THERE may have been a change in the dates but the St Senan’s Open cross-country, which was held on Sunday, was as big a success as ever.
Athletes from far and wide - runners from clubs in Cork, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Carlow and Offaly competed against the locals - took part in the races which boasted high standards and some very close finishes, especially in the younger age groups.
The first winner on a busy day of racing in Kilmacow was Gowran athlete Ella Cusack, who was took the title in the girls’ under-8 race. Saoirse Allen (St Senan’s) won the under-9 race and Sophie Mullally (St Joseph’s) took gold in the under-10 race. Cathal Beirne (St Joseph’s) won gold in the boys’ under-10 race, while there were silver medals for David Williams (under-8) Tomás Mullally (under-9) and William Fox (under-10).
Athletes from under-12 to under-18 level were in action next, with everyone competing to win the Fintan O’Sullivan Memorial Cup for the best overall club. Two clubs tied for the overall trophy with Tullamore Harriers and West Waterford AC finishing on 13 points apiece.
While the local clubs did not have much joy in the team event there were some fine individual performances. Conor Clarke (Castlecomer) had a good win in the boys’ under-12 race, sprinting away from the leading bunch in the last 200m to win with ease. Eva Roche (St Joseph’s), stuck to her task well to take the bronze medal in the girls’ under-14 race while Sean Power (Thomastown) won a hard-fought gold in the boys’ under-16 3,000m race.
In the boys’ under-18 race local athlete Hugh Morgan will be well pleased with his victory in the 4,000m race. His fellow St Senan’s athlete Rachel Butler took bronze in the girls’ under-18 race.
The women’s race, which was run over 3,000m, saw Maria Griffin (St Joseph’s) take the senior race while Megan Morrissey (Thomastown) won the junior race. Thomastown took the team prize.
The men’s 8km race was very competitive with 23 athletes lining up to face the starter. At the head of affairs there was a tough battle between the leading three athletes, Michael Dowling, Brian Kirwan and St Senan’s Conor Rochford. In the end Conor had to settle for bronze with Michael Dowling Ferrybank taking gold and Brian Kirwan (St Laurence O’Toole’s) winning silver.
The masters section was also very tight with the top three finishing overall in fifth, sixth and seventh place. Mark Gleeson (Nenagh) got in ahead of Sean Caulfield with Kenny Curran (Ballynonty) taking the third spot. Luke Morgan (St Senan’s) took the junior gold with Gowran securing the team title.
Local results, St Senan’s Open CC (Club code: B = Ballynonty, CC = Castlecomer, G = Gowran, KCH = Kilkenny City Harriers, N = Nenagh, SLOT = St Laurence O’Toole, SJ = St Joseph’s, SS = St Senan’s, TT = Thomastown, WIT = Waterford)
Girls’ U-8: 1 Ella Cusack (G), 4 Marie O’Keeefe (TT), 5 Catlin Mullally (SJ), 6 Sarah May Walsh (SJ), 7 Becky Peters (KCH), 9 Libby Murphy (SS), 10 Caoimhe Kavanagh (SS). Boys’ U-8: 2 David Williams (SS), 6 David Holden (TT). 10 Calum Regan (SS)
Girls’ U-9: 1 Saoirse Allen (SS), 3 Emma Minogue (KCH), 4 Danielle Griffin (SJ), 6 Aoife Redmond (SS), 7 Fiona Der (KCH), 9 Aoife Byrne (SJ). Boys’ U-9: 2 Tomas Mullally (SJ).
Girls’ U-10: 1 Sophie Mullaly (SJ), 2 Eve O Dwyer (G), 3 Marie Clare O’Dwyer (SJ), 10 Katie Clark (C). Boys’ U-10: 1 Cathal Beirne (SJ), 2 William Fox (CC), 4 Rogan McAviney (G), 8 Robert Finn (SS), 9 Josh Fenton (SS).
Boys’ U-12: 1 Conor Clarke (C). Girls’ U-14: 3 Eva Roche (SJ). Boys’ U-16: 1 Sean Power (TT). Girls’ U-18: 3 Rachel Butler (SS). Boys’ U-18: 1 Hugh Morgan (SS).
Junior Women: 1 Megan Morrissey (TT), 2 Sinead Whelan (TT), 3 Antonia Butler (SLOT) 4 Niamh O’Shea (TT), 5 Laura Walpole (TT). Junior Men: 1 Luke Morgan (SS), 2 Richard Lucas (WIT).
Senior Women: 1 Maria Griffin (SJ), 2 Adele Walsh (SS), 4 Anne Doyle (G), 6 Francis Mullaly (SJ). Senior Men: 1 Michael Dowling (F), 2 Brian Kirwan (SLOT), 3 Conor Rochford (SS), 6 Sean Caulfield (SS), 9 Simon O’Dwyer (G), 11 Padraig Daly (KCH), 14 David Farrell (G), 15 Colin Tobin (G), 20 Marty Kelly (G), 21 Paul Butler (SJ), 22 Denis Cormack (G), 23 Kevin Tobin. Masters Men: 1 Mark Gleeson (N), 2 Sean Caulfield (SS), 3 Kenny Curran (B).
Toss Hayes had a fine race at the Rathfarnham 5k, finishing fourth with a time of 15.05 minutes. Martin Quinn (Dunleer) won the race in a time of 15 minutes. More than 1,000 runners took part in the event.
At the Charleville half marathon David McPherson (KCH) had a great run, finishing seventh in a top quality field. David posted an excellent time of 1.09.32 for the 13.1 mile course. In the same race Kilkennyman David Comber (Leevale) finished 32nd with a time of 1.17. Irene Henebery (KCH) finished fifth in the V45 section in 1.43.04.
Meanwhile Colin Tobin (Gowran) continued his good form in the Tinryland Road league, completing the third stage in 12.09. Gowran veteran Marty Kelly improved his time by 23 seconds to finish in 13.23. Also in action for Gowran were Leon Gordon, who ran in 12.39 while Angela Gordon completed the race in 16.37.
Kilkenny hurler, Paul Murphy will be Grand Marshall and official starter for the J.J. Reddy Danesfort 10k, plus 5k fun run, on October 7. The event is in memory of the late JJ Reddy, who was treasurer of Danesfort GAA cub.
The course will traverse the countryside around Danesfort, Sevenhouses and Burnchurch. There are prizes for the top three finishing men and women and spot prizes as well as chip timing for 10k runners and pacers.
Water and son on will be supplied throughout and refreshments will be served at Danesfort GAA grounds after the race. Participants can register from 10.30am at Danesfort GAA grounds on the day or on line at www.runireland.com.