the Boys’ race, 21 teams and almost 190 finishers.
Athletics NI would like to thank Derry Triathlete Aileen Reid for presenting the medals and hampers to the winning athletes.
Aileen was impressed with the great young talent on show in both the boys and girls races.
A special thanks must also go to all the volunteers for helping out throughout the league and to all teachers and parents who supported the event.
Those pupils who finished in the top 20 in the final will be invited to join the Athletics NI Junior Cross Country squad.