Johnstone and Jennings take titles

Letterkenny AC women's team create history

By Ciaran O'Donnell


By Ciaran O'Donnell


Johnstone and Jennings take titles

Catriona Jennings, on her way to victory today

Ciaran O'Donnell @dgldemocrat

Christopher Johnstone from Finn Valley and Catriona Jennings of Letterkenny took the Donegal senior cross country titles at Stranorlar this afternoon.

The pair also led their teams to gold medals over a trying course.

A former Letterkenny AC man, Johnstone made his intentions clear from the gun. The winner of this contest over 10K was never in doubt from early on as he powered to victory with an impressive performance in 33:05. Eoghan McGinley, a recent signing by Letterkenny AC, ran a steady race to take second in 34:08, with Finn Valley's Dermot McElchar claiming third in 34:45.

The scoring Finn Valley team, with 28 points, was completed by Mark Hoy (4th in 34:50), James McFadden (5th in 34:51), John McElhill (6th in 34:56) and Mark McPaul (9th in 35:14).

Letterkenny took team silver on 78 points, with Inishowen third on 148 points.

The Letterkenny AC women's team created history at the Twin Towns venue when they secured the Donegal senior cross country title for the first time since the club was established 44 years ago.

Catriona Jennings, another new LAC signing, led the black and amber to the top of the podium with a controlled run from the gun. Her winning time was 18:36. Like Johnstone in the men's race, she was also a comfortable winner over the 5K distance.

The real race here was for second, and after a ding-dong battle with her Letterkenny AC club made, Noeleen Scanlon, Nikita Burke had the best kick when they turned the last corner and headed into the final 100 metres.

Nikita posted a time of 19:09, with Noeleen just three seconds back in 19:12. The scoring team was completed by club captain, Irene McFadden in 20:14.

Letterkenny took the team title with 15 points, from Finn Valley (33) and Lifford/Strabane (69).

Speaking after her latest victory, Catriona Jennings said she enjoyed the experience.

"It's been a long time since I ran cross country, but I enjoyed today. It's great to win and lead the team to gold medals.

“All the girls ran well today and it was a great team effort," she said.

She added she is hoping to compete in the inter-county cross championships on Sunday week in Dublin.