Athletes rise to challenges

The Thomastown girls' team who won the under-12 All-Ireland cross-country title in Santry at the weekend. Back row: Ciara O'Keeffe, Aine Kirwan, Ellen Ryan. Front: Anna Cass, Edie Maher, Orla O'Keeffe
While cross-country athletes faced a tough challenge at the national championships in Santry road runners took on Stook Hill at their annual race.

While cross-country athletes faced a tough challenge at the national championships in Santry road runners took on Stook Hill at their annual race.

There was joy for Thomastown at the national juvenile cross-country championships as the club’s under-12 girls’ team celebrated a golden success at Santry Demense on Sunday.

The girls were comprehensive winners of the title, finishing with 44pts to spare over their nearest rivals West Waterford. In a tough race, scorers for Thomastown were Aine Kirwan (9), Ciara O’Keeffe (17), Ellen Ryan (18) and Orla O’Keeffe (59), giving them 103pts. Anna Cass and Edie Maher completed the team.

The Kilkenny county team, in which the Thomastown athletes Aine Kirwan, Ciara O’Keeffe, Ellen Ryan and Orla O’Keeffe were joined by St Senan’s athletes Tara Ramaswamy (16) and Kym Jolly (85), finished with silver medals in the county competition. Both Aine Kirwan and Ciara O’Keeffe also won silver medals as part of the Leinster team in the same race.

In the girls’ under-18 race the Kilkenny team of Aoibhe Richardson (KCH), Rachel Butler (St Senan’s), Sinead Whelan (Thomastown), Anna Sheehan (KCH), Lauren Dermody (Castlecomer), Michelle McDonald (St Senan’s) and Niamh O’Shea (Thomastown) finished in third place to capture bronze medals in the county competition.

In the interprovincial competition Aoibhe Richardson, Rachel Butler, Sinead Whelan were part of the Leinster team that also won bronze medals.

Peter Lynch (KCH) produced with a brilliant run to come home 10th in the boys’ under-18 race. The first Kilkenny athlete across the line, he was followed home by Sean Power (Thomastown) in 18th place - both were part of the bronze medal-winning Leinster team.

The county team, which also included Oliver Mullally (St Senan’s) in 23rd place, Cormac Buggy (Gowran) in 30th position and James Power (Thomastown) in 60th finished just outside the medals in fourth place.

The junior women’s race yielded yet another set of team medals for Kilkenny, with the county taking the bronze. Team scorers in this event were Thomastown athletes Megan Morrissey (10), Maeve O’Connor (23), Laura Walpole (32) and St Senan’s Aine Kinsella (13).

In the senior race Gowran’s Niall Sheehan was the top Kilkenny finisher. He crossed the line in 74th place, with Conor Rochford (St Senan’s) close behind in 86th place. Gowran’s Shawn McCormack was the third Kilkenny athlete, finishing in the top 25 in the under-23 section.

Road Championships

The county 10 mile road championships were held in conjunction with the Stook 10 on Sunday in Dungarvan. The open 10 mile and 5km events attracted big numbers with more than 500 runners taking part in the two events.

The 10 mile race was won in a time of 53 minutes and 54 seconds by Gary O’Hanlon (Amphibian King). The first woman finisher was Angela McCann (Clonmel) in 63 minutes 11 seconds - the 17th finisher to cross the line. Both athletes retained their titles, having been victorious in last year’s inaugural Stook race.

The first Kilkenny athlete to cross the finish line was Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) runner Ray Lonergan, who won the county title in a time of 59 minutes and 43 seconds. In second place, claiming the silver medal, was Val Gunner (Gowran) while the bronze medal went to Pat Purcell (KCH).

Team gold went to KCH with Eoin Molloy (4) and Jack Carey (9) making up the scoring four. Gowran won team silver and bronze and St Joseph’s finished in fourth. In the men’s over-35 section the winner was Eoin Molloy with Gowran’s Marty Mosely and Rodger Middleton taking silver and bronze.

The women’s county championship was dominated by KCH. Their athletes took individual gold, silver and bronze while their teams won gold and bronze. Donna Dowling claimed the title with Caoimhe Foley (2) and Catriona Corr (3) made it a clean sweep for KCH. These athletes also claimed the team gold.

Frances Mullally, Mag O’Connor and Breda Hennessy won team silver for St Joseph’s and the KCH trio of Catriona Muldowney, Deirdre Scott and Ann O’Gorman took the team bronze.

In the open race the Kealy Shield for the best club was won by KCH while Gowran’s David Farrell won first prize in the Masters 50 section.

Conditions were ideal for the event, with mild and balmy weather while the organisation and stewarding by Gowran AC and Young Irelands GAA club meant everything ran like clockwork. Plans are already afoot for next year’s event.


Results, county 10 mile road championships (code: CC = Castlecomer, G = Gowran, KCH = Kilkenny City Harriers, SJ = St Joseph’s, TT = Thomastown):

Women’s county championship - 1 Donna Dowling (KCH), 2 Caoimhe Foley (KCH), 3 Catriona Corr (KCH), 4 Frances Mullally (SJ), 5 Janette Boran (CC), 6 Catriona Muldowney (KCH), 7 Catherine O’Keeffe (G), 8 Breda Hennessy (SJ), 9 Mag O’Connor (SJ), 10 Deirdre Scott (KCH), 11 Ann O’Gorman (KCH), 12 Mary Ann Connolly (KCH), 13 Mairead Lacey (SJ), 14 Siobhan O’Leary (SJ), 15 Valerie Murray (G), 16 Lisa Mulcahy, 17 Joan Martin (KCH), 18 Leona Connolly (G), 19 Ann Brett (KCH), 20 Jo Scobie (KCH), 21 Oonagh Guilfoyle (KCH), 22 Una Byrne (KCH), 23 Irene Hennebry (KCH), 24 Roda Griffith (G).

Teams: 1 KCH (Donna Dowling, Caoimhe Foley, Catriona Corr), 2 St Joseph’s (Frances Mullally, Mag O’Connor, Breda Hennessy), 3 KCH (Catriona Muldowney, Deirdre Scott, Ann O’Gorman).

Men’s county championship - 1 Ray Lonergan (KCH), 2 Val Gunner (G), 3 Pat Purcell (KCH), 4 Eoin Molloy (G), 5 Marty Mosely (G), 6 Lyndon Barcoe (G), 7 Rodger Middleton (G), 8 Paul Sheehan (SJ), 9 Jack Carey (KCH) 10 David Farrell (G), 11 Muiris Bric (G), 12 Gary O’Dwyer (KCH), 13 Adrian Cunningham (G), 14 Michael Power (G), 15 David Hogan (KCH), 16 Bill Carroll (TT), 17 Richard Limpkin (KCH), 18 Sean O’Neill (G), 19 Jim Miller (KCH), 20 Simon Maher (G), 21 Brendan Murphy (G), 22 Tom McDonald (SJ), 23 John Joe Lawlor (SJ), 24 C.B. McNamara (SJ), 25 Pat Millea (KCH), 26 Emmet McAvinney (G), 27 Michael Pitt (G).

Teams: 1 KCH ( Ray Lonergan, Pat Purcell, Eoin Molloy), 2 Gowran (Val Gunner, Marty Mosely, Rodger Middleton), 3 Gowran (David Farrell, Muiris Bric, Adrian Cunningham, Simon Maher).