A number of Westport AC athletes travelled to a wet and windy venue at Calry Sligo recently to compete in the Connacht Even Ages Cross Country Championships, hosted by Leitrim AC.

The first race of the day was the U12 girls 2000m where Saoirse O'Brien ran a fantastic race storming home with the gold medal.  Saoirse was followed by her teammates Annie Noonan, Ella Staunton and Eimear Corduff who all ran really well on this challenging course. Both Saoirse and Annie both secured their places on the county team.

Next up was the race of the day for Westport, where the U12 boys all ran a brilliant 2000m race. First home for the team was Cillian Heaney taking the silver medal followed closely by Rossa McAllister taking the bronze. Next was Malcom McEvily in fourth place(running out of age) followed by Ronan O'Donnell in sixth. Next was Joe Grady in his first race finishing in an excellent 24th position, Tommy Scahill(27th) and Conor Galvin(28th). This resulted in the club winning team gold with a total of 15 points, a full 23 points ahead of their nearest rivals Craughwell.  It also contributed to Mayo winning gold and all seven of them qualifying for the All-Ireland county team. A fantastic achievement for the boys who have trained so hard over the past few weeks.

Next up was the U14 girls 3000m, where Ellen Noonan came home in seventh place. Ellen ran really well to qualify for the Mayo team. Just after that in the U14 boys 3000m, first home for the team was Aaron Doherty who ran a fantastic race to come home in second. Aaron was followed closely by Cian McAlister who took the bronze. Sixth place was taken by Luke Dawson(running out of age) - a marvellous achievement for Luke. Next up was Patrick Chambers (coming out of injury) who came home in 13th for the team. Next for the team was Marley Hoban who also ran a fine race and finished in 15th place. This all lead to the boys winning gold for both club and county.  Their team total was 24 points, a further 24 points ahead of second place Craughwell.

The next race was the U16 girls 4000m where Aoife O'Brien, running superbly out of age, took the gold medal.  Aoife was followed closely by Sorcha McAlister in second place, an excellent result for these two girls.  While the girls did not have enough for a team, they will be representing both county and province in the All-Irelands. The next race was the boys U16 4000m where Shane Gavin came thirteenth in his first ever Connaught cross-country race, ensuring qualification for the Mayo team.

The final races of the day were the senior, novice and masters.  In the ladies Westport senior club was well represented by Michelle Needham came home in 12th over all and fourth over all in the novice group. Next up was the mens race where Westport's Robert Malseed came fourth over all and second in the masters.

The All-Ireland Even Age Cross Country championship takes place on Sunday 17th November in Santry Park, Dublin.

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