AAI Autumn Open XC 2021 (17th Oct)
Strong performances at Autumn Open Cross Country
On its final day of competition before the European Cross-Country Championships in December, the purpose-built cross country course at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Co. Dublin was in fantastic condition on Sunday afternoon 17th October for the first big cross country fixture of the season, the AAI Autumn Open Cross Country. Being the build up to the European Cross Country, many of Ireland’s leading runners were in action, including a number from Mullingar. The races incorporated the trials for the Irish Masters team to compete against Northern Ireland in November and Mullingar had a number of its master athletes in action vying for selection on the Irish masters team.
The programme consisted of two races. The first race was the 6,000m for senior and master women, which was combined with the 4,500m for junior women and the older master women and they ran a lap less. In the 6,000m Master Women race, Sinead Whitelaw finished very strongly in 15th place overall, 6th in her master category. Maura Dervin also had a terrific race to finish 2nd in her master category, which should secure her selection on the Irish masters team. In the Junior Women 4,500m race, Phoebe Bate and Meabh Killalea had solid runs in a field of top Irish senior and juniors athletes and gained valuable experience that will stand to them and they are eager for the next race. Brigid McCabe competed in the Master Women 4,500m where she finished third overall and 3rd in her master category, which should secure a place on the Irish masters team.
The second race was the 7,500m for senior and master men, which was combined with the 6,000m for junior men and the older master men and they ran a lap less. A huge entry of men took at a furious pace, including Andrew Nevin who finished well in the Senior Men 7,500m race and will be satisfied with his performance against quality opposition. Competing in the Junior Men 6,000m race, Matthew Glennon had the best run of the day by a Mullingar athlete, though he went out too hard with the top group and paid for it in the finish, coming home in tenth place, an excellent performance but he has the potential to finish top six with a more controlled effort. Lorcan Mullen also competed in the junior race and will look to build on his performance in the upcoming Leinsters. In the Master Men 6,000m, Pat Muldoon senior finished 4th in his category, Sean McMullin 1st in his category and Nicky McCabe 4th in his category, which means that Sean will definitely be selected for the Irish masters team.