Callum pips older brother Matthew to race victory

On a tough hilly one lap course in Cookstown, Callum McIlroy finished third in the Under-13s in Acorns Cross Country Race. If that wasn't enough, he also turned up on Sunday to East Coast's Cross Country series where he won the junior boys' race, outkicking his brother Matthew to the finishing line. INLT 03-905-CON
On a tough hilly one lap course in Cookstown, Callum McIlroy finished third in the Under-13s in Acorns Cross Country Race. If that wasn't enough, he also turned up on Sunday to East Coast's Cross Country series where he won the junior boys' race, outkicking his brother Matthew to the finishing line. INLT 03-905-CON

East Coast Athletic Club welcomed almost 100 junior athletes, between the ages of four and 14 to its first race in the inaugural Junior XC Series in Larne.

The Minis (Under-6) kicked off proceedings with their one-lap 700m race and it was the host club’s Sam McKeown and Eimear Ward who led their respective field home in 4:13 (1st) and 4:22 (1st) respectively.

Taking part in the minor boys' race at the East Coast AC junior series. INLT 03-906-CON

Taking part in the minor boys' race at the East Coast AC junior series. INLT 03-906-CON

In the minor girls’ 1,400m race, Hannah Clements (East Coast) enjoyed a gun-to-tape victory, crossing the line in 7:14 (1st).

The minor boys’ event was a close affair and it took a sprint finish from Harry Plumb (East Coast) to fend of club-mate Rhys McManus to top spot, with Harry recording 6:42 and Rhys 6:43 (2nd).

Bradie Hogg (East Coast) paced herself well in the early stages of junior girls’ 2,100m race to win in 11:14.

The junior boys’ race produced an exciting battle between brothers Callum McIlroy (North Belfast Harriers) and Matthew McIlroy (East Coast); the pair could not be split over the three-lap course and it wasn’t until the final 50m that Callum made what proved to be the race-winning move. Despite a strong challenge from Matthew, Callum just held on to secure first in 9:38. Matthew finished in 9:39 (2nd).

The next race in the series is set to take place on Saturday, January 24 at Curran Park.

Registration opens 10 am. Races commence 11 am. The series is open to junior athletes Under-6 to Under-15.