The cross-country season got back up and running on Sunday as local athletes flocked to Bramblestown for the county junior and masters championships.
The Gowran venue saw a day to remember for Castlecomer athlete Lauren Dermody, who retained her junior women’s 4km title in style.
Sunday brought good fortune also for Annie O’Connor from the Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) club.
Stepping up to junior level for the first time, O’Connor marked her day with an excellent second place and the silver medal. Michelle McDonald (St Senan’s) was third, capturing the bronze medal and the final place on the podium.
In the 6km junior men’s race, two athletes made their intentions clear when they broke clear of the field early on.
Tom O’Keeffe (KCH) and Sean Power (Thomastown) battled it out for the title, with O’Keeffe sprinting away on the last lap to take the gold medal. Third place and the bronze medal went to Oliver Mullally (St Senan’s) for the second year in a row.
With the Leinster Junior cross-country championships taking centre-stage next weekend, Kilkenny athletes will be expected to make a strong challenge for podium places.
The senior women’s 3km race was dominated by KCH, whose four athletes took the top four places.
First across the finish line was Catriona Corr to take the gold, with the silver medal going to Donna Dowling and bronze to Lisa Collins. Siobhan O’Dwyer was the top finisher for host club Gowran.
There was a big turnout for the senior men’s 6km race with over 20 athletes lining up in rather blustery conditions.
As the race settled Paul Moran (KCH) and Mick Kelly (Gowran) opened up a solid lead on the chasing pack. The KCH athlete proved to be the stronger, building a nice advantage to claim the M35 title. Mick Kelly finished in second and third place went to Ken Maher, KCH.
With Niall Lacey finishing fourth that completed the scoring three for KCH, who won team gold. Team silver went to Gowran while the Harriers also took the team bronze ahead of St Joseph’s in fourth place.
Also on the programme were juvenile open races in the even age groups. Despite the Wintry conditions there was a good turnout of young athletes for these events.
In the under-8 category there were wins for Sarah Foley (St Joseph’s) and Padraig Hanlon (Gowran). At under-10 level the gold medals went to Orla Kirwan (Thomastown) and Brian Moore (KCH). Team gold in the boys’ race went to KCH, with Gowran taking team silver and bronze.
At under-12 level there was double gold for Thomastown, with victories going to Fiona Dillon and Billy Power. Team gold in the girls’ race went to Thomastown, but they had to settle for team silver in the boys’ race as Gowran scooped the team gold and bronze.
In the girls’ under-14 race Aine Kirwan (Thomastown) was the winner and also led Thomastown to team gold. Team silver went to Gowran, with new club Tullaroan taking the team bronze medals - special congratulations are due to their athletes.
There was an exciting finish to the boys’ under-14 race with Conor Hanlon (Gowran) just pipping his clubmate Brogan McAvinney to the gold medal. In the under-16 races the honours went to KCH athletes Grace Richardson and James Kearney.
Thanks went to Gowran AC for hosting the event and to the O’Donnell family for use of their lands.
The Leinster cross-country relays for juveniles will be held in Dunboyne on Sunday.
Results, county junior and masters cross-country championships and juvenile open (club code: CC = Castlecomer, G = Gowran, KCH = Kilkenny City Harriers, SJ = St Joseph’s, SS = St Senan’s, TR = Tullaroan, TT = Thomastown):
Junior Women: 1 Lauren Dermody (CC), 2 Annie O’Connor (CC), 3 Michelle McDonald (SS), 4 Rachel Butler (SS), 5 Abigail O’Keeffe (KCH), 6 Grace Richardson (KCH), 7 Rebecca Kennedy (G).
Junior Men: 1 Tom O’Keeffe (KCH), 2 Sean Power (TT), 3 Oliver Mullally (SS), 4 James Power (TT), 5 Taylor Kane (G), 6 Patrick Maher (KCH), 7 James O’Neill (G).
Senior Women (W30): 1 Catriona Corr (KCH), 2 Donna Dowling (KCH), 3 Lisa Collins (KCH), 4 Sheila O’Callaghan (KCH), 5 Siobhan O’Dwyer (G), 6 Michelle Ryan (G), 7 Tracey Malone (SJ). Teams: 1 KCH.
Senior Men (M35): 1 Paul Moran (KCH), 2 Mick Kelly (G), 3 Ken Maher (KCH), 4 Niall Lacey (KCH), 5 Lyndon Barcoe (G), 6 Seamus Power (SJ), 7 Eoin Molloy (KCH), 8 Pat Young (KCH), 9 Pat Coady (G), 10 Simon O’Dwyer (G), 11 John Carey (KCH), 12 Patrick Bookle (SJ), 13 Tommy Shefflin (TT), 14 Adrian Cunningham (G), 15 Philip Fennelly (TT), 16 Bill Carroll (TT), 17 Paul Sheehan (SJ), 18 Larry Leacy (SJ), 19 Rocky Mernagh (SJ), 20 Muiris Bric (G), 21 Michael Power (SJ), 22 Victor Young (KCH).
