P7 pupil Naomh crowned school cross country champion

St Anthony's pupil Naomh Beattie with her N.I. Cross Country Championship medal. INLM10-200

St Anthony's pupil Naomh Beattie with her N.I. Cross Country Championship medal. INLM10-200

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NAOMH Beattie, a P7 pupil at St Anthony’s Primary School, has been crowned Northern Ireland Schools’ Cross Country champion.

The 11-year-old captured the individual title at a recent event at Mallusk. She triumphed in a field of over 180 girls from all over the province, in the primary schools category.

Naomh began her athletics career in her P5 year in school, spending morning breaks with her fellow team mates and coach, training on the school pitch.

The Craigavon girl, who also runs with St Peter’s Athletic Club in Lurgan, is coached by Brian O’Hagan, a teacher in St Anthony’s.

The NI Cross Country event was run over a course of 1.4 kilometres and on the day it was wet and windy making the going extremely difficult.

Despite these conditions Naomh was able to complete the course in a time of five minutes flat.

During the race Naomh showed great tactical awareness and stayed near the front, keeping a close eye on the leaders from the start. With about 150 metres to go she was lying in third place and as they entered the home straight she made a devastating kick for the finish, to lead the field home and capture the title.

Mr O’Hagan was delighted with her performance, as were the rest of the school, and a special school assembly was held to recognise her wonderful achievement.