On Sunday 8th November a dedicated group from the College made an early start for the long trip to Donegal for the Ulster Clubs cross-country Championships. The race was held in wet and windy conditions at the Finn Valley Leisure centre in Stranorlar.
In the last of the age group races the College team consisting of Eoin Maguire (4th), Connor McCann (11th), Darryl McNicholl (12th) and Lorcan McClean (16th) held off a spirited challenge from Finn Valley on their home turf to win the U19 Ulster title. It has been a successful fortnight for this group after winning the U18 team title two weeks ago in Jordanstown. Eoin Maguire was unlucky to miss out on an individual medal in the closing stages after running in a group with the second and third placers for most of the race.
First up on the day was the U13’s, who gained valuable experience of competition at this high level. Daniel McComiskey in 20th led the way with Callum Morgan, Oscar Smyth, Luke O’Connor and Conall McGirr following close behind.
Matteo Lavorca ran a strong race to finish in 11th place in the U15 category. Conall McClean was rewarded for all his recent hard training with an excellent 14th place, a big improvement from his previous performances. Adam Ferris and Fionn McQuillan rounded out the scoring quartet with Conor O’Neill close behind. The U15 team finished in fourth place to earn a spot in the All-Ireland Championships.
The highlight of the U17 race was undoubtedly Conall Browne’s blistering finish over the final 100m, taking him from 15th place to finish in an excellent 10th place. This performance was superb considering Conall; a year 11 has to compete against year 13’s in this age category. Eoin McCann, Kieron Conway and Colm Holbeach made up the team which finished in third and also booked their place at the All Ireland’s.
The day’s proceedings also incorporated the Ulster Novice Championships and the St. Malachy’s Ac team, made up of past pupils, dominated the race to win both individual and team titles. Conor Gallagher looked like he was heading for victory when opening up a good lead on the second of three laps, only for Paddy Robb to catch and pass him on the final lap on his way to victory. Conor held on well for third place. KillianGargan had led the race in the early stages and ran strongly to finish in 6th. James Smyth ran a smart race, making his way up throughout the race to finish in eighth place and secure an excellent team victory.
Photo’s courtesy of Kieran Carlin (Finn Vlley)
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