Teams: 1 KCH (Paul Moran, Ken Maher, Niall Lacey), 2 Gowran (Mick Kelly, Lyndon Barcoe, Pat Coady), 3 KCH ( Eoin Molloy, Pat Young, John Carey), 4 St Joseph’s, 5 Thomastown, 6 Gowran.
Girls’ U-8: 1 Sarah Foley (SJ), 2 Ave Meiller (G), 3 Molly Lynch (G); 4 Ella Walton (TR), 5 Laura Ryan (G), 6 Cara McDonald (G), 7 Mathilde Beubry (G), 8 Evelyn McEvoy (KCH), 9 Eva O’Keeffe (G).
Boys’ U-8: 1 Padraig Hanlon (G), 2 James O’Reilly (TT), 3 Charlie Ryan (G), 4 Cathal Grogan (TR), 5 Cathal Monaghan (G), 6 Tom Carpenter (G), 7 Sam McAvinney (G), 8 Conor Monaghan (G).
Girls’ U-10: 1 Orla Kirwan (TT), 2 Hazel Coogan (G), 3 Caoimhe Power (TT).
Boys’ U-10: 1 Brian Moore (KCH), 2 Oisin O’Reilly (TT), 3 Ed (KCH); 4 Niall Carpenter (G), 5 Jack Coogan (BR), 6 Sean Young (KCH), 7 Patrick Leacy (KCH), 8 Adam Morrissey (BR), 9 Charlie Beubry (G), 10 Oran O’Keeffe (G), 11 Liam O’Dwyer (G), 12 Matt McAvinney (G), 13 Daragh Dack (TT), 14 Rian Shefflin (TT), 15 Cain Scully (G), 16 Martin Mulligan (TR), 17 Sean Hanlon (G), 18 Shane Hanlon (G), 19 Patrick Wade (G), 20 Mathew Breen (KCH). Teams: 1 KCH, 2 Gowran, 3 Gowran.
Girls’ U-12: 1 Fiona Dillon (TT), 2 Maria O’Keeffe (TT), 3 Katie Taylor (TT), 4 Tara McGuire (KCH), 5 Emma Shortall (KCH), 6 Erin Foley (SJ), 7 Tara Fenlon (TT), 8 Ava Shefflin (TT), 9 Aoife Beirne (SJ), 10 Anna Connolly (G), 11 Maria Connolly (G). Teams: 1 Thomastown.
Boys’ U-12: 1 Billy Power (TT), 2 Jack Alymer (KCH), 3 Charlie Mullins (G), 4 Billy Coogan (G), 5 James Kealy (G), 6 Jimmy Maher (TT), 7 Padraig Kirwan (TT), 8 Cathal Purcell (G), 9 Jamie Morrissey (BR), 10 Noah Scully (G), 11 David Murphy (G), 12 Aaron Grogan (TR), 13 Paul Mulligan (TR). Teams: 1 Gowran, 2 Thomastown, 3 Gowran.
Girls’ U-14: 1 Aine Kirwan (TT), 2 Ellen Ryan (TT), 3 Eve O’Dwyer (G), 4 Orla O’Keeffe (TT), 5 Sara O’Donnell (G), 6 Dervla O’Reilly (TT), 7 Anna Purcell (G), 8 Edie Maher (TT), 9 Robyn Denieffe (G), 10 Laoise Holland (TR), 11 Chloe Breen (TR), 12 Aoibhlinn Beubry (G), 13 Alex Grogan (TR). Teams: 1 Thomastown, 2 Gowran, 3 Tullaroan.
Boys’ U-14: 1 Conor Hanlon (G), 2 Brogan McAvinney (G), 3 Jordan Knight (TT), 4 Stephen Neville (TT).
Girls’ U-16: 1 Ella Richardson (KCH), 2 Ruth Kennedy (G), 3 Annie McEvoy (KCH), 4 Issey Shine (KCH), 5 Kate Dempsey (KCH).
Boys’ U-16: 1 James Kearney (KCH), 2 Shay McEvoy (KCH), 3 Cathal Kearney (KCH), 4 Andy O’Donnell (G), 5 Tom Walton (TR), 6 Joe Coughlan (TR), 7 Thomas Dunne (TR), 8 Eddie Gittens (G).