ATHLETICS: Gold rush for locals
Olympian YAC contested the recent Ulster and N.Ireland Uneven age group Championships in Finn Valley, Co. Donegal with fantastic success.
The wet, cold and muddy conditions made this a real cross country test for the hundreds involved within each race, but it certainly didn’t deter our young Olympian’s who all competed with such great heart.
Boyd Russell was the outstanding Olympian of the day, competing in the u11 boys race. In the two lap race Boyd was poised nicely within the leading break-away group of five athletes in the first lap.
On the second lap he took on the lead and never looked back as suddenly five athletes became two with Cranford’s Caolan Mc Fadden hot in chase. Caolan who had just recently beaten Boyd to the Donegal Cross Country Title was not going to give away the Ulster and Northern Ireland title without a fight.
It was all set up for a great finale, but with 300m to go young Russell put the foot down and opened up an insurmountable lead and continued to do so right the way to the finish line to be crowned Ulster and NI Cross Country champion.
It was a mature and determined display by Boyd who is going from strength to strength at the moment. It was also double delight for Boyd as he was the first counter for the winning Donegal County Team, therefore winning two Gold medals taking his Ulster and NI Cross Country tally to three Golds for the season.
One of Olympian’s youngest competitors, Orla Faul, showed great heart to take on the Under-9 Girl’s race from the gun. She gave it her all from start to finish but was unfortunately outrun in the end to come second but claimed a very well deserved Silver Medal for her efforts.
The ever improving Sean McGinley also impressed and competed with steely determination in the U15 Boys race.
Sean, in an age group above himself on the day, put it up to the older opposition from the gun staying with the leading group the whole way through the race.
In the end that extra year strength was the difference but Sean finished like a train to place a very creditable 10th place to book his automatic qualification spot to the All-Ireland Cross Country Championships.
It was even more delight for Sean as he was the fourth counter for the winning Donegal County Team and therefore bagged himself a well-earned Gold Medal for his efforts.
Well done to every one of the young Olympian’s who competed, producing fantastic performances by all!
The club is proud of every single one of you and keep up the great training as it is certainly paying off.
Training will be held on Tuesdays at Foyle College senior school sports hall and on Thursdays at the Templemore Sports Complex, from 7:00- 8:30pm each night.
The club is insured to cater for any and all abilities from 8 years of age right up to senior and master’s level who wishes to train, keep fit, have fun, and/or compete at a local to national/ international standard.
New members as always are more than welcome. For further details please do not hesitate to contact Michelle O’ Donnell on 07857426545 or message us via Facebook (Olympian AC) or feel free to come have a chat at the track on any of the club nights.