Action on all athletic fronts!

Almost time... Runners check their watches as they get ready to make a dash from the start line of the Stoneyford 10k Challenge on Sunday.
IT WAS A busy weekend on the athletics front with runners and walkers tackling several events.

IT WAS A busy weekend on the athletics front with runners and walkers tackling several events.

From race walking on Friday to schools track and field championships on Saturday to juvenile relays and a road challenge on Sunday it proved to be a packed schedule for all involved.

St Joseph’s AC were the host club for the county road walk championships, which were held at the Pink Rock, Rosbercon on Friday. The club provided most of the race winners on the night, save for Castlecomer athlete Nicky Connolly’s success in the boys’ under-14 event.

St Joseph’s athlete Sally Forristal was the winner of the senior women’s 3km race, pipping last year’s winners Mag Helen Doherty to the gold, with Verena Fenlon coming third.

In the men’s 5km race Michael Ryan was a clear winner with John Joe Lawlor taking the silver medal. There was a hard-fought battle for the bronze medal between Gowran’s John Lennon and Rocky Mernagh (St Joseph’s). The athletes were neck and neck at the 4km mark, but Lennon proved stronger over the last kilometre.

This was a notable achievement for John. Despite competing at the highest level in race walking for a number of decades he underwent major heart surgery a year ago and has made a remarkable return to a high level of fitness.

Results, county road walk championships:

Girls’ U-12: 1 Marie Claire O’Dwyer (St Joseph’s), 2 Doireann Knox (St Senan’s).

Girls’ U-14: 1 Grace Mullally (St Joseph’s), 2 Sinead O’Keeffe (Thomastown), 3 Lizzie Buckley (Thomastown). Boys’ U-14: 1 Nicky Connolly (Castlecomer), 2 Tadgh Knox (St Senan’s).

Girls’ U-16: 1 Aoife McDonald (St Joseph’s). Boys’ U-16: John Forristal (St Joseph’s).

Senior women (all St Joseph’s): 1 Sally Forristal, 2 Maggie Helen Doherty, 3 Verena Fenlon, 4 Triona Foley, 5 Nora O’Mahony, 6 Brid Lawlor, 7 Tracy Malone, 8 Jacinta Cummins. Teams: 1 St Joseph’s A, 2 St Joseph’s B.

Senior men (St Joseph’s unless stated): 1 Michael Ryan, 2 John Joe Lawlor, 3 John Lennon (Gowran), 4 Rocky Mernagh, 5 Chris McNamara. Teams: 1 St Joseph’s.

Relay

Club relay teams enjoyed great success at the Leinster relay championships in Greystones on Sunday. There were some exciting races, not least in the girls’ under-10 event where Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) and St Senan’s were involved in a photo-finish.

It was a good day for the Harriers, who went home with seven sets of gold medals. There was also gold for St Joseph’s in the girls’ under-17 race, while Thomastown won silver in the girls’ under-12 race.

Boys’ U-9: 5 KCH. Girls’ U-10: 1 KCH, 2 St Senan’s (Saoirse Allen, Aoife Redmond, Doireann Knox, Rose Sheridan). Boys’ U-10: 3 KCH.

Boys’ U-11: 1 St Senan’s (Robert Finn, Michael Finn, Josh Fenton, Nick Kleign), 6 KCH. Girls’ U-12: 2 Thomastown (Ciara O’Keeffe, Orla O’Keeffe, Ellen Ryan, Rose Sheridan)

Girls’ U-14: 4 KCH. Boys’ U-14: 3 St Joseph’s (Richie Murphy, Sam Sutton, Darragh McDonald, Jack Elliot, Stephen Saunders, Oisin Griffin) 4 KCH.

Girls’ U-15: 2 KCH A, 3 KCH B. Boys’ U-16: 3 KCH.

Girls’ U-17: 1 St Joseph’s (Clara Kennedy, Mia Griffin, Sophie Becker, Marguerite Hoynes), 2 KCH. Boys’ U-17: 1 KCH.

Girls’ U-18: 1 KCH. Boys’ U-18: 1 KCH. Girls’ U-19: 1 KCH.

Schools

The Leinster and schools athletics championships were held over two days in the Morton Stadium, Santry. There were many notable performances with Kilkenny club athletes securing around 30 championship medals for their schools along with qualification for the All-Ireland Championships on Saturday, June 1.

Some of the young athletes were double gold winners, Gowran’s Sophie Parkinson leading the way when she won the senior girls’ shot and discus titles. KCH had a number of double gold medallists with Cliodhna Manning winning the senior girls’ 100m and 200m, Sarah-Kate Lacey the intermediate girls’ 100m and 300m while Ciara Deeley took gold in the minor girls’ 75m hurdles and high jump.

The Kilkenny results from the championships are:

Minor girls’ 75m hurdles: 1 Ciara Deeley (Loreto), 11.68. Minor girls’ 1,100m: 3 Annie O’Connor (Loreto), 3.36.32. Minor girls’ high jump: 1 Ciara Deeley (Loreto), 1.55; 6 Shauna Miller (Loreto), 1.40. Minor girls’ long jump: 3 Caoimhe O’Brien (Loreto), 4.62. Minor girls’ discus: 3 Tara Callaghan (Loreto), 21.05.

