Neil Johnston and Rachel Gibson secure top honours at North West XC 2017!

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North West XC 2017:

The local running community enjoyed another terrific day of racing at City of Derry AC’s annual North West XC Championships in Gransha Grounds, Derry / Londonderry (Saturday 16th December 2017).

After some excellent racing, both the inaugural Bobby Farren and Brendan Duddy Perpetual Cups stay on home soil as the Foyle Valley AC men and City of Derry AC Spartans ladies claimed top team honours in the feature ‘Open’ race.  The weather held up with a dry spell for the races but underfoot conditions proved somewhat testing given the recent spells of damp weather.

Springwell Running Club’s in-form Neil Johnston took the individual men’s top prize, eventually seeing off a strong challenge from the Spartan athlete Declan Reed to claim victory in 18:39 (1st place).  Declan followed in 18:46 (2nd place), before Chris McGuinness of Foyle Valley AC completed the top three in 19:02 (3rd place). Chris led a determined Foyle Valley AC to the team title and the brand new Bobby Farren Snr Perpetual Cup.  They comfortably beat Springwell RC – the cup was presented by Michael Farren on behalf of the Farren family.

The North Down AC trio of Rachel Gibson, Katie Moore and local woman Sarah Lindsay finished 1, 2, 3, in the ladies rankings but in the four to score team race they lost out to the promoting club quartet as the visitors final scorer could only manage a 41st place finish.  Rachel broke the tape in 21:52 (1st place), with Katie clocking 22:10 for 2nd place and Sarah 22:24 for 3rd place.

The City of Derry AC team packed much better with Jackie McMonagle 4th, Hannah Shields 5th, Angeline McShane 9th and with a cracking run in 14th by Catherine Hribar the red vests took the Brendan Duddy Snr Perpetual Cup with an aggregate points total of 32, North Down AC second on 47 and Foyle Valley AC led by Martina McMullan in 6th, third on 50 points.

CATEGORY WINNERS:

Locals were once again prominent in the Age Group competition with eight of the fifteen awards staying on home turf. Foyle Valley AC claimed two, Emily McLaughlin U20 and Catherine Moran O55. The Spartans scored with Gavin McGlinchey M40, Colin Roberts M45, Dermot Connolly M55, Jackie McMonagle F45 and Hannah Shields F50 with Derry Track Club’s Malcolm McCausland winning the M65 honours.

The Juvenile races attracted a good turn out of 100 plus with action for U12’s, U15’s and U17’s in the run up to the main event.

Full Results:  North West XC 2017 Results