Top class athletes from home and abroad gathered at Greenmount College, Antrim on Saturday for the 36th IAAF International Cross Country.
Conditions were cold and windy and the underfoot conditions got worse as the days racing progressed.
The day started with several competitive junior races:
Girls U-13 1800m race Abigal McBroom finished 9th in 7:16, Rebekah Hunter 7:51 and Holly Woodhead 8:19.
Girls U-15 3600m race Aiofe McSheffrey 15:36, Aiofe Carr 15:59 and Aine McKinney 17:06.
Boys U-15 3600m race Luke Dinsmore finished 5th in 12:53.
IAAF (U-20) Junior Women’s 3600m race Deborah Gilliland 15:14
IAAF (U-20) Junior Men’s 5600m race Ryan Murray 22:30.
Primary School 1000m race Hermoine Skuce finished 5th in 5:16, Ellie McBroom 7th 5:20 and Lauren O’Doherty 6:48.
The first major race of the day was the Male Masters Over 40 5600m race. Declan Power of Conliffe Harriers was the clear winner in 18:55. Springwell’s Gerry O’Doherty ran 22:43 and Alistair Bratten 23:37.
The crowd turned their attention to one of the day’s main events; the International Ladies, incorporating the Northern Ireland Senior Cross Country Championships and the Ladies Masters Over 40 5600m races.
Double European Cross Country champion, Fionnuala Britton led from start to finish winning in 18:17. Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (19:57), representing North Belfast Harriers and Northern Ireland was the first NI runner to cross the line, meaning she was crowned the NI & Ulster Senior Women’s Cross Country Champion.
Springwell Results: Gemma Turley 22:48, Alison Rankin 23:06, Alex Kirk 23:21, Nicolla Frizell 24:21, Laura Hassan 24:29, Caroline Irwin 24:47, Ciara Toner 24:50, Grace Postma 24:52, Sonia Knox 25:04, Karen McLaughlin 25:48, Rosalind Overend 26:36, Katherine Woods 26:49, Lynn Montgomery 29:05, Rebecca Clarke 31:34, Debbie Tutty 31:51, Fiona Walls 37:28 and Martina Scullion 41:57.
Good running by the Springwell ladies as they finished third in the team race behind North Belfast and North Down.
The final race of the day was the International Men 12K race, incorporating the Northern Ireland & Ulster Senior Men’s Cross Country Championships.
The International race was won by Thomas Ayeko (Uganda) in 33:08 with Stephen Scullion (North Belfast Harriers) the first NI man home in an impressive 34:52 (6th place) taking the NI & Ulster Senior Women’s Cross Country title.
Springwell Results: Paul Thompson 44:25, David Jackson 45:29, Bryan Edgar 46:06, Philip Given 48:39, Glenn Miller 50:23, Johnny Goldie 50:36, Jean-Claude Bourgeois 51:50, Graeme Morrison 52:13, Brian Scullion 52:30.
This was a fantastic turn out by the Springwell squad with some excellent performances from the new and experienced cross country runners.
Conditions were perfect for the forty six runners at Portrush Parkrun on Saturday resulting in 23 of the runners improving their PB’s.
Springwell’s Chris Denton set a new course record leading the runners home in 17:59. Marianne Scott was first lady home in 25:03 (PB).
Springwell Times – Rhodri Jones 18:02 (PB), Mervyn Thompson 21:59 (PB), Robert Workman 22:51 (PB), Gary Watton 23:24, Ailbhe Kendall 25:03 (PB), Kay Hack 26:02 (PB), Margaret Edgar 27:41 (PB), Lisa Boyle 29:49, Nicki Higgins 31:26 (PB), Ursula Harper 32:40 and the Smyth Family (Stephen,
Abi and Hannah) 47:02.
Springwell’s Jimmy Davidson finished third at the ECOS Parkrun in 18:52.