Great Day in Dublin as Galway Men Win National Intermediate Cross Country
News is just in from Dublin that the Galway athletes have had a super day at the ALSAA grounds in Santry, Dublin. The men's team have won the National Intermediate Cross Country title. The Masters O'50 women's team have won silver with Martin McEvilly taking an individual O'60 gold.
Galway won the men's team gold from Dublin, 2nd, with Clare 3rd. Leading the Galwaymen in was GCH's Matt Lockett, who by all accounts had a fantasic race. Next in were Peter O'Sullivan (Craughwell AC) and Matt Bidwell (GCH). Brian Furey, who runs with Rathfarnam AC, Ian Egan (GCH) and Owen Byrne (GCH) made up the scoring 6, while Seamus Gilhooley (Athenry), Brian Bruton (Athenry) and Billy King (GCH) completed the team and made sure Galway had the strength in depth needed to win a championship at this level. It was a fantastic day for the team, though the running was tough - with deep mud up to 7 or 8 inches reported in places. 35 minute 10k road runners were taking over 45 minutes to complete the 10k course.
It was Owen's first ever cross country race and he manages to win a National medal. The Irish Cross-Country for senior athletes is organised into Novice, Intermediate and Senior levels, and once you've won a medal at Intermediate you can't compete at that level again, so this Galway team will step up to Senior next year. This year, the Intermediate was destined to be more competitive than for the past few years, which makes this win even more special. U23 Celtic Cross Country was being held in conjunction with the race, meaning that many of the countries top U23 athletes would also compete at Intermediate level. Also, the Masters Cross Country is now from O'40 up (not O'35 as before) which meant that many of the super competitive 35-40 year old athletes would now be in the Intermediate championship.
The Galway women's O'50 team had three GCH athletes score with Ballinasloe's Ann Burke leading the team home, followed by Bernie Kelly, Phyllis Brown and Mary Doyle. Angela McCloskey who comes to GCH via the Fit4Life programme was also on the team and this is just her first, hopefully of many, championship outings. GCH stalwart Martin McEvilly had another great cross-country performance to win the individual O'60 title. Phyllis also won individual silver 0'50.
The GCH Masters men's team were only 3 points off the bronze position. The team of Joe Morrissey, Dermot Lowe, Paul Fallon and Martin McEvilly were an agonising 4th out of 22 teams, having all put in stellar runs in the heavy ground.
Results link - http://www.athleticsireland.ie/content/?page_id=160. Photo of the women courtesy of Tom Hunt.