The cream of Kilkenny athletics were honoured for their prowess at the Co Board’s annual awards night on Friday.
A large crowd of athletes, mentors and parents flocked to The Pembroke Hotel to celebrate the achievements and successes of the 2015 season.
First to be honoured were the county’s juvenile cross -country teams. The county boys’ under-16 team won bronze and the girls’ under-12 team silver at the even age groups cross-country championships in Santry, while the girls’ under-13 team won bronze at the uneven age group championships in Dungarvan. Each team members received a special award presented by cross-country champion Brian Maher.
Boys’ U-16 team: Adam Fitzpatrick, Shay McEvoy, James Kearney, Cathal Kearney, Eoin Walsh, Johnny Collins, Colm Murphy (all Kilkenny City Harriers - KCH); Aaron Donnelly, (St Senan’s); David O’Carroll (Gowran); Killian Hogan (Castlecomer).
Girls’ U-13: Hannah Kehoe, Caoimhe Coady (Gowran); Abby Gilsenan (KCH); Katie Bookle, Erin Foley (St Joseph’s); Anna Cass, Hannah O’Keeffe, Aine Kirwan, Fiona Dillon (all Thomastown); Saoirse Allen (St Senan’s).
Girls’ U-12: Fiona Dillon, Emma Manogue, Maria O’Keeffe, (Thomastown); Eleanor Goddin, Caoimhe Carroll, Emma Shortall (KCH); Saoirse Allen (St Senan’s); Erin Foley, Danielle Griffin (St Joseph’s); Hannah Kehoe (Gowran).
Next to be recognised were the ten athletes who set championship records in 2015. Included in this group were David Murphy and Peter Dunne (Gowran), Lauren Dermody (Castlecomer), Ciara Deeley and Rachel Kelly (KCH), Brid Lawlor, Mag Helen O’Connor, Sophie Becker and Verena Fenlon (St Joseph’s were presented with their awards by national 1,500m champion Eoin Everard.
As part of this year’s awards ceremony each club was asked to nominate someone who deserved recognition from the Co Board.
The award recipients were John Joe Kelly (Brow Rangers), Will Fox (Castlecomer) Mick Walsh (Gowran), May Hutt (KCH), Bob Saunders (St Joseph’s), James Aylward (St Senan’s), and the Thomastown girls’ under-14 cross-country team.
County Chairman Michael O’Keeffe presented the main awards of the evening, with citations prepared and read by county secretary Margaret Dillon.
The cross-country awards went to Brian Maher (KCH, senior) and Aine Kirwan (Thomastown, junior). The senior Track and Field award went to Emma Fenlon (St Joseph’s) while Gowran sprinter David Murphy took the juvenile award.
The award for top junior athlete went to Peter Lynch (KCH) while the masters award went to Pat Power (St Joseph’s). John Joe Lawlor (St Joseph’s) picked up the race walking award while the road racing award went to Donna Dowling (KCH). Eoin Everard (KCH) was the recipient of the International award.
Cup and Shield
A number of cups and shields for the various county championships were also presented on the night. Presentations were made by county treasurer Michael Manning.
Track & Field - Juvenile Shield: KCH. Senior Cup: Gowran. Eamon Costello Shield: Eoin Power. Sean Kelly Shield: Sinead McDonough.
Road - Race Walking Shield: St Joseph’s. Kealy Shield: Gowran. Road Cup: KCH.
Cross-Country - Juvenile Shield: KCH. Novice Men Cup: KCH. Intermediate Men Shield: Gowran. M35 Men’s Shield: KCH. M40 Men’s Shield: KCH. M45 Men’s Shield: Thomastown. M50 Men’s Shield: Gowran. Senior Men’s Shield: KCH. Novice Women’s Shield: Gowran. Intermediate Women’s Shield: KCH. M30 Women’s Shield: KCH. M40 Women’s Shield: St Joseph’s. Senior Women’s Cup: Gowran. Cross-Country Cup: KCH.
The KCH Senior Women’s team were happy with a sixth place finish in the National Indoor League finals at the AIT Arena on Saturday. The team accumulated 100 points from ten events, including a first place finish in the 4x100m relay (1.44.26).
Eimear McMullan was third in the 60m (7.93), Sinead McDonough third in 60m hurdles and fifth in triple jump, with Margaret Caldbeck sixth in the long jump (4.43). Catriona Twomey was second in the shot-put (9.56), while Sarah Kate Lacey was first in the 200m race (25.58). Louise Holmes was sixth in 400m (63.56), Eimear O’Donoghue fifth in the high jump (1.45) and Niamh McMullan seventh in the 800m (2.32.67).
The AAI Games, which were held in the AIT Arena on Sunday, saw a number of excellent performances and podium finishes for Kilkenny athletes.
Eoin Everard (KCH) pulled off a significant win in the 3,000m event. With the help of a pacemaker he settled in early and took the win in 8.13. Peter Lynch (KCH) made his debut at this level in the same race, finishing ninth in a good time of 8.43.
In the women’s 3,000m, Aoibhe Richardson set the pace for much of the race. Despite being overtaken by a couple of athletes she fought back to finish third place in 10.10.67.
Brendan Hyland had a good competition, throwing 12.20 - just 3cms off his personal best - to win silver in the shot-put. Sophie Parkinson (Gowran) continued her good shot-put performance with a throw of 11.28 for a silver medal.
Eoin Power (St Joseph’s) competed in 200m and 60m hurdles, clocking 9.06 in the latter to finish in fourth place. KCH had three athletes in the 60m sprint events. Consistent starts saw Aaron Barron cross the finish line in 7.54 and 7.53 seconds. Louise Holmes and Sarah Kate Lacey, both of whom competed in the League final on Saturday, posted times of 7.95 and 7.98 respectively in their sprints.
Results - Women’s shot-put: 2 Sophie Parkinson (Gowran). Men’s shot-put: 2 Brendan Hyland (KCH). Men’s 60m hurdles: 4 Eoin Power (St Joseph’s). Women’s 3,000m: 3 Aoibhe Richardson (KCH). Men’s 3,000m: 1 Eoin Everard (KCH), 6 Peter Lynch (KCH).
Further afield KCH sprinter Cliodhna Manning has been posting some impressive times over 60m indoors. Competing at a recent indoor meet in Vienna, Cliodhna was second with a time of 7.59 seconds. She also competed at the recent Welsh Senior Championships, crossing the line in a time of 7.66 seconds to finish fifth.
The Leinster indoor championships start this weekend. Juvenile athletes will be in action on Saturday and Sunday in the relays, hurdles and distance events.