Born to run: Junior athletes enjoy cross country finale

Competitors ready for the off in the junior boys' race at the East Coast AC cross country series. INLT 07-908-CON

Competitors ready for the off in the junior boys' race at the East Coast AC cross country series. INLT 07-908-CON

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Almost 60 junior athletes between the ages of four and 13 turned out for the grand final of the East Coast AC Junior cross country series in Larne on Sunday (February 8).

Perfect running conditions greeted the up-and-coming stars as they negotiated a tough, and at times technical, 800m loop course.

Competitors ready for the off in the junior boys' race at the East Coast AC cross country series. INLT 07-908-CON

Competitors ready for the off in the junior boys' race at the East Coast AC cross country series. INLT 07-908-CON

As always, the mini athletes kicked off proceedings and it was the ever-consistent Eimear Ward (East Coast) who sealed victory, covering the 800m distance in 4:53 (1st).

In the mini boys’ race, Kian McAllister (St Anthony’s PS) claimed his second successive victory of the series, leading the field home in 4:24.

The minor girls were next to toe the line for their 1600m race, and the host club’s Hannah Clements, winner of both race one and two, once again sealed victory in 7:55 (1st). The minor boys’ event, Charlie Patterson (Olderfleet PS) made it two wins from two when he broke the tape in 7:17 (1st place).

As the age grouping increased, so did the distance, with the junior races covered 2,400m.

In the girls’ race, Kelly Patterson (Olderfleet PS) made it a family double. Just like brother, Charlie, Kelly celebrated her second win in two races when she recorded 11:26 to claim top spot. She finished just one second ahead of second-placed Bradie Hogg (East Coast AC). who ran 11:27 (2nd place).

In the final race of the day, North Belfast Harriers’ Callum McIlroy continued his dominance when he notched up a hat-trick of wins, crossing the line in 10:31 (1st place).

After the Race Three prizes had been handed out, special guest, Team NI Commonwealth Games star Kerry O’Flaherty kindly presented the prizes for the overall Series.

Interestingly, the winners of all of the races ‘on the day’ also collected the top prizes for the overall Series.

Setanta Sportsman

Duathlon

Adele Neill proved that she is on form for the upcoming prestigious Traithlon Super Series when she produced a top performance at Sunday’s Setanta Triathlon Club Duathlon. Adele completed the two-mile run (12:56), 10-mile cycle (30:29) and final two-mile run (13:22) in a time of 58:26, taking a well-deserved second placein the ladies’ event.

Roe Valley Trail Race

Justin Maxwell claimed third place in the 8k men’s event at the annual Springwell Running Club Roe Valley Trail Races held at Roe Valley Country Park. Maxwell kept a good pace over the undulating course to clock 28:22 for the distance.