JP WILLIAMSON TAKES NATIONAL NOVICE TITLE

11 December 2016

Derry Track Club athletes excelled at the  National Novice a Cross Country Championships in Dundalk putting two athletes on the men’s podium  as well as lifting silver team medals.

On a perfect day for running and excellent underfoot conditions, the DTC women also impressed with a credible ninth place on their first exposure to national competition.

JP Williamson (right) leads the pursuit with Conan McCaughey (left) also in close attendance.

The men’s contest was like Groundhog Day of the Joe Seeley in Belfast two weeks earlier. The inscrutable Scott Rankin once again took the front immediately from the gun only to be run down at the death by the JP Williamson who had shown the same merciless instinct in Ormeau.

And in a continued déjà vu scenario Williamson’s club colleague Conan McCaughey struck late for the individual bronze medal to make it a repeat of the Seeley podium.

Shane McGowan strides out in style for his best ever cross country performance.

Shane McGowan had possibly his best ever performance over the country with an excellent 11th spot which augurs well for next year’s track season.

Despite a late night, Conor Doherty summoned up  the energy to complete the scoring quartet in 32nd place. That earned Derry Track Club runner-up spot of the 19 competing clubs.

Marty Cox (44th), David Gormley (86th), Matt Doherty (108th) and Chris Millar (117th) did not score on this occasion but provided valuable support.

Marina Murphy in full flight.

Marina Murphy led home the women in 26th with newcomer Kendra McMullan continuing to impress in 55th.

Kendra McMullan leads Amy McDaid during the early stages of the race.

Club captain Amy McDaid had a solid run for 69th with Elaine Connor continuing to improve with a 90th place in a high quality race.

The girls placed ninth in the team competition, second Ulster team behind northern champions Letterkenny and ahead of rivals Finn Valley and Lifford-Strabane.