Cross CountryNews

NI & Ulster Senior Cross Country Championships, Carndonagh, Co Donegal 18/02/24

The final race of the XC season took place on Sunday 18th February at the Carndonagh GAA grounds in Co Donegal. North Down AC had 10 runners in the 6000m senior women’s race and 2 men in the senior men’s 10000m event, competing against the best of the Ulster teams in near perfect cross country running conditions. 

Sarah Grant was once again the first NDAC woman to finish in a strong 9th place overall win 25:49 followed by Fiona McQuillan in 15th in 27:01. Lisa Tomalin was next in 30:10 just ahead of Sarah Connolly in 30:15. Ladies captain, Claire Scott ran a superb 32:19 while Paula Simpson didn’t appear to be suffering any residual jet lag as she crossed the line in 33:49 narrowly ahead of Wendy Neely who rounded off her excellent XC season in 33:55 . June McMinn was the next finisher in 34:11 followed by Kim McCourt 36:15 and Lisa McMeechan 38:30. The combined scores of the 6 fastest women earned a team 6th place for North Down.

2 men represented the club in the men’s race with Craig McMeechan finishing 5th in 36:21 against a strong field led by Finn McNally of North Belfast Harriers,  Eskander Turki and Neil Johnston of Annandale Striders and Newcastle AC’s Eoghan Totten. Younger brother Jamie was 29th overall in 40:31, as the women’s team showed great team spirit  to stay on in the cool Donegal temperatures to cheer for their team mates.

At time of writing the overall cross country league results have not been published; after the penultimate race of the season at Stormont last week the women’s team were 3rd on 128 points behind Magherafelt based Tafelta AC 130 points and North Belfast Harriers on 146 points, while the men’s team had climbed to 3rd place with 123 points behind Armagh AC on 138 and North Belfast Harriers on 152 points.

NDAC women’s team, and Sarah Grant and Paula Simpson – photo credits David McMeechan]

[Craig McMeechan]

[Jamie McMeechan]