Over five hundred athletes travelled to Lurgan Park, Lurgan for Northern Ireland & Ulster Junior and Masters Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
In cool conditions they came up against a damp and heavy 2K looped course, which got worse as the racing programme progressed. The first race of the day was the Male Masters (Vet over 35) 8K race. Pre-race favourite Dave Morwood (Annadale Striders) was a prominent figure at the front of the field before breaking clear in the closing stages to claim a well-deserved victory in 28:18 and become NI & Ulster Masters XC Champion. North Belfast Harriers team were crowned NI & Ulster Masters XC Champions.
Springwell results - Philip Tweedie 30:36, Stephen Joyce 34:04, Gerry O’Doherty 34:49, Philip Given 34:51, Thomas Moore 34:51, Scott Bell 37:50, Jean-Claude Bourgeois 38:27, Davy Patterson 48:28.
Next up were the Junior/Intermediate and Masters Women for their 4K race, despite being a commentator’s nightmare it was an exciting race. Clones AC’s Denise Toner (16:47) led the field home to win the Intermediate Women’s title. Springwell ladies Gillian Wasson 17:32, Alison Rankin 17:37, Gemma Turley 17:43, Alex Kirk 17:57 won the Intermediate team title.
Donna Evans’ (Monaghan Pheonix AC) won the Masters Women’s category in 16:51. Finn Valley AC celebrated victory Masters Women team standings with Springwell ladies Gillian Wasson 17:32, Alison Rankin 17:37, Karen McLaughlin 19:07, Linda Gillen 20:00 taking the bronze medal. In the competitive Junior Women’s Race, defending champion Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers) retained her title. The Northern Ireland International ran a gutsy race finishing in 17:04. Lagan Valley AC’s Elaine Burch (17:22) finished second and Springwell Running Club’s Alex Kirk (17:57) third. Springwell results - Ciara Toner 18:00, Catherine Jameson 19:17, Rosalind Overend 20:01, Bernie O’Kane 20:07, Katherine Woods 20:07, Shannon McAllister 21:10, Sarah Chestnutt 23:23, Debbie Tutty 24:46, Caroline Taylor 24:49 and Martina Scullion 30:41.
Well done Springwell Ladies excellent running.
As the rain began to fall, and the course became even more slippy, the Junior/Intermediate Men set off on their five lap 10K race. Brendan Teer (East Down AC) made his intentions clear from the off, surging to the front of the field holding on to win in 36:17 and be crowned NI & Ulster Junior XC Champion. City of Derry AC claimed victory in the Junior/Intermediate team competition.
Paul Thompson was Springwell’s sole representative in this race running well in deteriorating conditions to come home in 43:17.
Springwell’s pair Chris Denton 18:22 and Sonia Knox 22:31(PB) were the first male and female runners home at the Portrush Parkrun on Saturday.
Springwell Times - Andrew Dowey 20:53, Gary Watton 23:14, Kay Hack 26:20, Rebecca Clarke 29:25 (PB), Margaret Edgar 29:32, Nicki Higgins 33:06, Jack Kendall 35:44, Lisa Boyle 44:53, Stephen & Hannah Smyth 47:04, Victoria & Abi Smyth 49:21
Alistair Shaw finished 3rd at the Citypark Parkrun in Craigavon and Johnny Wilson 3rd at the Queens Park Run.