The cream of the county’s athletes were honoured for their seasons of success at the Leinster Star Awards. Presented at the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow, Kilkenny’s juvenile award-winners were Shannen Dawkins (St Joseph’s) and Jack Manning (Kilkenny City Harriers - KCH).
Shannen, competing in the girls’ under-18 category, was the winner of the 60m hurdles and high jump titles at the Leinster Indoor Championships. Outdoors she was just as successful, winning gold in the 200m, 400m hurdles, 100m hurdles and high jump in the track and field championships.
Competing at under-16 level, Jack was just as successful when it came to winning medals. He was crowned champion in both the indoor and outdoor 200m events. He finished second in the 100m and 250m hurdles and picked up the bronze medal in the indoor shot-put.
The Senior award went to Emma Fenlon (St Joseph’s). Emma was the winner of the senior women’s shot-putt event, both indoors and outdoors, at the Leinster Championships. As well as giving a gold medal performance in the weight for distance event, she also landed a third place finish in the women’s hammer.
It was a good night for KCH, who also picked up two club awards. The club won the Eurotab Cup for best juvenile track and field club (16 to 19 age groups) at the Leinster Championships, along with the Hehir Shield for being the top Leinster club in the relay championships.
Kilkenny’s county cross-country teams were also honoured. County Athletics Board chairman Denis Cormack was presented with the Foley Cup, which is awarded annually to the top cross-country county. Winning this trophy is a testament to athletes and club mentors from all the clubs in the county.
Michael Bowler, competing in the National Indoor League in Athlone on Sunday, got the KCH team off to a good start with a second place finish in the pole vault (3.6m) and third place in the 60m hurdles (8.97 seconds).
David Rafter represented the club in 60m sprint and shot-put while Craig Byrne doubled up in the long jump and 800m.
It was a frosty morning that greeted the runners who came to The Parade for the annual Christmas morning run, which was organised by KCH. This event serves a multitude of purposes - it helped runners develop a healthy appetite for the Christmas fare, provided a social forum for people home for Christmas and, most importantly, it served as a fund-raising event for a local charity.
Thanks to the generosity of the participants on this year’s run the Kilkenny Samaritans received in excess of €1,000.
While most of the participants just enjoy taking part there are some who are more serious - at least among their own social group even if the serious part only becomes evident towards the end of the run.
One of these groupings is the former pupils of Colaiste Pobail Osrai where Eoin O’Floinn is ever ready for any challenge from his former classmates.
Among the senior athletes enjoying this year’s run were Paul Cody and Brian Maher. Veteran and regular participants included Eamon Byrne, Mick Walsh and Jim Miller.
The junior club was well represented by Peter Lynch and Conor Quinlan. From the juvenile squad there was Shay McEvoy and Annie O’Connor.
Making her debut this year was nine-year-old Emma Manogue. Emma is a member of the KCH under-11 squad who recently won gold in the national cross-country finals in Waterford.
Sunday: County cross-country championships open juvenile, junior, women (over-30) and men (over-35), Bramblestown 11am.
Sunday, January 19: Leinster cross-country championships (senior, junior and juvenile relays), Ballyroan Co Laois 12 noon.