After a top 40 finish in the National Road Relays and some very promising early season cross country performances, our promising U13 girls team took on the best in the country at the National XC Relays in Mansfield.

We had the same A team as at Sutton Park, with Aisling McHale, Verity Charnley and Esme Pearson, as well as one B runner in Orla Flynn from a team that unfortunately fell apart only a few days beforehand.

The girls did great one again, this time reaching the heights of 28th place.  I should think after some close analysis this will turn out to be their best performance so far.  Top 30 in a National event is very impressive and it’s great to see them improving!

Aisling continues to defy expectations, coming home in a stunning 11th place.  She was 15th fastest the day and took the scalps of some of the top local runners.  Verity ran the second leg bringing the team back in 18th with Esme bringing them home in 28th.  There was the smallest of margins between the times of the last two as they continue to fight to show who is fastest.  Orla had the tough task of going off on leg one and was not a lot slower than Verity and Esme showing that she could be capable of pushing them for a place in the A team.  In total there were an incredible 104 complete teams with 125 teams starting.

Hopefully they all enjoyed the experience and this is helping foster an appetite to get even better over the rest of the season and the years to come.

A big thanks to Andrew McHale for organising the team on the day.  These girls are an inspiration and I can’t wait to see them in action again.  Bring on the next race!

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