County Down District Cross Country Championships

Banbridge Academy’s athletes had a great day out at the County Down District Cross Country championships held once again at Dellamont Country Park near Killyleagh.
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The stars of the show were the four Ulster qualifiers in Emma Rankin, Emma Stewart, Daisy Douglas and Alex Moran who all finished top 15 to qualify.

Our entry numbers were down a little on normal as unfortunately the races clashed with the school exams so not all runners were able to compete. This didn’t prevent those in attendance from having a good day, but it did mean the Academy didn’t have any ‘team’ entries.

The first race of the day was a highlight. The mini girls (Year 8) race had a field of 140 runners and from the outset Emma Rankin was to the forefront.

Kristian Brown and Kian Moran.Kristian Brown and Kian Moran.
Kristian Brown and Kian Moran.

She raced supberbly to the silver medal spot and that all-important qualification for the Ulsters.

Maggie Suffern also ran brilliantly to finish well up the field, a great performance in her first cross country run for the Academy.

In the mini boys race the Academy had three runners - in a field of 160! - with Joshua Ward, Olly Jardine and Elliot Wright running well and finishing in the listed order.

In the minor girls (Year 9) race Daisy Douglas had a superb run and battled at the end to secure that vital 14th place to gain her qualification for the Ulsters.

Joshua Ward, Elliott Wright and Olly Jardine.Joshua Ward, Elliott Wright and Olly Jardine.
Joshua Ward, Elliott Wright and Olly Jardine.

The senior boys race held a special significance as both Kian Moran and Kristian Brown were running their last XC races for Banbridge Academy. Both boys acquitted themselves well with Kian finishing in 20th spot and Kristian just behind in 24th place.

These two boys have been stalwarts of Academy athletics for seven years and it was fitting to finish with two strong runs.

In the inter girls race (Years 11 & 12) Emma Stewart was superb in a very strong field to finish in an excellent sixth spot and secure her Ulster qualification. She was strong throughout the race and pushed hard at the end to secure such a high finish.

Beth Morrow also ran strongly, and with grit and determination, to finish well up in the placings.

Emma Stewart and Beth MorrowEmma Stewart and Beth Morrow
Emma Stewart and Beth Morrow

In the final race of the day Alex Moran, younger brother of Kian, had a brilliant race and pushed hard right to the finish to secure 15th spot and his qualification for the Ulster Championships. A fine effort from a gritty runner.

All the athletes should be congratulated on strong performances on a muddy course but special mention must go to silver medallist Emma Rankin on her first outing for Banbridge Academy!

All four qualifiers will now progress to the Ulster Championships to be help at the Mallusk course.

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