Kilbeggan native Michael Murphy won a silver medal in the 123.ie National Novice and Juvenile Uneven Cross Country Championships which took place in Navan today (Sunday).
Competing in the Novice men’s category, Tullamore Harriers athlete Murphy pushed Bohermeen AC’s Kevin McGrath all the way in a competitive and exciting race at Navan Racecourse.
The leading positions changed on numerous occasions over the course of the 6,000m race. Ultimately it was the leading trio of McGrath, Murphy and William Fitzgerald (Craughwell AC) who were still in contention for gold heading into the final 1,000m.
A final decisive kick from McGrath saw the Bohermeen athlete stretch clear up the run-in on his way to gold in a time of 19:32.
Murphy followed to claim silver in 19:37, a notable achievement for the Harriers athlete who has been showing impressive form this year.
Fitzgerald took the bronze in 19:39 which also helped Craughwell AC to the team gold.
Speaking after his race, McGrath said: “I didn’t think this win was ever going to happen. The last country country title I won was back at U11 so my running style has definitely changed but it was fun coming back and I really enjoyed it out there”.
He continued: “I thought of targeting this a few weeks ago and training has been going really well this year so it’s nice to come here and perform well and feel fit. Watching Cormac Dalton (Mullingar Harriers) from our training group win the national senior cross country a few weeks ago made me really want to give it a go so I’m delighted with the title”.
Mullingar Harriers AC was also among the medals in Navan, with Cillian Galvin winning gold in the U-13 boys’ race and Lily Walsh claiming bronze in the U-13 girls’ race.
All eyes now turn to Brussels next weekend as Irish athletes, including last year’s Novice champion Fiona Everard, compete in the European Cross Country Championships on Sunday, December 10.
Cormac Dalton of Mullingar Harriers will also compete in Belgium next weekend.
1 Grace TIGHE, Moy Valley AC.
2 Kate KELLY, Kilkenny City Harriers AC.
3 Lainey SHERIDAN, Rathfarnham W.S.A.F. AC.
Read More: National silver medal for Kilbeggan athlete