Mark McKinstry and Catherine Diver excel at Mighty Oaks XC!

Mighty Oaks XC (Round 6 – Athletics NI XC League 2017/18):

Northern Ireland internationals Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) and Catherine Diver (Beechmount Harriers) showed their class to secure top honours in the latest round of the Athletics NI Cross Country League 2017/18, the Mighty Oaks XC (Saturday 13th January 2018).

The re-scheduled event, hosted by Acorns AC, saw athletes take on the now famous Acorn Hill; an energy sapping tough muddy and slippy ascent.

In the men’s 4 mile race, Mark, who represented Northern Ireland at last weekend’s Antrim International XC, dominated proceedings and enjoyed a relatively comfortable win.  Despite the efforts of a talented chase pack, the Glenwherry man cruised home in 24:45 for 1st place.  In an excellent battle for the runners up prize, City of Derry AC’s Allan Bogle saw off fellow Spartan Noel Logan to secure 2nd place in 25:17; Noel followed in 25:19 (3rd place).

In the all important team competition, it was fiercely close, with North Belfast Harriers topping the standings with 38 points (1st place).  Willowfield Harriers were next with 39 points (2nd place), and hosts Acorns AC finished on 43 points for 3rd place.

In a closely contested ladies 3 mile race, it was a battle between youth and experience, with Northern Ireland Masters Athletic Association (NIMAA) international Catherine going up against the emerging Grace Carson of Mid Ulster AC.  In the end, Catherine edged it, crossing the line in 21:13 (1st place).  Grace clocked 21:16 for 2nd place, before Lagan Valley AC’s Suzanne Higgins crossed the line in 21:56 for 3rd place.

The well-represented Omagh Harriers won the team competition with 69 points (1st place).  East Down AC finished on 74 points (2nd place), with Foyle Valley AC and North Down AC notching up 106 (3rd place) and 111 (4th place) points respectively.

In the early junior race programme, there was impressive wins for Sean Hagan (Omagh Harriers) and Ava Mehaffey (Dromore AC) in the Under 12 race.  Armagh AC’s Ciara Nugent led the Under 14 field home overall, with Jamie Morris (Willowfield Harriers) winning the boy’s equivalent.  In the Under 16 race, Kyle Ross of Ballydrain Harriers broke the tape first, while Sorcha Mullan (Omagh Harriers) won the girls race.

Full Results:  Mighty-Oaks-XC-2018-Results