It was a cold and wet Sunday in Gowran, but athletes made light of the conditions as they lined up for the county cross-country championships.
The day started with a series of open races for juvenile athletes in the even age groups. The under-8s were first off, with Aoibhe O’Grady (Kilkenny City Harriers - KCH) and Liam O’Dwyer (Gowran) earning the gold medals in their events.
In the under-10 races there were wins for Marie O’Keeffe (Thomastown) and David Williams (St Senan’s) with Thomastown athletes Cian Farrell, Oisin O’Reilly and Jimmy Maher winning the team gold by a whisker.
At under-12 level Fiona Dillon (KCH) won the girls’ race and, together with Emma Manogue and Emma Shortall, won team gold.
In the boys’ race St Senan’s provided the winner with Josh Fenton first cross the finish line. Team honours went to the Gowran team of Brogan McAvinney and Niall and Daniel Manning.
St Senan’s were back in the gold medals when Tara Ramaswamy won the girls’ under-14 race. Team gold went to Thomastown’s Ciara, Sinead and Orla O’Keeffe.
The boys race proved to be a good one for Castlecomer, with Christopher Korff sprinting away to victory in the final 300 metres. He also led his team to first place, Nicky Connolly and Killian Hogan completing the winning trio.
At under-16 level there was a double victory for Gowran. Ruth Kennedy won the girls’ race while David O’Carroll captured gold in the boys’ event.
The first championship race of the day was the junior women’s event. While Thomastown had a strong team out the individual honours saw a battle between the title holder Sinead Whelan (Thomastown) and the in-form Lauren Dermody (Castlecomer).
Both athletes broke clear of the field and, in appalling weather conditions, battled it out over a testing course. In the end Dermody proved the stronger athlete with Whelan having to settle for individual silver. There was consolation for Whelan however, as good runs from Maeve O’Connor, Niamh O’Shea and Ailish O’Shea secured team gold for Thomastown.
There was also a high calibre field in the junior men’s event, where Peter Lynch (KCH) Cormac Buggy (Gowran) and Oliver Mullally among the pre-race favourites.
It was this group of athletes that broke clear of the field early on, with Buggy forcing the pace. The lead group could not be separated for much of the race, but when the final lap arrived it was the in-form Peter Lynch who cruised to victory with Buggy in second place and St Senan’s Oliver Mullally taking the third spot.
The battle for team honours was between Gowran and KCH, with the Harriers taking the gold medals. Luke O’Connor, Conor Quinlan and Liam Og Carey completed the scoring team for the city club.
The senior women’s race yielded individual and team victory for Gowran. Sisters Anne Skehan and Linda Delaney took first and second places with Leona Connolly completing the winning team for Gowran. KCH athlete Mary Anne Connolly was third home to collect the individual bronze medal.
Twenty-six athletes faced the starter for the senior men’s race. Right from the gun it was the St Senan’s athlete Sean Caulfield who pushed the pace with Paul Moran (KCH) in hot pursuit.
In a fine display of running, the St Senan’s veteran Caulfield ensured that as the race went on the gap between the two athletes widened, despite the KCH man’s best efforts.
Eoin Molloy (KCH) established himself firmly in the bronze medal position, while the battle for fourth place was between Gowran veteran David Farrell and John Maye (KCH).
While Farrell pushed the pace it was Maye who secured fourth place and helped win the team title for KCH. Gowran’s strength in depth ensured they won team silver and bronze. In all there were seven club teams in the race, making this one of the most competitive races of the cross-country championship.
Results, open juvenile and senior cross-country championships (club code: BR = Brow Rangers, CC = Castlecomer, G = Gowran, KCH = Kilkenny City Harriers, SJ = St Joseph’s, SS = St Senan’s, TT = Thomastown).
Girls’ U-8: 1 Aoibhe O’Grady (KCH), 2 Caoimhe Power (TT).
Boys’ U-8: 1 Liam O’Dwyer (G), 2 Finn Beck (TT), 3 Patrick Lacey (KCH), 4 Jack Coogan (BR), 5 Billy O’Keeffe (TT), 6 Conor Farrell (KCH), 7 James O’Reilly (TT).
Girls’ U-10: 1 Marie O’Keeffe (TT), 2 Tara Fenlon (TT), 3 Libby Murphy (SS), 4 Ella Cusack (G), 5 Maria Connolly (G).
Boys’ U-10: 1 David Williams (G), 2 Cian Farrell (TT), 3 Harry Doyle (KCH), 4 Billy Coogan (KCH), 5 Daragh Carpenter (G), 6 Oisin O’Reilly (TT), 7 Jimmy Maher (TT), 8 Harry O’Grady (KCH), 9 Niall Carpenter (G), 10 Matthew McAvinney (G). Teams: 1 Thomastown, 15pts; 2 KCH, 15pts; 3 Gowran, 24pts.
Girls’ U-12: 1 Fiona Dillon (KCH), 2 Emma Manogue (KCH), 3 Eve O’Dwyer (G), 4 Edie Maher (TT), 5 Rose Sheridan (SS), 6 Emma Shortall (KCH), 7 Anna Connolly (G), 8 Doireann Knox (SS). Teams: 1 KCH, 9pts.
