Masters seeking International vests

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Masters athletes will take centre stage this weekend at the Queens University Malone grounds tomorrow when the NI Masters Open cross country meeting hosts the trial races for next month’s Home Countries Masters International.

With places on the various NI age group squads up for grabs there will be a significant local input in both the Women and M65’s 5k and the Men’s 8K races.

The Malone meeting has an early start, the first race is at 11.30 a.m. and the 8K follows at 12.15 p.m., so the local contingent will be on the road pretty early. Both City of Derry and Foyle Valley expect to have serious contenders in action such as Cathal McLaughlin, Damien McGinty, Declan McCarthy, Dermot Connolly, James Brown, Christy McMonagle, Jacqueline McGinley, Bridgeen Byrne, Roisin lynch, Una Gavin and possibly Martina McMullan and Malcolm McCausland, all in the mix.

M65 McMonagle and F60 Lynch may yet again opt to contest the Irish teams trial in Dublin next weekend but both are expected to test their race fitness this weekend in advance of the Gerry Farnham race in Phoenix Park the following Sunday afternoon. However, with international vests at stake all the locals will be giving tomorrow a real go and hopes are high that many of them will book their places in the squad for the International in Stormont on Saturday, November 10th next.

Sunday sees the action switch to the roads and the annual Armagh 10 miler, a quality event which usually attracts a decent turnout.

Staged just two weeks ahead of the Dublin Marathon its ranks are usually swelled by runners finalising their preparations for the big Dublin classic. It has a 12 noon start time.

NI Primary Schools Cross Country League

Details have just been announced of the first race in the 2012/2013 Primary Schools cross country league, North West section.

It will be staged at the Sports Complex on Friday, October 19th, the distance will be 1K and there will be three races in all.

First off at 12 noon will be the Fun Run, for the non-scoring P5, 6 and 7 pupils. The Girls race follows at 12.15 p.m. and then the Boys go at 12.30 p.m. All will run over the 1K distance with each school permitted to field teams of eight, the top six to score in the team competition.

To date 11 schools have confirmed their entries with several others expected to sign up in advance of next Friday.

The schools confirmed are, Hollybush, Long Tower, Holy Family, St Patrick’s, Broadbridge, St Eithne’s, Model P.S., St Therese, St John’s, Sacred Heart and Holy Child with regulars Greenhaw, Steelstown, St Anne’s and Oakgrove also expected to confirm.

This event has really taken off locally since its inception a few years ago when Aileen Morrison was the regional Athletics N.I. development officer and the local schools have a great record at the N.I. Finals when the top schools and individuals from the seven N.I. wide areas come together for the grand final at Mallusk in February.

The other two races are set for Friday, December 7th and Friday, January 18th and for more information contact at heather@athleticsni.org