Springwell athletes enjoy success across the province

Plenty of Festive spirit at the Portrush park run!

Plenty of Festive spirit at the Portrush park run!

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With a big about-turn in the weather, there were a lot more Springwell athletes pulling on the racing togs this weekend and getting their kicks from running and enjoying the very clement temperatures, for this time of year.

The highlights of an excellent weekend’s racing were as follows:

Neil Johnston  (extreme left) at the head of the field in the Gransha XC - PIC BY David O'Brien

Neil Johnston (extreme left) at the head of the field in the Gransha XC - PIC BY David O'Brien

North West XC 2015 - On Saturday 19th December 2015, City of Derry AC welcomed athletes from across the province to Gransha Grounds for the North West XC, the latest fixture in the ongoing Athletics NI XC League 2015/16.

The Junior races got underway first with eight Springwell Juniors in action and recording some superb results. Emma Alcorn was first off in the Primary Schools race followed by Roan Wilson in the U13 Boys.

The first medal of the day came in the U15 girls where Hermione Skuce stormed home in first place, followed by the clubs Jodie Patterson and Lana Young. In the U17 girls it was a first/second and fifth for the club, Rebekah Hunter running a brilliant race to take her first ever XC win, followed closely by Aine McKinney second and Holly Woodhead fifth; well done all juniors.

These races were then followed by the combined Open/Masters Male and Female race where again we saw some superb results and running from our Springwell representatives, in a massive field of 277 finishers.

Kerrie McIlmoyle, enjoying the Gransha XC - picture courtesy of David O'Brien

Kerrie McIlmoyle, enjoying the Gransha XC - picture courtesy of David O'Brien

Newly crowned Male Athlete of the Year, Neil Johnston, showed his class by finishing a brilliant sixth place in 19:28 and was first club member home. Neil was ably supported supported on this occasion by four excellent team-mates, under-lining the depth of talent we have in the club at present.

Jonny Mckee was next home in 33rd place in 21:00, Luke Dinsmore 36th in 21:07, Stephen McAlary 37th in 21:12 and Ryan Murray 53rd in 21:53. Next home in 85th was the ever excellent Gerry O’Doherty in 23:19, again winning the M60 Age Group by a considerably margin, followed by Thomas Moore 120th in 24:40, Warren McIlmoyle 132nd in 25:20 and Peter Jack 171st in 26:56.

In the Ladies section Kerrie McIlmoyle had a great run to finish 4th in her age group coming 24th in 26:34 and Monica McCarthy, making her competitive xc debut, finishing in 30:51.

Top 3 Men: 1st Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) – 18:59, 2nd Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) – 19:06, 3rd Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers) – 19:08 Top 3 Ladies: 1st Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) – 22:33, 2nd Shalene McMurray (Newcastle AC) – 22:39, 3rd Joanne Mills (Newcastle AC) – 22:45

Gillian Wasson (no 5), 2nd place finish at Knockdhu Fell race - picture courtesy of NI Running

Gillian Wasson (no 5), 2nd place finish at Knockdhu Fell race - picture courtesy of NI Running

Knockdhu Classic Fell Race: On Saturday 19th December 2015, nearly fifty athletes turned out for a new edition of the famous Knockdhu Classic Fell Race in Cairncastle. The club had only one representative in this race, one of our star performers of this year and new holder of three club records, the exceptional Gillian Wasson, who duly finished second in the Ladies Race.

PARK RUN NEWS

It was great to see so many of the participants join in the festive fun by running in a variety of Santa/Xmas outfits! There were a number of visitors from other NI parkruns who were duly welcomed in the normal manner.

Robert Workman and dog Millie were congratulated on completing their 100th parkrun, with Millie being presented with a well deserved bag of dog treats. This week there were 121 runners, 10 were first timers and 5 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 7 different athletics clubs took part.

First finisher was Stephen Collins from Southampton University Triathlon Club in 20.17 and first lady was Springwell Chairperson Karen McLaughlin in an excellent 22.49, considering the circumstances, making a long awaited return from injury.

The park run will take place as normal on Boxing Day at the usual time of 09.30

Results : Portrush - Bryan Edgar 20:53, Jimmy Stewart 21:58, Nigel Armstrong 22:06, Eddy Watterson 22.19, Karen McLaughlin 22:49, Jean-Claude Bourgeois 23:28, Sonia Knox and dogs 23:56, Gary Kendall 24:06, Linda Gillen 25:08, Johnny Goldie 25:24, Bob McLaughlin 25:47, Sarah Chestnutt 25:59, Jim Blee 26:07, Robert Workman and dog 26:13, Andrew Wilmot 26:56, Molly Blee 30:03, Judith McLaughlin 30:08, Jack Blee 31:22, Rachel Blee 31:22, Sharon Bingham, 31:35, Catherine Byers 32:20, Donna Costello 33:31, Emma Birrell 34:49, Roisin Wwalker 34:50, Rosalind Overend 35:05, Kenny Bacon 37:40, Fiona Walls 38:16, Ruairi Kendall 39:22, Kay Hack 39:24, Mervyn Thompson 42:21, Melanie Millar 44:51 & Glenn Millar 44:57 with their 2 children

Belfast Victoria- David Patterson 26.10; Ecos - Elaine Montgomery 30.07; Limavady - Angela Hamilton 30.33 - first female