Everard impresses on European stage

KILKENNY athlete Ciara Everard had a very successful weekend at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden at the weekend.

KILKENNY athlete Ciara Everard had a very successful weekend at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden at the weekend.

Everard, currently competing with UCD, flew the flag for her county when she represented Ireland in the women’s 800m event.

Despite being a rookie at this level the 22-year-old athlete performed with some distinction. On Friday she was first across the finish line, winning her heat in a time of 2.03.

The semi-finals were held on Saturday and once again Ciara was equal to the challenge, finishing third in a closely-fought race to secure herself a place in the final on Sunday morning.

In the final once again Everard ran courageously. She was in fourth place at the bell with 200m to go, but in the end had to settle for sixth place in a time of 2.02.55, one-hundreth of a second outside of her personal best for the distance indoors. This performance represents the culmination of an excellent indoor season for Ciara during which she set a new national record for the 800m indoors.

Cross-Country

The final event of the county cross-country season, the short course senior races and juvenile relays, was held in Freshford at the Nuenna Equestrian Centre on Sunday. A nice Spring morning ensured a good turnout of athletes and made for some exciting races. The relay races were run on a 250m circuit which meant that the spectators had a close up view of all the action, generating plenty of excitement.

There were open races in the under-7 and under-9 categories for boys and girls. Thomastown were to the fore here, providing the winners of both under-7 races and the boys’ under-9 race. They also had the second place finishers in the boys’ under-7 and girls’ and boys’ under-9 races.

In the relay races Thomastown took gold in both under-11 races. Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) took silver and bronze in the girls’ race, Castlecomer silver in the boys’ race while new club Stoneyford won the bronze medals.

KCH won both sets of gold medals at under-13 level, while Thomastown had to settle for silver and bronze in the girls race. Castlecomer won silver in the boys’ race and KCH the bronze medals. In the under-15 races there was gold for KCH girls and Castlecomer boys.

The senior women’s 2km race was an all-Thomastown affair with all the starting athletes from the Thomastown club. The course, flat and fast with good dry ground, helped Aoife O’Connor to put the pressure on early in the race. Opening a good gap, she maintained this right to the end. Maeve O’Connor finished second with Sinead Whelan in third place.

A field of 27 runners faced the starter for the senior men’s 4km race. Early in the race Sean Power (Thomastown) made a break, closely followed by Cormac Buggy (Gowran), Ray Lonergan (KCH) and Anthony Forristal (Gowran).

Power opened a gap and continued to surge forward, holding his lead into the last lap. Ray Lonergan made his move at this stage, getting away from Anthony Forristal before catching Cormac Buggy to finish in second place with Buggy finishing third.

Gowran clinched the team prize with 21 points, with Thomastown taking silver on 26 points. St Joseph’s, who were led home by Rocky Mernagh, secured team bronze

Thanks went to the host club KCH and the Dillon-Maher family for the use of the facilities.

Results, county short course senior races and juvenile relays (Club code - CC = Castlecomer, G = Gowran, KCH = Kilkenny City Harriers, SJ = St Joseph’s, SS = St Senan’s, STF = Stoneyford, TT = Thomastown):

Girls’ U-7 - 1 Caoimhe Power (TT), 2 Milly Gilsenan (KCH), 3 Katie Grace (STF), 4 Grace Connolly (ST), 5 Evie Holohan (KCH). Boys’ U-7 - 1 Billy O’Keeffe (TT), 2 Oisin Farrell (TT), 3 Joe Pierce (KCH), 4 Oisin Corrigan (KCH), 5 Matt Pierce (KCH), 6 James O’Reilly (TT).

Girls’ U-9 - 1 Ella Cusack (G), 2 Maria O’Keeffe (TT), 3 Molly O’Dornan (CC), 4 Tara Fenlon (TT), 5 Becky Peters (KCH), 6 Angela Carroll (KCH), 7 Orla Kirwan (TT), 8 Molly Hogan (TT), 9 Grace Mealy (CC), 10 Marion Callery (TT), 11 Aine Behan (KCH). Boys’ U-9 - 1 David Holden (TT), 2 Cian Farrell (TT), 3 Sean Young (KCH), 4 Oisin O’Reilly (TT), 5 James Coogan (CC), 6 Michael Brennan (CC), 7 Joey Ryan (CC), 8 Philip Phelan (KCH), 9 Cormac Moore (TT), 10 Gerard Delaney (KCH), 11 Aaron Coogan (CC), 12 David Scanlon (G) 13 Christopher Kealy (CC).

Girls’ U-11 relay - 1 Thomastown, 2 KCH, 3 KCH, 4 KCH, 5 KCH, 6 Castlecomer, 7 KCH, 8 KCH, 9, KCH, 10 Castlecomer, 11 Castlecomer. Boys’ U-11 relay - 1 Thomastown, 2 Castlecomer, 3 Stoneyford, 4 Gowran, 5 KCH, 6 Castlecomer, 7 Thomastown, 8 Gowran, 9 KCH, 10 Mixed clubs.

Girls’ U-13 relay - 1 KCH, 2 Thomastown, 3 Thomastown, 4 KCH/Gowran, 5 Castlecomer, 6 KCH, 7 KCH, 8 Castlecomer. Boys’ U-13 relay - 1 KCH, 2 Castlecomer, 3 KCH, 4 Stoneyford, 5 KCH, 6 Stoneyford.