Boys’ U-12: 1 Josh Fenton (SS), 2 Brogan McAvinney (G), 3 Cathal O’Reilly (CC), 4 Billy Power (TT), 5 Jordan Knight (TT), 6 Cian Farrell (KCH), 7 Daniel Manning (G), 8 Niall Manning (G), 9 Matt Holland (G), 10 Stephen Neville (G), 11 Vincent O’Grady (KCH), 12 Thomas Comerford (TT). Teams: 1 Gowran, 17pts; 2 Thomastown, 19pts.
Girls’ U-14: 1 Tara Ramaswamy (SS), 2 Ciara O’Keeffe (TT), 3 Sinead O’Keeffe (TT), 4 Orla O’Keeffe (TT), 5 Aoife Cahalan (CC), 6 Nell Murphy (SS), 7 Dervla O’Reilly (TT), 8 Caoimhe Kelly (G). Teams: 1 Thomastown, 9pts.
Boys’ U-14: 1 Christopher Korff (CC), 2 Gavin Manning (G), 3 Andy O’Donnell (G), 4 Nicky Connolly (CC), 5 Fiachra Knox (SS), 6 Killian Hogan (CC), 7 David Holland (G), 8 David Maher (SS). Teams: 1 Castlecomer, 11pts; 2 Gowran, 12pts.
Girls’ U-16: 1 Ruth Kennedy (G), 2 Laura Monaghan (SS).
Boys’ U-16: 1 David O’Carroll (G), 2 Eoin Maher (SS), 3 Ross Connolly (CC), 4 Colm Murphy (KCH).
Junior Women: 1 Lauren Dermody (CC), 2 Sinead Whelan (TT), 3 Maeve O’Connor (TT), 4 Niamh O’Shea (TT), 5 Ailis O’Shea (TT), 6 Christine O’Donnell (G). Teams: 1 Thomastown.
Junior Men: 1 Peter Lynch (G), 2 Cormac Buggy (G), 3 Oliver Mullally (SS), 4 Luke O’Connor (KCH), 5 Conor Quinlan (KCH), 6 Tommy Bric (G), 7 Taylor Kane (G), 8 Jonathon Crowley (SS), 9 Liam Og Carey (KCH), 10 Patrick Maher (KCH), 11 Jack O’Kelly (G). Teams: 1 KCH, 2 Gowran.
Senior Women (O-30): 1 Ann Skehan (G), 2 Linda Delaney (G), 3 Mary Ann Connolly (KCH), 4 Leona Connolly (G). Teams: 1 Gowran.
Senior Men (O-35): 1 Sean Caulfield (SS), 2 Paul Moran (KCH) 3 Eoin Molloy (KCH), 4 John Maye (KCH), 5 David Farrell (G), 6 Robbie McGee (G), 7 Val Gunner (G), 8 Lyndon Barcoe (G), 9 Marty Mosely (G), 10 Patrick Bookle (SJ), 11 Johann Dewberry (KCH) 12 Billy Holden (G), 13 Colin Tobin (G), 14 Rocky Mernagh (SJ), 15 Bill Carroll (TT), 16 Michael Power (SJ), 17 Richard Limpkin (KCH), 18 Larry Lacey (SJ), 19 Colm Sheridan (SS), 20 Muiris Bric (G), 21 Paul Larkins (KCH), 22 Mick Walsh (G), 23 Michael O’Keeffe (TT), 24 Bill Lacey (SS), 25 Denis Cormack (G), 26 PJ Dwyer (SS). Teams: 1 KCH, 2 Gowran, 3 Gowran, 4 St Joseph’s, 5 St Senan’s, 6 KCH, 7 Gowran.
Kilkenny athletes found a path to success when they competed at the national indoor combined event championships at the AIT Arena over the weekend.
A trio of KCH athletes had a memorable time in Athlone, bringing home All-Ireland medals.
Michael Bowler had a superb win in the senior men’s competition.
This was a great achievement for Michael, who also won this event in 2013 - a feat which saw him earn the first gold medal in the new multi-million euro sports venue - but his season took a turn for the worse when injury ruled him out of competition for the rest of the year.
Michael’s points total in this year’s pentathlon was 3,528, a 97-point improvement on last year’s win. The extra points were gained through better results in the high jump (1.97m), shot-put (11.68m), long jump (6.26m) and 1,000m (2.49.40). He also clocked 8.98 seconds for the 60m hurdles.
In the juvenile competitions sisters Hannah and Rachel Kelly competed in the girls’ under-14 pentathlon. Rachel finished in second place overall with 2,387pts, while Hannah picked up 2,029pts to finish 10th in a very competitive event.
Also competing for KCH was Ciara Deeley, a medallist in last year’s outdoor competition. Ciara finished with 2,761pts, adding an All-Ireland bronze medal to her collection.
Sunday: Leinster senior and junior cross-country (with juvenile relays), Ballyroan 12 noon.
Sunday, February 2: County intermediate cross-country and juvenile relays, Gowran 11am.