3 Ways A.C. were well represented at all ages up to Under 16 at the even age Ulster Cross Country (XC) championships at Kilbroney. Again, as per last year, organisation was excellent – well done Newry and Mourne Council and Newry City Runners who laid out the course and looked after the logistics of a busy day. Turnout overall was excellent showing that N.I. under age athletics has a good future.
Our first runner on the day was Olivia Hall in the U10 girls. Olivia went out strong and led until the final hill where she was over taken by Demi Crossan of Finn Valley, and finished in a fantastic 2nd place. As Olivia was the first Northern Ireland runner in the race she would now be the N.Ireland Girls U10 champion. A brilliant result for Olivia which stands to the hard training she has put in this year. You should be very proud of yourself Olivia!!!
Next up for 3 Ways were Caitlin Coffey, Tara O’Neill and Maeve Watters. Caitlin led the 3 Ways girls home in 8th place with Maeve and Tara not far behind in 17th and 53rd respectively. Caitlin was running out of her age group yet still qualified for the U12 All-Ireland’s – a remarkable achievement for a 10 year old ! Well done all three U12 girls.
The boys U12 were up next and this was 3 Ways best represented race with 4 boys running for us : Ultan O’Callaghan, Odhrán Hamilton, Darragh McConvey and Darragh Connolly. The lads all started well with Odhrán and Ultan taking up the pace early and sticking with the leaders. The two Darraghs were close behind. Odhrán and Ultan both put in strong finishes to overtake a number of runners in the home straight and secure 10th and 12th respectively earning the two boys places in the All Ireland U12s. Again this is a remarkable achievement given that both lads are only 10. Darragh McConvey finished 28th with Darragh Connolly in 58th – brilliant results for all 4 lads. These 4 lads train like every session is a race – training is as competitive as a race and the boys drive each other to run harder every session – this is reflected in their places in the Ulsters – brilliant running lads.
Next up was Gemma Doyle in the Girls U14. The course was by now cutting up badly and in a very competitive race Gemma ran a very fast first lap and finished in the middle of the field in a very respectable 70th place. Well done Gemma !
The final race in which 3 Ways was represented was the Boys U14 in which we had 3 boys running : Cathal Brennan, Sean Watters and Oisin Coffey. The 3 lads were all running out of their age groups and the age gap showed. However all 3 lads ran brilliant races to finish 30th, 46th and 67th – gutsy running lads and the experience will stand to you in your races at Gransha next week.
We will be running at the Ulster and N.Ireland odd age XC championships at Gransha in Derry next Sunday 10th November. Most of our runners will be in their proper age groups and we have real chances at top 3 finishes and All Ireland qualification at every age group we run in. Train hard this week gang – rest up on Friday and Saturday and be ready for Sunday. Hopefully all your hard work and effort will be rewarded.