Edel Monaghan secured a silver medal while a number of other Enniskillen Running Club members produced strong performances when they competed at the NI and Ulster Uneven Age Groups Cross Country Championships in Stranorlar, Co. Donegal on Sunday.
This was the first cross country event for many of the club’s younger athletes, for others their first championship, and the occasion certainly did not disappoint. The weather in the morning was looking promising, but in typical cross country fashion it quickly turned wet, cold and windy just before the first races kicked off for the under 11 athletes and remained changeable for the rest of the day.
The Enniskillen Running Club made its presence felt throughout the day fielding athletes in eight different races beginning with the under 11 boys competing over 1200m. Here the team of Patrick Williams, Conor Fitzpatrick, Frank Buchanan and Lucas Vaughan ran a terrific race in particularly wintry conditions. All four boys ran well with Patrick finishing well up the field narrowly missing out on All-Ireland qualification.
Next up for ERC was the under 13 girls and boys races covering 2000m. The team made up of Sophia Williams, Grainne Duffy, Scarlett Keys, Muirean Duffy and Crioadh Monaghan performed well. Sophia and Grainne worked particularly well together finishing 21st and 22nd with the rest of the team finishing strong. In the under 13 boys race it was Cain Fitzpatrick representing his club with pride and ran a terrific race battling boys from St. Malachy’s Antrim and Finn Valley from start to finish.
The under 15 girls and boys were up next running 3000m on what was by this point an extremely muddy track. Ava Thompson and Sarah Thornton both represented Enniskillen girls proudly with Ava just narrowly missing out on All-Ireland qualification by one second, finishing 16th. For the boys, it was Oisin Cassidy representing ERC and after a fall near the start of the race worked his way up through the field to finish in a respectable 24th place. Oisin has already qualified in the even age groups under 14 age group and was going for the double.
The under 17 girls and under 19 girls ran together over a 4000m course. Aoife Farrell, continuing on her good form, represented ERC as the lone athlete in the under 17 girls race. Aoife ran a terrific race, strong from start to finish, and placed just outside All-Ireland qualification. In the under 19’s it was Edel Monaghan and Catraoine McDonnell running with the Enniskillen vest with Edel once again showing her class with a silver medal finish and Catraoine finishing 12th ensuring both athletes qualified for the All-Irelands in a month’s time.
Finishing off the day for the Enniskillen Running Club was Domhnall Lynam running in the under 19 boys race competing over a gruelling 6000m course. Domhnall finished with an impressive fifth place finish ensuring his qualification for the All-Irelands.
This was the first time Enniskillen has been so widely represented in the juniors cross country. The coaches, parents and athletes themselves are looking forward to more success in the near future.