Conor Christie powers to Schools’ success

Conor Christie, Cross & Passion, Ballycastle
Conor Christie, Cross & Passion, Ballycastle

Conor Christie from Cross And Passion came out on top of a dramatic four man battle to win the senior boys race at the Ulster Schools Cross Country Championships at Mallusk.

Christie, the 2012 intermediate winner, broke away early with last year’s runner-up Andrew Wright of Grosvenor, reigning intermediate holder Paddy Robb from St Malachy’s and Ulster U17 and U18 champion Jonny Whan of Wallace. The quartet were together for three of the four circuits before Christie and Wright opened the gap with Christie prevailing in the straight. Robb and Whan came next.

Emer Magee, Dominican College took gold from Amy Jackson of Lumen Christi and sisters Eilish and Roisin Flanagan from Sacred Heart Omagh. Defending champion, Yasmin Wilson, Ballyclare High, finished fifth.

James Edgar of Friends improved on his second in the district to take the intermediate boys from Rathmore player Christy Conlon and Eoin McCann with Ronan O’Fril of St Malachy’s and Luke Dinsmore Coleraine Inst following.

Clodagh O’Reilly from Loreto Cavan was in a class of her own as she retained her intermediate girls crown leading all the way. Madison Bowyer of Methody, Catriona McGloin Rathmore and Zoe Carruthers Friends completed the top four.

The junior boys featured a head to head duel between Patrick McNiff of Banbridge Academy and Aaron McGlynn of Uladh with McGlynn just winning in the final sprint. The junior girls went to Abigail McBroom of Loreto Coleraine with Sean Curry from Omagh CBS looking particularly impressive in the boys minors. Olivia Nelson from Strathearn took the minor girls.

The mini titles went to Andrew Gordon of Coleraine Inst and Hermoine Skuce of Coleraine High.

St Malachy’s took two boys team titles with Abbey, St Colman’s and St Michael’s Enniskillen winning the others. In the girls Strathearn had a double with one title each going to Sacred Heart, Rathmore and Ballyclare High.

There were almost 1500 competitors in cold but surprisingly good conditions.