The Ulster cross country championships were held in Killybegs (un even age group) on Sunday last and with qualification for AAI finals in Co. Wexford the reward (Dec 9th), some great competition were held in all age groups. The weather was kind and the course tough but Letterkenny young warriors can be well pleased with a team gold, a team silver, and three team bronze plus individual medals at county and regional level resulting in over thirty young athletes progressing to the national finals which brings the cross country season to a close before Christmas.
U11 GIRLS – Milford girl Megan Ryan has certainly added to the club progressive young juvenile squad. Silver medallist at county level (U11). She again turned in a very spirited effort to claim eighth place overall in a large field of 54. This performance sees Megan claim a gold medal for the winning Donegal team and a place on the Ulster region team for the AAI finals.
Her young team mates battled bravely making their debuts at this level but the experiences of the occasion should enable Colleen Hume (37) Lean McCormack (39) Eva Brennan (40) and Kelly Harris (54) to look forward to the track season.
U11 BOYS – Another newcomer to the club colours since the cross country season started has been Oisin Farren like Megan Ryan eighth place overall sees this talented youngster earn an Ulster gold for the winning county team and also sees him listed on the Ulster region team (top 12) for the AAI finals.
David Smith showed his promise for the future with a very good (17th) place in a field of (75). Another one for the track and field season. Shay Brennan (36) battled bravely throughout the race.
U13 GIRLS – a team bronze here behind Omagh Harriers (62) Innyvale (79) Letterkenny (84). So all six girls progress to AAI finals which is just reward for a solid team performance.
Two fine young leaders is Karen Gallagher (7th) who overturned the Donegal championship results against club mate Laura Crossan (8th) indicates a great partnership here with two very talented young athletes qualifying for Ulster region team. Jessica Gallagher (31) Zara Galvin (38) completed the bronze medal winning team with great backup by Niamh Hume (48) Rachel Tinney (54).
U13 BOYS- another team bronze and two more top twelve performances here. Surely the most improved athlete of the season Conor Farrell, his fifth place in a top class field (54) was top class and with team mate Ben Carr (10th) also amongst Ulster’s elite team. Two more young athletes here have emerged for the club. Two gold county winning medals also for the two boys. James Carolan (25) Ronan Frain (33) collected their team bronze, with Sean Martin (45) and Neil Martin (47) providing good backup.
U15 GIRLS – another team bronze, Finn Valley (73) Shercock (78) LAC (85) making it a tight call and leaving this team deservedly through to AAI finals. Christine Russell (11) another qualifying for Ulster region team ran a storming race and was rewarded as first Donegal athlete home in a field of (55) Orla Fogarty (20) like Russell picked up a gold medal on the winning Donegal team while Altan Murphy (24) Edel Smith (28) earned team bronze and Allison Higgins (34) also showed good promise.
While Oisin Farren may be the new kid on the block at U14 level, elder brother Donal Farren has really brought notice of his undoubted talent on his debut season with the club to the fore. Winning the Donegal championship laid a marker but coming through here as first Donegal athlete in 9th place sets a new standard for perhaps the clubs new middle distance star, and also inspired his team mates to a gold medal performance. 1st Letterkenny (85) 2nd Beech mount (92) 3rd Omagh (99).
Oisin Toal (13) again indicated his value to the club while Michael Gallagher (31) and Matthew Sweeney (32) played a big part in this team’s victory.
U17 BOYS – silver medal team winners is a fine performances, 1 St Malachys (26) 2 LAC (53) 3 City of Derry (59) takes these lads to the AAI finals.
Peter Gibbons individual silver medal at Ulster level while out of his age group again underlined this athlete`s attitude. A great performance from Peter helped Conor Morrison (14) Daire Curran (18) Sean Boyle (19) to team honours while another relevant new comer Dale Gallagher (23) and Patrick McConigley (26) providing great backup. Well done to all on another great day for Letterkenny talented juvenile squad.
Now athletes through to AAI finals (even age) November 25th Rathoath Co. Meath and (uneven age) Adamstown Co. Wexford December 9th, should focus on several good weeks training with national medals as their goal.

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