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Newcastle AC Notes
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Dougherty Strides Out To Win Killyleagh Primary School Race

by Joe McCann

Three of Newcastle’s junior athletes competed in the Primary School races at the recent Killyleagh event.  Sarah Dougherty ran a storming race to win the girls’ race and finish third overall, completing the two laps of the town in 5:13.  Sarah ran hard on the first lap, but saved herself for the final climb and scythed through the field to finish very strongly.

Sarah Dougherty No 155 on the right was third overall and won the girls section in the primary school age race in Killyleagh

Sisters Eve and Lucy Kenneally both ran equally well to finish third and ninth respectively in the girls’ race.  All are looking forward to competing in the Mill Hill Mile and the McGrady Financial services Junior Cross Country series which begins in September.

McGreevy doles out words of encouragement

In the main event of the evening Brendan Teer showed that he has truly returned to form with an exceptional performance over the undulating 5 mile course.  He had 37 seconds to spare over club-mate Liam Venney, with Paul Carroll of Annadale Striders a further minute back in third.  As usual the Newcastle athletes did not travel well: in fact other than myself, no-one managed to make the short trip.

I had a plan; start conservatively and see what happens.  I started conservatively and nothing good happened! One by one the field passed me and plans to speed up as the race progressed amounted to nothing.  My misery was complete when one of my many nemesis’, Dominic McGreevy, was standing at the last corner to verbally abuse me for carrying a bit of holiday weight and perhaps not running as fast as he might have!  Poor Dominic will now have to thread carefully as any minor indiscretion will be reported and no doubt exaggerated in this column in the future!

Dutch courage at the Milers Club

Newcastle’s Kerry Harty rounded of her track season by competing in the British Milers Club meeting held in Birmingham on 20th August.  In the early evening the conditions were very windy indeed and consequently Kerry ran 10:16:61, well below her recent performances.  The race was won by Dutch athlete Helen Hofstede, who obviously adapted to the tough conditions more readily and the 30-year-old national champion recorded a new personal best of 9:58.61.  Kerry now plans to take in some local road races in preparation for the cross country season.

She also plans to return to live at altitude in October to ensure a good winter base in preparation for the European Cross Country Championships.  At the same meeting 19-year-old Ciara Mageean running for City of Lisburn AC held of the strong challenge of British international Jemma Simpson to win the 1500m in a new personal best and Irish Under 20 women’s record time of 4:07:45.  “I am completely over the moon with that time and couldn’t be any happier!” said a clearly thrilled Mageean, a former pupil of Assumption Grammar School in Ballynahinch. “After running 4:09 last season I have been waiting for a PB and I feel I am now coming into form and I don’t want to stop racing now!”

McNeilly remains a warrior

Deon McNeilly, Paul Fegan and Libby Morgan competed in the Warriors Race in Sligo at the weekend.  In a field limited to 800 (of which 705 of those pre-entered actually competed – Marty McVeigh and Danny O’Boyle were among the list of those who did not start and McVeigh commented that he was pleased with this result!), Deon was 9th overall and first Veteran coming home in an impressive 59:07.  Paul finished in 253rd place in 1:23:44, while Libby was 472nd in 1:33:49.

Quail is best for Newcastle at Donard Commedagh

On the same day a number of our athletes took part in the Donard Commedagh race.  First home for the club was Brendan Quail in 9th place.  He was followed by Nathan McComb (16th), Barry Wells (20th), Eugene McCann (21st), Jim Patterson (23rd), Anne Sandford (29th), Bob Brown (32nd) and Patrick ‘I like a fry on a Sunday morning because I am a finely tuned athlete’ Bradley (36th).

Looking ahead

Athletes of all ages and abilities are reminded that the Mill Hill Mile takes place on Tuesday 13th September. More details next week.  isit the Newcastle AC website for news and regular updates of events.