THERE was a high risk of heavy showers, but the weather couldn’t wash away the enthusiasm of runners and supporters alike, who flocked to the Castle Park on Friday for the primary schools cross-country races.
The annual event, organised by Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) for fourth, fifth and sixth class pupils, continues to be a colourful and exciting event. The Castle Park, kept in prime condition by the OPW, is an excellent venue for such an event providing a very suitable course for the runners and viewing hill for the spectators.
This year’s event attracted teams from 10 local schools. Athletes from nine of these schools featured regularly in the top three places. Urlingford looked set to provide an upset in the team events with athletes finishing well up in most races, especially in both fourth and fifth class girls where Ellen Moore and Rachel Butler were respective gold medal winners.
As the points for the various races were tabulated it was St Canice’s Co-ed, who had a number of teams in each race, that featured most prominently. Winning team medals in five out of the six races, including first place in both fifth class races, set them up to claim all three shields (girls, boys and best school overall), prizes which were presented by Liam Donnelly, St Canice’s Kilkenny Credit Union.
Presenting the medals Sean Lynch, KCH, thanked all who participated especially the Friends of KCH who marked out the course and officiated at the finish.
Girls’ fourth class (individual): 1 Ellen Moore, Urlingford; 2 Emma Poyntz, Presentation; 3 Jenn Leahy, St John of God. Girls’ fifth class: 1 Rachel Butler, Urlingford; 2 Rachel Kelly, Bennettsbridge; 3 Hannah Kelly, Bennettsbridge. Girls’ sixth class: 1 Rebecca Keane and Ella Richardson, both Gaelscoil Osrai; 3 Erika Carroll, Urlingford.
Boys’ fourth class (individual): 1 Gavin Manning, Kilkenny School Project; 2 Eoin Dalton, St Canice’s; 3 Ned Devlin, St Patrick’s De la Salle. Boys’ fifth class: 1 Dacel Finamba, St Canice’s; 2 Luke Morrissey, St Canice’s; 3 Cian Kenny, St Patrick’s De la Salle. Boys’ sixth class: 1 Colm Murphy, Gaelscoil Osrai; 2 Jack Hickey, Urlingford; 3 Sean Burke, Urlingford.
Girls’ fourth class (teams): 1 St John of God, 2 Kilkenny School Project, 3 Urlingford. Girls’ fifth class: 1 St Canice’s, 2 Model School, 3 Kilkenny School Project. Girls’ sixth class: 1 Gaelscoil Osrai, 2 St Canice’s, 3 Presentation Primary.
Boys’ fourth class (teams): 1 Kilkenny School Project, 2 St Canice’s, 3 Gaelscoil Osrai. Boys’ fifth class: 1 St Canice’s, 2 CBS Primary, 3 St Canice’s. Boys’ sixth class: 1 St Patrick’s De la Salle, 2 Urlingford, 3 St Canice’s.
KCH Shield for Best Girls School: 1 St Canice’s, 14pts; 2 Gaelscoil Osrai, 12pts; 3 St John of God, 11pts.
KCH Shield for Best Boys School: 1 St Canice’s, 23pts; 2 St Patrick’s De la Salle, 11pts; 3 Gaelscoil Osrai, Kilkenny School Project, 9pts.
St Canice’s Credit Union Shield for Best Overall School: 1 St Canice’s, 37pts; 2 Gaelscoil Osrai, 21pts; 3 Kilkenny School Project, 18pts.
Round one of the county cross-country Championships will be held on Sunday at Ballycurran Cross, where the start time is set for 11am.
There will be races for juvenile athletes in the even age categories from under-8 to under-18 for boys and girls. The Masters men’s 6km race will also be held on the day.