A number of juvenile athletes from the county had an enjoyable weekend at the national finals of the Community Games in Athlone.
The city parishes were to the fore, with plenty of Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) competing.
In the sprints Caoimhe Carroll ran well in the 200m under 10 but didn’t make it to the semi-finals.
Brian Moore, competing in the under-8 60m event, had an excellent run in the heats on Saturday. Finishing fourth he qualified for the semi-final on Sunday. There he got a good start, but finishing in fifth place just missed out on final qualification. Jennifer Leahy (under-12 100m) also exited in the semis after a good first round heat where she finished fourth.
For Annie O’Connor the story was considerably better. Finishing second in the 800m on Saturday she challenged strongly in Sunday’s final and was rewarded with the bronze medal.
Peter Lynch contested the under-16 7km road marathon. This event was run over a very hilly course and Peter tackled it very well. With approximately 1000m to go he was with the lead group of seven runners. Entering the arena with 300m to go he was in third place. Although he was passed at the 200m mark but was delighted to receive the fourth place medal.
Peter’s fine effort was further rewarded when it was announced that the county team, which also featured Craig Byrne, Shane McGeary and Jack Gargan, also finished in fourth place.
A throw of 30m saw Jack Manning win the fourth place medal in the under-16 javelin. Jack, together with Shane McGeary, Jennifer O’Keeffe and Leah Raggett, represented St John’s parish in the under-15 mixed relay. Coming third in their heat they upped the pace in the semi-final to finish second. However failing to make the top four in the final they were denied the coveted medals.
Aoibhe O’Shea qualified for the final of the under-16 1,500m event when she finished fourth in the semi-final. However, a muscle injury hampered her performance in the final.
There were some fine runs by athletes from St Joseph’s (Glenmore/Tullogher/Rosbercon). Their mixed relay team under-10 got to the semi-finals while the under-13 mixed team put up a good battle. Finishing first in their heat they then placed third in the semi-final, but narrowly missed out on medals in the final.
Paul Manning, competing in the under-16 100m, qualified for the semi-finals where he ran well but did not progress to the final.
Sophie Mullally exited the under-12 600m event in the final having previously qualified with sixth place in the semi. Their star performer was under-12 athlete Jack Elliott. Running in the 600m it was first place all the way - first in semi-final on Saturday and again first in the final on Sunday.
St Senan’s (Mooncoin) had a great representative in Cathal Beirne. Competing in the under-10 200m he won his heat, placed second in the semi-final and followed with a second place finish in the final.
The cross country season gets underway on the double in September.
The Adamstown open cross-country will be held on Sunday, September 15 with a 12 noon start while St Senan’s AC will hold their annual open cross-country championships in the Kilmacow Sports Complex from 2pm.
Both events are open to all, with races from under-9 up to seniors and masters levels.
On the road
Stoneyford AC will hold a 10 mile race on Sunday, September 22.
This event will be ideal for anyone participating in the upcoming Dublin Marathon or preparing for the cross-country season.
Elsewhere the Autumn League starts in Tinryland on Wednesday, September 5 with a two mile race at 7.30pm. The first run will be followed by a 5km run on Wednesday, September 11 at 7.30pm with the final leg of two miles being held on Wednesday, September 18 at 7pm. There will be special singlets for all who complete the three stages, with prizes and refreshments after the final run. The league is open to all grades of runners and has been a fixture on the race calendar for many years.