Home News Round 2 of the Athletics NI PS XC League

Round 2 of the Athletics NI PS XC League


ANI Primary School Cross Country League Round 2 Co. Armagh

The second round of the ANI Cross Country League got under way on Wednesday 3rd December in Co. Armagh. The race was held at a very frosty Portadown Rugby Club. Despite the freezing conditions there was a good turn out with 39 in the girls’ race and 43 in the boys. The girls race set of first and Rebecca Getty (Friends Prep) got off to a great start as she lead the field from the whistle followed by Niamh Casey (Bridge IPS) and Bethan Harding (Wallace Prep). In the chasing group there was Jasmine Kirkwood (Wallace Prep), Rhiannon Wells (Hart M PS) and Sophie Reid (Friends Prep). With 300m to go winner Rebecca Getty had 80-90 metres on the second place Bethan Harding and third place Niamh Casey. The girls held their positions to the finish.

After watching the previous race, the boys were all psyched up and ready to go. They all made a charge for the first 100m straight with a mix of schools in the top bunch. After 300m they began to spread out more with Wallace boys Tom Baird, Jack Leckey, Jonny Stewart and Friends’ Ben Thompson leading the rest of the field. With just under 300m left Jack Leckey had a good lead and Tom Baird was in second but being chased down by Hart M PS’s Jake Gilpin. Behind them it was a tight race between Jonny Stewart (Wallace), Ben Thompson (Friends) Kane Blevins, Adam Gilpin (Hart) and James Roberts (Bridge). The top three were Jack Leckey (Wallace Prep), 2nd Jake Gilpin (Hart Memorial) and 3rd Tom Baird (Wallace Prep).

Round 2 Co. Down
County Down’s second round races took place on Thursday 4th December on the pitches at Bangor Track. Unlike Wednesday’s frozen pitches it was a bit of a mud fest at Bangor after sleety snow and rain the night before – this didn’t stop the young athletes getting stuck in. Again we had another 2 very good races, the girls starting first with 40 keen runners lining up at the start. On the whistle they all took off down the flat 100m straight towards a steep hill. The pack was quite tight for the first half lap then they started to spread out, with India Hedley (Sullivan Prep) and Harriet Gilmore (Cedar PS) heading the front and creating a gap between the rest of the field. With 1 lap to go Harriet made her move and keep lengthening the gap. With about 80metres to go Harriet had a comfortable 20 metre lead. She won in a time of 4.01 with a great battle for second place between India Hedley and Bethany Williamson. India held second place and finished in 4.13 and Bethany finished in 4.14.

The boys’ race again got of to a fast start with 3 boys hitting the front straight away. Chris Pierpoint (Kilmaine PS), Paul McDonnell (Sullivan Prep) and Callum Crawford Walker (Cedar IPS) had a 10m gap on the rest of the field by the top of the first hill. At half way there was a good mix of 5 or so athletes in a lead group, with Callum hitting the front. With 100m to go Callum had over a 30 metre gap on the rest of the field and kept stretching the gap all the way to the line where he finished over a massive 50metres ahead of the rest of the field. Like in the girls race there was a great battle for second place between Chris Pierpoint (Kilmaine PS) and Niall Bell (Cedar IPS). Chris held on for second with Niall right on his shoulder in 3rd.

Round 2 Co. Antrim
Friday 5th December saw another two very competitive races this time between the Co.Antrim schools. It was another cold morning with a few wintery showers about. After the schools had a walk around the course and did a bit of a warm up the girls set off. With just under 50 on the start line it was a mad dash to the front from Zoe Carruthers (Pond Park PS), after the first 150m she had already mad a gap between her and the rest of the field. Around the 300m mark she had a 40m lead on the chasing two Madison Bowyer (Finaghy PS) and Harriett Matchett (Pond Park PS). After the first lap the three girls had pulled away from the rest of the field. On the last hill Harriett started to move away from Madison but was quickly caught again, and with about 200m to go Madison made her move for the finish. Zoe finished in 4.02 minutes, a good 100m in front of 2nd place Madison who finished in 4.20min, followed by Harriett in 3rd place in 4.22 minutes. 4th place went to Antoinette Leonard (Our Lady of Lourdes PS) who made a break from the chasing pack with about 200m to go.

The Boys race also had a fast start from young William Davis (Ben Madigan Prep). Coming off the first hill William, Toby Kerr (Riverdale PS) and Ronan O’Fril had created a 15-20 metre gap on the rest of the field. This gap started to close again as they came round onto the second lap, with Benjamin Hendron (Pond Park PS), Edward O’Connor (Our Lady of Lourdes PS) and Craig Getty (Pond Park PS) making up ground. With about 150m to go William had about a 15 metre gap on the chasing pack. At the finish William Davis (Ben Madigan Prep), one of the youngest runners in the race at only 8, finished 1st – 3 seconds in front of Toby Kerr (Riverdale PS) and 3rd place went to Craig Getty (Pond Park PS).

Six great races over the 3 days, well done to all who took part!

Round 3 will take place around the 12th – 16th January 2009

Heather Martin