Bethany and Ben on NI XC Development Squad

Following their success at the Athletics Northern Ireland Primary School cross country races in the 2012-13 season, Bethany Nixon and Ben Gracey both year 7 pupils at Dromore Central Primary School were selected for the Athletics NI Junior XC Development Squad for 2013-14.

Selected athletes on the Development Squad all receive good quality coaching and are invited to different endurance schemes throughout the year.

All athletes involved get the opportunity to meet and train with other endurance athletes from across Northern Ireland.

The first of these training events took place at the recently refurbished Mary Peter’s Track on Saturday, August 31.

Both Bethany and Ben had a thoroughly good workout which has provided useful training insights for them and will help set them up well for the XC season ahead.

Indeed Bethany has already put her training to good effect for her club Dromore AC, by winning the Junior Girl 10 category of the Mill Hill Mile road race (known to most of us as the rather steep hill from Annsborough up to Castlewellan) run by Newcastle AC. Indeed in a very good time of 8mins 6sec Bethany was only one second behind the winner of the Junior Girl 12 category.