Cross Country: Young athletes ready for Ulster Championships

Niamh Carr (Loreto College) at the Ulster Schools XC Championships
Niamh Carr (Loreto College) at the Ulster Schools XC Championships

More than 1200 young athletes will be in action on Wednesday at the historic Mallusk venue for the finals of the Ulster Schools Cross Country Championships.

The leading individuals and teams will qualify for the All Ireland’s next month.

Holders St. Malachy’s led by Conall McClean, Adam Ferris, Cormac O’Rourke and Tim Scott look set for a monumental struggle in the Senior Boys with St. Colman’s, Newry who have Jack O’Farrell, Miceal McCaul and Tom Magee.

Niamh Carr from Loreto Coleraine, second last year, will be fancied in the Senior Girls with Strathearn headed by Murphy Millar and Olivia Nelson likely to take the team. Rebecca Wallace of Wallace High, Katie Agnew,Ballymena Academy, Hermione Skuce Coleraine Grammar and Erin MCConnell of SERC, Bangor can challenge.

Dylan McBride of Grosvenor, winner at the international can take the Inter Boys from U16 Champion Sean McGinley, St. Eunans, Joseph Haynes, Royal Armagh and Callum Morgan who can spearhead St. Malachy’s retaining their title.

Cara Laverty of Thornhill should win the Inter Girls from Sorcha Mullan of Loreto,Omagh,Bethany Nixon,Banbridge Academy,Tara McDonough,Sullivan and holder Amelia Kane,Strathearn. Bethany and Ruby McNiff can lead Banbridge Academy to their first ever Gold.

Jack McCausland, RBAI, Oisin Duffy, Lumen Christi and Joel Chambers, Nendrum, head the Junior Boys with last year’s Minor top two Jodi McMullan, Markethill High and Ella Haynes facing Catherine Martin and Kirsti Foster both Down High and Strathearn top pair Mabelle Wilcox and Emmy Thornton in the Girls.

The Minor Girls can go to Lauren Madine of St. Mary’s,Downpatrick.

The first of ten races is at 12 noon.