Ulster competitors will be hoping to be among the medals at the All Ireland Schools Cross Country Championships at Cork IT on Saturday.
Conor Christie Cross and Passion, Andrew Wright, of Grosvenor, Paddy Robb, St Malachy’s, and Jonathan Whan, from Wallace, the top four in the Ulster’s will go against favourite Aaron Hanlon from St Mary’s Drogheda. St Malachy’s should be amongst the top three teams.
Siofra Clerigh-Buttner of Colaiste Iosagain will be targeting her sixth straight Girls title in the Seniors. Emer Magee, of Dominican, and Amy Jackson, Lumen Christi, lead the local challenge with Ballyclare High and Victoria hoping for rostrum places in the team.
Clodagh O’Reilly, from Loretto Cavan, defends her intermediate title and should complete her double after her second in the National Juniors.
Madison Bowyer of Methody can also feature along with Catriona McGloin of Rathmore and Zoe Carruthers Friends.
James Edgar also Friends was very impressive as he took the Ulster Inter title from Christy Conlon and Eoin McCann of Rathmore while in the Junior Boys Aaron McGlynn of Garm Scoil Patrick McNiff Banbridge Academy will be worth watching.
Abigail McBroom of Loretto Coleraine, Caelainn McQuaid Sacred Heart and Emma Hutchinson Ballyclare High are in the Junior Girls while the Minor sides are headed by Sean Curry Omagh CBS and Olivia Nelson from Stratherne. St Coleman’s can take a Boys team medal.
Meanwhile, all five Irish athletes in action at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland ran well although they were unable to make the finals.
Mark English came fourth in his 800 heat in 1:47.60 after running aggressively throughout in the fastest of the three races while Roseanne Galligan with 2:03.30 and Ciara Everard with 2:03.69 ran season’s bests in the Women’s Semis to place fifth and sixth.
David McCarthy was only two tenths outside qualification in the 1500 after finishing sixth in 3:39.46 just outside his best while Claire Tarpee came seventh in the Womens 1500 Semi.
Elsewhere, Declan Reed and Scott Rankin will start favourites for Sunday’s SSE Airtricity 10K Race in Derry. The event which starts and finishes at the iconic Ebrington Square is an official warm up for the Derry Marathon and covers parts of that course.
Reed was very impressive when he took the Irish Masters Cross Country title while Rankin looked classy as he won the Stormont race. Emmett McGinty will also challenge along with Noel Logan, Chris McGuinness and possibly Conor Curran.
European representative Ann-Marie McGlynn the Waterside champion can take the Ladies from Marina Campbell and Sarah Lindsay. The action starts at 11 o’clock.
Also Gary O’Hanlon the reigning champion and Stephen Duncan looked to be favourites for Saturday’s Carmen 10K Road Race in Carrickmore with Michelle Sturm and Julie Butler likely to give Omagh success in the Ladies. The race goes at 11 o’clock.
Also on Saturday Springwell hold the Roe Valley Country Park Trail Race. Alan Bogle and Jonny Steede lead the Men with Karen Alexander likely to win the Ladies. The start is at 11.30am.
On Sunday a big field is expected for the Addiction 10K Race which starts in Ormeau Park at 1 o’clock.