ATHLETICS: Strong displays from East Coast Cheetahs at Cross Country races

The East Coast Cheetahs boys' team. INLT 03-907-CON
The East Coast Cheetahs boys' team. INLT 03-907-CON

A number of East Coast AC ‘Cheetahs’ competed in the Flahavans Porridge Primary School Cross Country League in Belfast last week as part of the Olderfleet Primary School team.

Both the boys and girls races were 1,500m and all Olderfleet PS and East Coast AC athletes performed to their usual high standards.

In the girls’ race Zoe Whitford narrowly missed out on a podium spot, finishing fourth in a time of 6:26. Keeva Bell clocked 6:48 to take 11th place.

The boys’ race was an exciting affair with Charlie Patterson being rewarded for his efforts with a second-place finish (5:48); this has ensured he has qualified for the grand final at Mallusk on February 10. Freddie Clark was the next East Coast AC member to cross the line, doing so in fine fashion in a time of 6:21 (20th) before Ben McKeown claimed 72nd place in 7:06.

At Saturday’s IAAF Antrim International XC, the eyes of the athletics world were on Northern Ireland as the highly respected IAAF road show descended on CAFRE’s Greenmount Campus in Antrim.

Prior to the international events, there was a programme of competitive junior races in which three East Coast AC athletes took part. Kelly Patterson competed in the Under-13 girls’ event which attracted a large number of talented junior athletes. Kelly covered the tough course in 7:35, claiming 28th.

In the primary school boys’ and girls’ races Zoe Whitford and Charlie Patterson, who both impressed at the Flahavan’s Primary School XC, took part.

Zoe took a top-10 finish (6:33, 10th) in the girls’ race. In the boys’ event, Charlie Patterson cruised to victory, finishing in first place in 5:52.