The eighteenth annual Mary McCabe Trophy race, involving all Year 8 students, took place at Loreto College Coleraine on  Wednesday 22 January.

This event was held first in 1996, following the presentation of the trophy by  Dr McCabe, in memory of his wife Mary. The McCabe family had three daughters, Geraldine, Jemma and Anne –Marie, who attended Loreto in the 1970s. All three girls were keen and successful athletes and the parents often came to races and were very supportive of the girls. The silver cup was for Minor Girls’ cross country and has been competed for each year. There is also a boys’ shield and each year, Year 8 boys and girls compete for these two trophies.

The event saw Year 8s completing a taxing run just short of 2000m through the College campus, and this year’s winners were Niamh Carr and Cathal Kearney. Mr Paul Cunning, co-ordinator of Cross Country running at Loreto, joined College Principal Mr Michael James in offering congratulations to all those who took part, and commiserations to those who could not do so, or who dropped out due to injury. Mr Cunning added a word of special thanks to the members of staff and senior students who acted as marshalls.  
Mr Cunning added that a number of previous winners of this event had gone on to sporting success in athletics, hurling, gaelic football and camogie at national and international level, and that many of the medallists could have a bright sporting future ahead. Many of these promising young athletes were selected to represent Loreto at the Cross Country District Championships at the University of Ulster, along with some talented athletes from throughout the school. The students were congratulated on their success to date and wished well for the challenges ahead by Mr Michael James, Principal of Loreto College.

The two individual winners, Niamh Carr and Cathal Kearney, had their names added to the trophies to join an illustrious list of Loreto athletes.
Mr Michael James, Principal of Loreto College, congratulated all the Year 8 students on their enthusiastic participation in the event, and paid tribute to Mr Paul Cunning and his team of Year 14 marshals who had organised the race.

Medals were presented as follows:

1st Niamh Carr

2nd Sorcha Dougan

3rd Tiegan Mullan


1st Cathal Kearney

2nd Danny Burns

3rd Connlaoth McGee