The firm underfoot conditions continued for the North Down cross country races at Castle Park on Saturday which were well attended and were considered a resounding success.
There were primary school races followed by age groups and male and female open races. Relay races followed which is a novelty within cross country running.
The primary school races set off the day’s racing and they exhibited a wealth of talent within the boys and girls events from the ND training groups. Rebekah Laffin and Holly Blease had great runs to finish 4th and 5th in the girls closely followed by Ella Riddell 7th, Lauren Cheatley 8th and Eva Gibson 9th. Daisy McGuigan completed in 11th and Anna Moran made it home in 15th place. The boys featured Alex Downey finishing in 2nd place with Sebb Holley making his North Down debut and finishing 5th. One second later Isaac Dunne finished in 6th while Daniel Caldwell claimed 14th spot. Tom Patton had a great run to finish in 17th followed by Rudi Weathurup in 25th, Patrick McDonough 34th and Connor Sizer 37th.
Niamh Fenlon and Lucy Cheatley had a competitive contest to finish in 2nd and 3rd in the U14 girls and Amy McMullan wasn’t far behind in 4th, Naomi Dunne in 5th and Morgan Wilson in 6th. Ben Riddell also had a 2nd place return in the U14 boys as Ryan Lynas made use of his committed training to finish in 4th, Ben Cardwell crossed the line in 6th and Callum Dornan 7th.
Amelia Tyler continued with the trend as she finished 2nd in the U17 girls race and Jakob Swann followed suit with 2nd in the boys race closely followed by the improving Mark Carberry in 3rd and Adam Skelly had a decent run while in the older age band finishing 5th.
In the ladies Open race Jodi Smith broke the mould by winning and was followed by Rio Catney in 3rd overall, 1st U20. Zara Fulton was 8th and Paula Simpson 10th. The mens Open race included 14 ND runners many of whom, as with the ladies, doubled up with a relay run later. Francis Marsh returned in 8th spot and Mark Weir finished in 16th followed by Ben Caughers in 18th and Chris Downey in 22nd.
The junior ladies relay team of Tara McDonough, Bryanna Catney and Murphy Millar won the ladies Senior relay ahead of their club colleagues Jodi Smith, Clair Quigley and Valerie McDonough in 2nd. The leading mens team of Steven Donegan, Alasdair Mair, David Massey and Chris Moran finished 4th in the mens relay.
The event was blessed with good dry weather and the successful outcome was largely down to the organising and preparation from Brian Smith and Clare Russell, the onsite assistance from Tony Wall, Davie Seaton’s racing expertise and guidance and especially all the club members who acted as marshals on the day.