A gutsy run from Kendra McMullan landed her the runner-up spot while a sensational final lap saw Derry Track Club’s women grab team bronze medals at the NI & Ulster Novice and Uneven Age Group Cross Country Championships in Stranorlar.
Kendra, third in 2016, was intent on going even better this year was toward the front from the gun. Edel Monaghan soon opened a sizeable gap but that did not prevent the Northern Ireland football captain from plugging away in the heavy conditions.
Down the field Elaine and Lisa McLaughlin were running the race of their lives. DTC was a long way off the medal spots with a lap to run but Elaine was consolidating her 14th spot while Lisa was ploughing through the mud like a hot knife through butter.
The six places gained by Lisa proved crucial as she moved through to 19th for a team score of 35. That saw the ladies lift bronze medals with just five points separating the top four clubs. Milford 31, Finn Valley 32, DTC 35, Foyle Valley 37 – 10 teams closed in teams.
The U17 boys’ team was effectively denied the services of Dylan Doherty who had to pull out after losing his shoe on three occasions during the opening lap. In his absence Sean McIntyre (22), Dan Haigney (28), Ben Mellon (60) and Tom McLaughlin (65) ran manfully for seventh in the team listings. There are many reasons for optimism regarding the future of this squad.
Sé Heaney impressed with a 30th spot in the boys’ U15 race while Conor McIlveen (69th) and David Mellon (73) showed they are wintering well with strong performances in the Novice Men’s contest.
Tomás Haigney was fifth in the Boys’ U15 helping Derry o victory in the Inter-County event.