Monday, December 7, 2009
Uneven ages and Novice Cross Country; Coleraine
The Uneven Age's and National Novice took place in Coleraine, Co. Derry on Sunday last, 6th December 2009. The Course was a large 2k lap which was ran at different lenghts according to the specific race underway. Conditions were good with the rain holding off and just a slight head-wind to impede athletes along the home stretch. However there seemed to be various organisational problems with the various junior races as a member of Craughwell AC noted "The U11 girls were first to go and had lined up nicely in their starting chutes before it was realised that their course was measured incorrectly. So they were told to move forward a few hundred metres. Unfortunately the forwards motion was interpreted by many as the start of the race, and off they tore only to be halted a few hundred metres further on for the actual start. With the girls out of view at this stage behind a wooded area, the boys lined up in the same chute for their race. But as with the girls, they were informed the start was further on and by the time they got to the start, it was totally congested. Then the first attempt to start, false start, let’s try again, false start, let’s try again, false start. After the 5th false start, the race was let go. Unfortunately half the competitors thought it was another false start and didn’t go – and were then told they’d have to catch up". Athletes that performed well in this chaos were the two McGeoughs, James in the U15's (8th) and Sarah in the U13's (12th). Other Juvenile athletes such as Caeloinn McGonigle, Nicola McGoldrick, Clare Conlon and Clare Stenson also had solid performances.
Killian O'Connor was next up in the U17 race where he came home well up in the field. The last race of the day was the 6k National Novice where Sligo AC's understrenght team (due to injuries) lined up. Dermot Mcdermott was first home, coming in 23rd. Neal Higgins was next through the chute faring out in 61st spot. Seamus Somers, in his first ever cross country, had a very solid run making up about 15 places in the last lap of the race to come home in 96th. Ultan McNasser and Trevor Hunter were the last of the team to finish outside the top 100 (105th and 125th). Exact results have not been posted on the AAI website, no doubt due to the mix-ups in the Juvenile races, what has been posted is the following statement, "Athletics Ireland is concerned about difficulties that arose during some of the Juvenile races at the AAI Uneven Ages Cross Country in Coleraine on Sunday. A full and thorough review of this competition will take place as a result and all processes and procedures will be examined"