Minor boys’ discus: 4 Ross Daly (Kilkenny College), 24.98; 6 Conor Fahy Davies (Kilkenny College), 23.08.

Junior girls’ long jump: 4 Niamh McMullen (Loreto), 4.82. Junior boys’ 100m: 4 Jack Manning (St Kieran’s), 11.91. Junior boys’ 200m: 2 Jack Manning (St Kieran’s), 24.48. Junior boys’ high jump: 4 Adam O’Grady (Castlecomer CS), 1m.50cm. Junior boys’ discus: 4 Luke McRedmond (Kilkenny College), 33.20. Junior boys’ hammer: 5 Ciaran Coady (Castlecomer CS), 26.15. Junior boys’ triple jump: 3 Pierce Nash (Castlecomer CS), 10.29; 5 Sallyman Masoun (Scoil Aireagail). Junior boys’ shot-put: 1 Luke McRedmond (Kilkenny College), 12.99.

Girls’ U-16 200m: 3 Marguerite Hynes (St Mary’s New Ross), 28.15. Girls’ U-16 mile: 5 Jane Hogg (Kilkenny College), 6.18.27.

Boys’ U-16 shot-put: 3 Tommy Quirke (Castlecomer CS), 11.96.

Intermediate girls’ 100m: 1 Sarah Kate Lacey (Loreto). Intermediate girls’ 300m: 1 Sarah Kate Lacey (Loreto). Intermediate girls’ 800m: 3 Anna Sheehan (Loreto). Intermediate girls’ high jump: 1 Shannen Dawkins (St Mary’s New Ross). Intermediate girls’ 80m hurdles: 2 Shannen Dawkins (St Mary’s), 11.88.

Intermediate boys’ 100m: 1 Callan Byrne (Scoil Aireagail). Intermediate boys’ 200m: 2 Callan Byrne (Scoil Aireagail). Intermediate boys’ 400m: 4 Aaron Barron (Colaiste Pobail Osrai). Intermediate boys’ high jump: 2 Donagh Mahon (St Kieran’s). Intermediate boys’ shot-put: 1 Anu Anonusi (Kilkenny College), 3 John Joe Kelly (Castlecomer CS). Intermediate boys’ 2,000m steeplechase: 4 Peter Lynch (St Kieran’s), 5.02.23.

Senior girls’ shot-put: 1 Sophie Parkinson (Kilkenny College), 11.42m. Senior girls’ discus: 1 Sophie Parkinson (Kilkenny College), 42.60m. Senior girls’ 100m: 1 Cliodhna Manning (Loreto). Senior girls’ 200m: 1 Cliodhna Manning. Senior girls’ 400m hurdles: 1 Nessa Millet (Kilkenny College). Senior girls’ 1,500m: 3 Maeve O’Connor (Presentation). Senior girls’ high jump: 3 Catriona Twomey (Loreto). Senior girls’ long jump: 3 Saragh Buggy (Castlecomer CS). Senior girls’ relay: 2 Loreto.

Senior boys’ walk: 3 Nicholas Dunphy (St Kieran’s). Senior boys’ 110m hurdles: 1 Eoin Power (Good Counsel), 14.92.

Munster championships junior girls’ walk: 2 Isobel Morgan (Ursuline Waterford).

Challenge

The fourth annual Stoneyford 10k Challenge took centre stage on a beautiful Sunday morning in Kilkenny, with a great turn out of over 450 participants.

The race - a challenge both by name and nature - has steadily grown in popularity, enticing competitors from around the county.

It was a good day for Brian Maher (KCH). The national 10k champion led the field from the start to take the honours for the third time, crossing the line to great applause from the large crowd.

Hot on Brian’s heels was David McPherson (KCH) while Ruairi O’Donnell (Ferrybank AC) was third. Tony Kenny placed fourth, Ray Lonergan (KCH) fifth and Val Gunner (Gowran AC) sixth.

It was a memorable day also for Siobhan Doherty (Borrisokane).

She crossed the line in a time of 35.40, a finish of seventh place overall to take the prize of top female runner for the second year in a row.

Men’s results: 1 Brian Maher (KCH), 32.14; 2 David McPherson (KCH), 33.30; 3 Ruari O’Donnell, 34.21.

Women’s results: 1 Siobhan Doherty (Borrisokane) 35.40; 2 Martina O’Dwyer (Carrick AC, 38.12; 3 Aifric O’Neill, 39.55.

A new addition to this year’s Stoneyford challenge was the 5k juvenile race. The event, which had 115 runners, was won in a great time of 17.29 by Cormac Buggy (Gowran AC). Chloe Springer Nolan (Tinryland AC) won the juvenile girls’ with an equally impressive time of 21.38.

Personal best

Ciara Everard got her preparations for the outdoor season off to a great start by setting a new personal best in the women’s 1,500m.

Competing in the Dublin Graded Meet on Friday, Ciara knocked 11 seconds off her previous best performance, winning the race with a new personal best time of 4 minutes 25 seconds.

Fixtures

Friday: County track and field championships (round three), Scanlon Park 7.45pm.

Events include juvenile hurdles and 1,500m with junior, senior and masters 800m and 3,000m on the track.

Field events include high jump and discus for girls with shot-put and triple jump for boys.

Saturday: Leinster U-9, 10, 11 pairs and U-12 Championships, Tullamore 10am.