Westport Athletic Club hosted the 2014 Connacht Uneven Ages Cross Country Champion-ships in the beautiful grounds of Westport House.  The majority of the almost 650 athletes agreed it was a terrific challenging course, and apart from one horrendous shower the weather held up nicely for the day.
A big thank you to Westport House owners and staff for allowing us to use their facilities and providing food and refreshments on the day.

The U11 girls were first into action in the 1500m race. Roisin O’Brien was the leading runner for the team and in a real close finish came home in second place after a brilliant race.  Roisin was followed  by Laura Moran in 9th and together with Leila O’Malley(12th, running out of age), Fionnaula McLaughlin, Niamh Reilly, Aoife Staunton, Sophie Scahill,  Katie O’Grady, Abbie Conway and Olivia Costello(also running out of age) all running their hearts out resulted in Westport’s first team gold of the day, together with county gold.
The U11 boys were next into battle in their 1500m where Conal Dawson was Westport’s first runner home in 6th place after a strong performance, followed closely by Sean Heaney in 9th, together with Finbar McLaughlin, Niall McLoughlin, Colin Hastings, Joe Sweet, Niall McGreal, Tomas O’Buachalla, Milo Holmes and Harry Sheridan, winning an excellent silver medal for the team, just one point behind Ballina, and team gold for the county.
The next race of the day was the U13 girls 2500m where Saoirse O'Brien ran a fantastic race storming home with the gold medal.  Saoirse was followed by her teammates Annie Noonan, Briana Bruton, Ella Staunton, Kitty Harburn and Eimhear Corduff who all ran really extremely well, securing the team bronze and contributing to another county gold.

Next up was the race of the day for Westport, where the U13 boys all ran a brilliant 2500m. First home for the team was Cillian Heaney taking the silver medal followed closely by Mal-com McEvily taking the bronze(running out of age).  In fourth place was Rossa McAllister followed by Oisin Ryall in seventh and Ronan O'Donnell in eighth. Next was Shane O’Malley(10th also out of age), followed by Joe Grady, Eathan Llyod, Tim Campion, Tommy Scahill, John Grady, and Kian Moore. This resulted in the club winning team gold for one team and team bronze for a second team – a fantastic achievement for these 13 boys.  It also contributed to Mayo winning county gold.

Next up was the U15 girls 3500m, where Ellen Noonan, Anna O’Riain(out of age) and Kate Moran(out of age) chased home at great speed and all contributed to Mayo team gold. Just after that in the U15 boys 3500m, Aaron Doherty ran a fantastic race easily winning the gold medal. Aaron was followed by Cian McAlister who took the bronze. Fourth place was taken by Sean O’Hanlon, an impressive performance for his first Connaught Championship. Luke Dawson(running out of age) came right behind in fifth. Next up was Thomas Devaney(11th), followed by Patrick Chambers. This all led to the boys winning gold for both club and county.

The next race was the U17 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 U17 4500m where Shane Gavin, improving with every race, came fifth ensuring qualification for the Connaught team.

The final races of the day were the senior, novice and masters.  In the ladies Westport senior club was well represented by Ellen Moran who had a strong performance, coming home in 5th place overall in the 4000m. 

The All-Ireland Uneven Age Cross Country championship takes place on Sunday 7th De-cember in Santry Park, Dublin.

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