Girls’ U-15 relay - 1 KCH, 2 KCH/CC, 3 KCH. Boys’ U-15 relay - 1 Castlecomer, 2 Mixed (ST, CC, G).

Women’s senior 2km - 1 Aoife O’Connor (TT), 2 Maeve O’Connor (TT), 3 Sinead Whelan (TT) 4 Niamh O’Shea (TT), 5 Margaret Power (TT), 6 Maria Maher (TT), 7 Irma Moore (TT), 8 Breda O’Shea (TT).

Teams: 1 Thomastown. Category winners: Junior Niamh O’Shea. Senior Aoife O’Connor. V1 Margaret O’Keeffe.

Men’s senior 4km - 1 Sean Power (TT), 2 Ray Lonergan (KCH), 3 Cormac Buggy (G), 4 Mick Kelly (G), 5 Anthony Forristal (TT), 6 Lyndon Barcoe (G), 7 Luke Morgan (SS), 8 Colin Tobin (G), 9 Pat O’Reilly (TT), 10 Rocky Mernagh (SJ), 11 James Power (TT), 12 Pat Young (TT), 13 Larry Leacy (SJ), 14 Paul Sheehan (SJ), 15 Liam O’Shea (TT), 16 Bill Carroll (TT), 17 Marty Mosely (G), 18 Michael Power (SJ), 19 Tom McDonald (SJ), 20 Jamie Walsh (TT), 21 Mick O’Keeffe (TT), 22 Marty Kelly (G), 23 Aaron Conway (TT), 24 Mick Walsh (G), 25 Emmet McAvinney (G), 26 Jack O’Kelly (G), 27 Jimmy Lannon (G).

Teams: 1 Gowran, 2 Thomastown, 3 St Joseph’s, 4 Thomastown. Category winners: Junior James Power (TT), Novice Anthony Forristal (TT), Senior Sean Power (TT), M1 Mick Kelly (TT), M2 Pat Young (KCH), M3 Rocky Mernagh (SJ), M4 Larry Leacy (SJ), M5 Marty Kelly (G), M6 Jimmy Lannon (G).

Highland Harriers

A group of KCH athletes travelled to the Scottish Indoor championships in Glasgow at the weekend. The group, who travelled by coach and ferry, were involved in competition over two days.

The young athletes clearly benefited from the experience of international competition, coming laden down with medals and personal best performances.

Top of the pile was Ciara Deeley, who won three gold medals. Competing in the under-14 category Ciara produced gold medal performances in the 60m hurdles (9.38m), high jump (1.55m) and long jump (4.79m).

Girls’ U-20 - 60m 1 Cliodhna Manning, 7.7 secs; 3 Lorraine O’Shea, 7.92 secs. Girls’ U-20 200m - 2 Cliodhna Manning. Girls’ U-20 long jump - 1 Lorraine O’Shea, 5.59m.

Girls’ U-20 high jump - 5 Sinead McDonagh and Catriona Twomey. Girls’ U-20 shot-put - 2 Catriona Twomey. Girls’ U-20 1,500m: 5 Aoibhe Richardson, 5.10; 7 Nicola Murphy, 5.45.

Girls’ U-18 60m - 1 Sarah Kate Lacey, 4 Margaret Caldbeck. Boys’ U-18 200m - 5 Aaron Barron.

Girls’ U-16 long jump - 2 Lauren Gleeson. Girls’ U-16 60m hurdles - 1 Lauren Gleeson. Girls’ U-16 1,500m - 1 Annie O’Connor, 5.13.

On the road

The annual Ballycotton 10 Road race was held on Sunday with a large contingent of Kilkenny athletes participating in the event.

KCH athlete Brian Maher finished in second place with an excellent time of 50.09. Other Kilkenny athletes who dipped under 60 minute mark for the distance were David Comber (Leevale), who finished in 58th place in a time of 58.05; Paul Moran (KCH), who was 80th in a time of 59.24 and Val Gunner (Gowran) who came home 88th in a time of 59.48.

Fit4Life

The KCH Fit4Life group held their annual meeting in St Fiacre’s Parish Centre on Thursday last. It was a very positive meeting, with all officers reporting substantial progress during 2012.

There are currently over 200 members registered with the Athletic Association (AAI) and with regular time trials throughout the year all members have recorded improved fitness levels. There have been many trips organised around the running calendar - 25 runners travelled to France for the Paris half-marathon; in March, 14 locals completed the Ballycotton 10, 15 runners did the Charleville Half while there was a strong contingent in Waterford for the Waterford Viking Marathon.

Through their participation in numerous road races the runners have made considerable financial contributions to a number of charities, not least through self-organised events such as The St Patrick’s Day DASH and Run Kilkenny.

Officers elected were: chairwoman Irene Henebry, vice-chairman Eoin Molloy, secretary Karen Ryan, treasurer Deirdre Scott, registrar Regina Moran.

Committee members are currently busy with preparations for this year’s St Patrick’s Day DASH. The proceeds of this year’s 5km event, which leaves from The Watershed at 11am on St Patrick’s morning, will go to St Canice’s Co-ed National School Autism Unit.

Fixtures

Saturday/Sunday: Leinster juvenile indoor championships, AIT Arena, Athlone.

St Patrick’s Day: KCH/Fit4life 5k Dash, Watershed 11am.