Allan Bogle and Anne Paul completed an impressive City of Derry Spartans double success at Saturday’s Roe Valley Trail Run.
And Sunday’s opener in the Finn Valley 5K series, also produced a double for the host club as Darren McGlinchey and Catherine Brogan took the honours.
Edinburgh based, Simon Herron meantime made his season debut in the Long Jump at the Scottish Indoor championships in Glasgow and produced a 6m 32cm effort for eight place in the final on Sunday.
Allan Bogle made light of the opposition at the Roe Valley 8K on Saturday, finishing over a minute clear of Ballymena runners, Ian Taggart with early challenger Foyle Valley’s Timothy Shiels just caught on the line by the Ballymena man.
The tough three lap course provided a stern challenge for the participants, although the winner ran home to Eglinton post race as he prepares for an upcoming ultra race.
Anne Paul continued her successful return to competitive action and had almost two minutes to spare on runner-up Fran McFadden of host club Springwell Harriers with the unattached Anne Bonner a further 19 seconds in arrears.
An impressive win for the classy Spartan as she works her way back to full fitness.
Oran McBride was the only other local in action and he finished seventh male master and third in his M40 category.
Darren McGinley had four seconds to spare over Finn Valley 5K runner-up James Flanaghan of Tir Chonail AC, 15m 54s to 15m 58s and the improving Keith Shields of Foyle Valley finished in third spot.
Finn Valley had all top three female finishers with Catherine Brogan clocked 19m 49s to win from Sarah Byrne and Clare Devenney in the first of the four strong 5K series.
Meanwhile, tomorrow (Wednesday) will be a big day for schools cross country as Mallusk hosts the Ulster Secondary schools championships plus the much anticipated NI Primary schools Final.
Local schools will be in the thick of the action at both levels and the quality of the local challenge is extremely good.
After a three round local Primary schools League the North West will be represented by teams and individuals from Broadbridge P.S., Long Tower P.S., Steelstown P.S., St. Patrick’s P.S., St. Therese’s P.S. plus individuals from Hollybush P.S., The Model P.S. and St. John’s P.S.
Broadbridge have both girls and boys teams in action with triple individual winner, Caoimhe Walsh, a classy looking front runner.
St. Partick’s Sean McIntyre won two of the three local boys’ races and will lead his school squad, with Kyle O’Reilly of St. Therese’s who won the other race and Steelstown’s Ben McCarron, a podium placer in all three races others to watch.
In the Secondary Schools championships Thornhill have four separate teams qualified, St Joseph’s have two and St Columb’s one.
Individuals from Lumen Christi, St Cecelia’s, St. Mary’s and St Mary’s, Limavady will also be in the line-up, chasing provincial honours and a passport through to the All-Irelands in Galway in mid-March.
Some locals to note are Mini Boys district winner, Mark McCloskey of St Columb’s; Aoife Laverty of Thornhill who won the Junior girls district title; the St Columb’s Boys Intermediate pair of Shane McGowan and Matthew Folland and district Intermediate girls bronze medallist, Amy Jackson of Lumen Christi.
Good to see St Joseph’s qualifying two teams, Minors and Intermediates and Thornhill certainly did brilliantly in the districts to qualify Minis, Minors, Juniors and Intermediates. Good luck to everyone tomorrow!
Weekend Cross Country
Two venues this weekend, the Stormont grounds in Belfast on Saturday and Dublin’s Santry Park on Sunday.
The latter hosts the National senior clubs championships where Declan Reed will carry local hopes while the popular annual Civil Service meeting in Stormont has the added attraction of deciding the final placings in the 2011/2012 ANI Winter cross country League and for good measure, is a further scoring race in the NI Masters Winter League, in which several local male and female masters have a healthy interest.
The local Spartans men’s squad are vying with North Belfast Harriers for top spot in the men’s league race and hope to field a strong squad to boost their challenge.