Running gear was traded in for party clothes as Kilkenny’s athletes came together for the annual Kilkenny County Board Athletic awards.
A large crowd flocked to Gowran Park on Friday night for the awards ceremony, which celebrated the high standards of athletics that flowed through the county.
Special mention was given to cup-winning clubs. St Joseph’s won the walks shield, Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) took the best juvenile track and field club award while Gowran clinched the Veterans shield. There was glory too for St Senan’s, who were named winners of the Juvenile Cross-Country Shield.
Highlights on the individual stage were also highlighted, with several county athletes recording championship best performances. Sophie Parkinson (Gowran) broke the Leinster junior record in the Weight for distance while Ciara Deely (KCH) broke the National under-18 400m record and went on to represent Ireland in both the Celtic International and Schools International.
David Murphy (Gowran) smashed the under-18 200m Leinster record and represented Ireland in the schools International. At Masters level Pat Mahon (Gowran) claimed the Leinster Masters long jump record while Helen O’Connor (St Joseph’s) set a new 5km Leinster race-walking record.
The following overall awards were presented on the night. These are calculated based on medal winners in the Counties, Leinsters and Nationals, using a points based system.
Walks - Maggie Helen O’Connor (St Joseph’s). Best Junior Athlete - James O’Neill (Gowran). Best Juvenile Cross-Country Athlete - Hannah Kehoe (Gowran). Best Juvenile T&F Athlete - Jordan Knight (St Joseph’s). Best Senior Cross Country Athlete - Niall Sheehan (Gowran), Lauren Dermody (Castlecomer). Senior T&F Athlete - Brendan Hyland (KCH). Best Road Athlete - James Kelly (Castlecomer). Best Masters Athlete - Verena Fenlon (St Joseph’s). International Athlete - Cliodhna Manning (KCH), Sophie Becker (St Joseph’s).
The County Board also presented Special Club Merit awards to individuals who have contributed significantly to their clubs and county. This years awards went to Aoife Coady (Brow Rangers) for her dedication to coaching the younger Brow athletes and Marty Kelly (Gowran) for his valued contribution to building the club.
Awards also went to Sean Lynch (KCH), a constant motivator and inspiration to athletes young and old in the sport and Catherine Guthrie (Tullaroan) for her success in the Ultra events as well as John Walsh (St Senan’s) for his long service as chairman at both club and county levels.
Another merit winner was Larry Leacy (St Joseph’s), who has been at the forefront of the club in all aspects. Imelda Moloney (Thomastown) was recognised for her tireless work behind the scenes, registering, promoting and organising the athletics administration in Thomastown, as was Mary Meally (Castlecomer) a vital organiser, competitor and valuable contributor to Castlecomer athletics.
County medal-winning teams at National Championships were also honoured. The teams were:
Girls’ Under-11: Eve Dunphy (St Senan’s), Charlotte Carpendale (St Senan’s), Alexandra Brennan (Gowran), Roisin Burns (KCH), Hazel Coogan (Gowran), Aine O’Callaghan (St Senan’s), Eimear Brennan (Gowran), Orla Brennan (Gowran), Hannah Quinn (KCH), Eabha Mullally (St Joseph’s).
Girls’ Under-13 Girls: Sarah Kehoe (Gowran), Molly O’Dornan (Castlecomer), Grace Glennon (St Joseph’s), Maeve Bookle (St Joseph’s), Maria O’Keeffe (Thomastown), Caoimhe Phelan (St Senan’s), Orlaith Kirwan (Thomastown), Molly Long (St Senan’s), Rachel O’Neill (Gowran), Sophie Williams (St Senan’s).
Boys’ Under-14: Tadgh Connolly (St Senan’s), David Williams (St Senan’s), Billy Coogan I(Gowran),Tom Lodge (KCH), Naoise Gilmartin (St Senan’s), Ethan Butler (St Senan’s), Billy Power (Thomastown), Luke Phelan (Gowran), Gearoid Long (St Senan’s).
Girls’ Under-15: Hannah Kehoe (Gowran), Hannah O’Keeffe (Thomastown), Fiona Dillon (Thomastown), Aine Kirwan (Thomastown), Emma Manogue (Thomastown), Danielle Griffin (St Joseph’s), Saoirse Allen (St Senan’s), Clodagh Monahan (St Senan’s).
Novice Women: Lauren Dermody (Castlecomer), Sally Forristal (St Joseph’s), Caoilte Malone (KCH), Aine Kinsella (St Senan’s).
Senior Women: Lauren Dermody (Castlecomer), Michelle McDonald (St Senan’s), Sile Carroll (Castlecomer), Adele Walsh (St Senan’s).
Senior Men: Eoin Everard (KCH), Brian Maher (KCH), Tom O’Keeffe (KCH), James Ledingham (KCH), Thos Hayes (KCH), Niall Sheehan (Gowran).
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