On Tuesday 24th February 2015, Dr O’Kane, Miss Stewart and five teams from Victoria College travelled to Mallusk for the Ulster Schools’ Cross Country Championships. There was a mixture of excitement and nerves on the bus as we set off. On arrival, we were met by Mrs Scott (a coach with Lagan Valley Athletics Club and mum to Rachel). She took the Year 8 and Year 9 girls to do a pre-race warm up and stretches. Meanwhile Dr O’Kane and Miss Stewart collected race numbers, route maps, pre-race information and organised the other teams.
The day began with good weather conditions and first up was the Mini Girls’ team. What an exciting race this proved to be! The VCB girls set a fast pace and as the race progressed Anna Hill and another pupil broke away from the leading pack. This was a two way battle until the home straight where Anna surged ahead, took the lead to win the race and be crowned Ulster Champion. Well done Anna. Following closely behind was Annabel Magnussen who ran a gutsy race to secure another podium finish and bronze medal. The rest of the team were placed highly and ensured that VCB Mini girls were awarded team gold and crowned Ulster Champions. A superb effort from Anna, Annabel, Emma, Naoise and Ruby. Rachel unfortunately could not run on the day due to illness. Girls, this is only the beginning – keep training hard!
Next up was the Minor Girls team – Susie, Aishling, Sofia, Keeva, Abby and Beth. The girls all ran strongly and Aisling Gray gained a place to the All Ireland Championships. Well done Aisling and the Year 9 girls. Unfortunately Susie had to retire in the latter stages of the race due to muscle injury. The Minor girls were a very credible 12th place.
The Junior girls ran a very competitive race and worked well as a team to get silver medals and gain a place to the All Ireland Championships. Fantastic running from Rebekah, Darcey, Georgia, Cate, Sarah and Rachel.
The Senior girls followed and we saw yet another fabulous performance. The team was led home by Jane Matthews, closely followed by Georgia Dick. The team ran strongly and were presented with gold medals, crowned Ulster Champions and gained a place in the All Ireland Championships. We are very proud of Jane, Georgia, Megan, Esmée and Hannah. Unfortunately Rebecca couldn’t run on the day due to illness.
The weather was deteriorating, with the wind picking up and sleet falling. The Intermediate girls were about to start their race – 3200m – the longest distance. Conditions didn’t affect their performance and again the team didn’t fail to deliver. Congratulations Amy, Caitlyn, Sarah, Robyn and Eve on your silver medals and place in the All Ireland Championships.
This proved to be a fabulous day for Victoria College. The highlight was being crowned Best Ulster Girls’ School in Cross Country Running 2015.
We would like to thank Mrs Scott, all club coaches and parents who came along to offer support. Girls – you were amazing. We are so proud of your commitment, determination and performances. You are all so talented, you are the stars of the future.
Good luck in the All Ireland Championships in Kildare on Saturday 7th March.