ATHLETICS: Great performances from Springwell runners

Springwell runners at the North West Cross Country Championships.
Springwell runners at the North West Cross Country Championships.

The North West Cross Country, hosted by City of Derry Spartans took place on Saturday 16th December at Gransha Park.

This event was also the latest in the Athletics NI Cross Country League. The snowfall and heavy rain of the previous week resulted in heavy going for competitors, but at least the icy conditions had been replaced with milder temperatures.

In the junior races Springwell RC had success with Sophia Coyle winning the U12 girls and Niamh McGarry the U15 girls, in which Toni Donnelly finished seventh.

In the Senior Race Springwell RC was well represented with 33 members competing.

The three lap, 3.5 mile race was closely contested from the start between Neil Johnston (Springwell RC), Declan Reed and Mark Long (City of Derry Spartans), Chris McGuiness and Troy McGilloway (Foyle Valley AC) and James Budde (North Down AC).

In the final lap Neil once again demonstrated the impressive form that has seen him secure victory in the Comber Cup and Malcolm Cup this year and pulled away from Declan to win in a time of 18.39. Declan finished second in 18.46 with Chris third in 19.02.

The team event was even more closely contested with Foyle Valley AC winning by one point from Springwell RC.

The ladies race was totally dominated by North Down AC who claimed all the podium places. Rachel Gibson secured victory in 21.52 with Katie Moore second with a time of 22.10 and club mate Sarah Lindsay completing the podium with a time of 22.24.

Having taken the top three places North Down ladies easily won the team event from City of Derry Spartans in second place.

Springwell RC had three age category wins with Kerrie McIlmoyle 1st F35, Gerry O’Doherty 1st M60 and Jim Platt 1st M75. In the MU20 Aaron Craig finished second and in the FU20, running on her 18th birthday, Rebekah Hunter also finished second.

Springwell RC Results - 1st Neil Johnston 18.39, 7th Steven McAlary 19.40, 9th Jonathan McKee 19.55, 13th Luke Dinsmore 20.07, 18th John Gordon 20.38, 25th Alex Brennan 21.22, 26th Paul Thompson 21.26, 28th Jason Scott 21.27, 39th Barry Mulhern 22.23, 42nd Alister Jamison 22.26, 57th Raymond McCann 23.11, 59th Andy Dowey 23.19, 62nd Aaron Craig 23.28, 69th Maurice Walker 23.46, 70th Bryan Edgar 23.51, 74th David McGaffin 24.08, 77th Jeff Young 24.16, 80th Thomas Moore 24.22, 86th Gerry O’Doherty 24.38 (1st M60), 94th Aife McSheffrey 25.03, 107th Kerrie McIlmoyle 25.45 (1st F35), 110th Fran McFadden 25.59, 116th Rebekah Hunter 26.13, 127th Alistair Bratton 27.15, 129th Catherine Pinkerton 27.25, 130th Timothy Bacon 27.35, 131st Paul Campbell 27.37, 145th Lorraine Mullan 28.50, 152nd Annita McCullagh 29.57, 160th Paul Dornan 30.27, 169th Jim Platt 31.23 (1st M75), 173rd Bridgeen Canning 32.32, 184th Andrew Wilmot 34.17.