Arena proves a lucky venue

A RETURN trip to Athlone provided more success for Kilkenny athletes who competed in the national senior indoor championships in the AIT Arena.

A RETURN trip to Athlone provided more success for Kilkenny athletes who competed in the national senior indoor championships in the AIT Arena.

Ciara Everard, running in the colours of UCD, continued her great form at the new venue by taking the 800m senior women’s title in a time of 2.07. This result came on the back of her 800m win last week, a result which saw her smash the national record and earn a place at the European championships.

Ciara’s brother Eoin, running for Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH), had a fine run in the men’s 1,500m event. After a hard-fought race with John Coughlan Everard had to settle for silver, crossing the line in an excellent time of 3.48.96.

Another local to make the medals was Shannen Dawkins (St Joseph’s), who finished third in the 60m hurdles, which was won in a record breaking time.

In the field events Lorraine O’Shea (KCH) and Sophie Parkinson (Gowran) finished fourth position in the long jump and shot-put respectively.

Louise Holmes performed very well to qualify for the 60m and the 200m sprints finals, but there was to be no medal this week for the KCH runner who finished fifth in both events.

Cross-country

Sunday was a busy day in Bramblestown as Gowran AC hosted the county intermediate cross-country and juvenile relays.

The action started with races for boys and girls at under-8 level and was followed by the juvenile relays which generated great excitement among the athletes and their mentors.

In the boys’ under-12 race there was a great battle between Thomastown and Castlecomer, with Thomastown just edging it in the end. The boys’ under-14 race between Castlecomer and KCH was just as entertaining, with Castlecomer emerging as victors this time round.

The women’s 3km race saw a keen contest develop between Orla McPhillips (KCH) and Megan Morrissey (Thomastown). The KCH athlete proved the stronger over the testing course, pulling away to win the title comprehensively. Morrissey took the silver medal and was followed home by her team-mate Maeve O’Connor in third place. With Sinead Whelan fourth and Niamh O’Shea sixth Thomastown were easy winners of the team prize with a total score of 15 points - they even had enough strength in depth to take the bronze medals as well! KCH took silver with 23 points.

The men’s 8km race was a closer affair, with a lead group of nine athletes running freely over the testing course for the first two of the five laps. Pushing strongly at the head of the group were Ray Lonergan (KCH) and Jimmy Barcoe (Gowran).

As the lead group began to fall away the leading pair were joined by Thomastown’s Anthony Forristal and fought it out over the last lap and a half. With 400m to go it was anyone’s race, but turning into the home straight Lonergan proved the stronger. Forristal had to settle for silver, with Barcoe taking the bronze.

With three more finishers in the top seven the Harriers were clear winners of the Intermediate Shield. Thomastown finished just ahead of Gowran to take the silver medals, with St Joseph’s finishing fourth.

Thanks went to the O’Donnell family for providing the land for racing.

Results, county intermediate cross-country and juvenile relays (Club code: C = Castlecomer, G = Gowran, KCH = Kilkenny City Harriers, SJ = St Joseph’s, TT = Thomastown)

Women’s intermediate - 1 Orla McPhillips (KCH), 2 Megan Morrissey (TT), 3 Maeve O’Connor (TT), 4 Sinead Whelan (TT), 5 Catriona Muldowney (TT), 6 Niamh O’Shea (TT), 7 Catriona Corr (KCH), 8 Catherine Kennedy (G), 9 Margaret Power (TT), 10 Mary Anne Conway (KCH), 11 Laura Walpole (TT), 12 Irma Moore (TT), 13 AM Byrne (G), 14 Maria Maher (TT), 15 Mary Barry (TT). Teams: 1 Thomastown, 15pts; 2 KCH, 23pts; 3 Thomastown, 46pts.

Men’s intermediate - 1 Ray Lonergan (KCH), 2 Anthony Forristal (TT), 3 Jimmy Barcoe (G), 4 Brendan Neary (KCH), 5 Eoin Molloy (KCH), 6 Pat O’Reilly (TT), 7 Ivan McMahon (KCH), 8 Lyndon Barcoe (G), 9 Colin Tobin (G), 10 Rocky Mernagh (SJ), 11 Luke Morgan (SS), 12 Alan Rhatigan (KCH), 13 Liam McCabe (TT), 14 Stephen Rossiter (SJ), 15 Stephen Dermody (KCH), 16 Bill Carroll (TT), 17 Liam O’Shea (TT), 18 Michael Power (SJ), 19 Gary Farrell (G), 20 Tom McDonald (SJ), 21 Terry Walsh (KCH). Teams: 1 KCH, 17pts; 2 Thomastown, 37pts; 3 Gowran, 39pts; 4 St Joseph’s, 62pts.

Girls’ U-10 relay - 1 KCH, 2 Thomastown, 3 Castlecomer, 4 KCH, 5 KCH. Boys’ U-10 relay - 1 KCH, 2 KCH, 3 Gowran, 4 Thomastown, 5 KCH, 6 Castlecomer.

Girls’ U-12 relay - 1 Thomastown, 2 KCH, 3 Gowran, 4 Thomastown, 5 KCH, 6 Castlecomer, 7 Gowran, 8 KCH, 9 Castlecomer, 10 KCH. Boys’ U-12 relay - 1 Thomastown, 2 Castlecomer, 3 Gowran, 4 KCH, 5 Castlecomer.

Girls’ U-14 relay - 1 KCH, 2 Thomastown, 3 Castlecomer, 4 Combined (C/TT/G). Boys’ U-14 relay - 1 Castlecomer, 2 KCH, 3 Combined (C/KCH/TT).

Girls’ U-16 relay - 1 KCH.

Girls’ U-8 - 1 Angela Carroll (KCH), 2 Molly Hogan (C), 3 Caoimhe Power (TT), 4 Ava O’Grady (KCH), 5 Sinead Carroll (KCH), 6 Nicole Murray (KCH), 8 Ciara Doyle (KCH), 9 Evie Holohan (KCH). Boys’ U-8 - 1 Cian Farrell (TT), 2 James Coogan (C), 3 Sean Young (KCH), 4 Aaron Coogan (C), 5 Noel Minogue (KCH), 6 Matthew Cullen (TT), 7 Mathew McAvinney (G), 8 Billy O’Keeffe (TT).

Girls’ U-17 - Ailis O’Shea (TT). Boys’ U-17 - 1 Sean Power (TT), 2 Tommy Bric (G), 3 Jack O’Kelly (G).

Star awards

The county athletics Star Awards for 2012 will be presented at a function in Gowran Park on Friday. Tickets are available from club officers.

Already there have been a number of awards given to athletes in celebration of their outstanding performances in 2012. Cliodhna Manning (KCH) was the latest of these when she received the County Star award from Athletics Ireland at a function in Tullamore at the weekend.

At local level St Joseph’s held their annual awards night on Saturday. The senior athlete award went to Pat Power and Verena Fenlon while Eoin Power and Shannen Dawkins were honoured at junior level. The Juvenile of the Year award went to Aoife McDonald, Seamus Molloy was presented with the Hall of Fame award while Mag O’Connor was named the Club Person of the Year.

St Senan’s also held their awards night recently, lauding a number of category winners. Josh Fenton and Saoirse Allen were honoured at under-10 level, Isabel Morgan picked up the award in the under-11 category with Jonathan Crowley honoured as the under-15 Athlete of the Year.

Aine Kinsella picked up the award in the older age groups and Bronagh Kearns and Thomas Sheridan were honoured as Athletes of the Year. The Mary Walsh Memorial Award for most dedicated athlete went to another rising star, Shauna Finn.