THE very picturesque parkland course in Rosstrevor Co. Down provided an idyllic setting for the Ulster even age cross country championships on Saturday and with qualification for the AAI finals (Rathoath Co. Meath) at stake.
Some great performances were the order of the day and LAC juveniles can be proud of their day’s performance.
Michaela Galvin (21) certainly wasn’t fazed by this big occasion and partially a top 20 position all-most was a great showing for LAC first competitor of the day.
What a performance by Karen Gallagher, champion of Donegal at this age group in Castlefin three weeks ago ,the young Fanad girl took a magnificent Ulster individual silver medal showing tremendous form recently this young lady can certainly look forward to the national finals. The U12 girls battled bravely in a large field and while Karen’s performance was undoubtedly the show of the day, Megan Ryan (31) Niamh Hume (51) Eimear Devenney (54) Claire Doherty (55) and Leah McCormack (77) gained great experience at this level.
A solid team performance from these boys all making their debut at this level, no medals but Oisin Farren (20) Ronan Frain (29) David Smith (54) and Donnacha Devenney (76) can now use this effort as they tackle the Ulster uneven age groups in Killybegs (11th Nov.).
Another sterling performance by another Donegal champion Laura Crossan out of her age group she produced another top class performance taking a top twelve medal in 11th place endorsing her place on the Ulster team at the finals.
Altan Murphy (13th) place also was a very good performance just failing to make the Ulster Regional team, but more will be heard of this fine young athlete. Edel Smith (36) Alison Higgins (37) Zara Galvin (38) and Shauna McFadden (54) provided solid backup.
In his debut season for the club Donal Farren has certainly come on board, silver medallist at his first ever Donegal championships in Castlefin this promising prospects eighth placing (8) in the Ulster finals is a top class effort. He too can look forward to his Ulster region place at the AAI finals as well as leading the team into bronze medal position and taken the boys with him. Ben Carr (21) Conor Farrell (24) James Carolan (44) and Michael McGrory (46) keep the black and amber colours to the fore.
Sadly missing Kristy McElwaine through injury there is no doubt a team medal would have been the order of the day here. Christine Russell (13) Ciara Finnegan (20) and Orla Fogarty (31) were always in the leading pack and gave a solid performance all rounds. Compensation should be a Donegal team selection for these talented athletes.
An Ulster champion again, Peter Gibbons underlined his fabulous potential with a gold medal performance. Always in the top four peter will surely head to Rathoath (Nov.25) for the AAI finals in confident mood after this great showing. Not to be undone the U16 boys took silver team medals so Daire Curran (20) Oisin Toal (22) Michael Gallagher (33) and Mathew Sweeney (58). So joining Peter in the finals.
Perhaps the top team performance of the day, great to see this age group represent the club and mightier still to come for the Ulster U18 champions. Good work lads, Conor Morrison (6) has battled his way back from serious injury and none more to deserve the accolade for a truly great run and Ulster region selection.
What about Dale Gallagher another in his debut year and (13) in Ulster , top class. Sean Boyle (14) and Patrick McConigley (16) bonded well for great team gold, now lads repeat that in Rathoath.
Next outing Ulster uneven championships, Killybegs Sunday 11th November. Bus leaves 9.00am imperative that athletes going to AAI finals put in the training over the coming weeks.