Letterkenny Athletic Club's women's highly successful cross country season continued in Sunday's Donegal Senior Championship.
The Finn Valley Centre course was a stamina sapping mudbath but the unseasonally mild, dry weather meant that runners enjoyed pleasant overhead conditions.
Catriona Jennings certainly didn't allow herself to be derailed by the mud and gave spectators a masterful exhibition of front running. Catriona, who picked up a Silver medal in the Irish Championship in the recent Dublin Marathon, led from start to finish. She clocked a superb time of 18.36 for the testing 5k course.
Next across the line was another runner currently in a rich vein of form, Nakita Burke, who had won last week's Ulster Novice cross country championship. It looked like being LAC 1-2-3 but Noeleen Scanlan, who had a tremendous run, was caught on the line by City of Derry Track Club's Marina Murphy.
The LAC scoring team was completed by 8th placed Irene McFadden, who had her best run of the season. The 15 points accumulated by Catriona, Nakita, Noeleen and Irene was enough to take the team prize from Finn Valley by a margin of 18 points.
All the women in the LAC team played their part and the 4 scorers were greatly aided by Shauna McGeehan, Jane Toner, Siobhan Gallagher, Fionnuala Larkin and Niamh McDaid. Maria Mulligan unfortunately sustained an injury during the race.
Finn Valley's Chris Johnston won the men's 10K in exactly the same manner as Catriona. He also won after leading from the start.
LAC's Eoghain McGinley bravely pursued Chris Johnston but was unable to close the gap. Eoghain was followed by 4 Finn Valley runners who occupied 3rd-6th positionsand they went on to win the team gold.
LAC's contingent battled bravely and gained silver medals, with some excellent perfomances. Darren McBrearty had a very strong run to come home in 7th place, with Karol Duggan earning a top 10 finish. LAC's scoring team was completed by Danny Mooney, Raymond Birch and Pauric Breslin, who all packed well, to ensure Silver medals, with 78 points to spare over Inishowen AC, for whom ex LAC man, Pauric McKinney, had a phenomenal run.
Sean McFadden, whose strength helped him to make the mud look easy, finished just behind Pauric Breslin. There were also fine runs from Mark Diver and Sean Og Foody.
Fionnuala Diver had an excellent run in the 5 Nations Masters' cross country International in Tollcross Park, Glasgow on Saturday afternoon. Fionnuala was one of the counters on the Irish F35 team, which won bronze medals.
Annmarie McGlynn travelled to the mountainous Atapuerca area of Northern Spain to run in the highly prestigous 'Cross Internacional Atapuerca' on Sunday. Annmarie had an excellent run over the tough course, where she was running for an Irish team managed by Teresa McDaid.
Letterkenny Athletic Club's annual dinner and awards night will take place on Friday November 18th at 8pm in Arena 7.