Annie McEvoy (KCH, left) battles with Hannah O'Keeffe (Thomastown, No. 88)
It was a big weekend for athletes from all over the county, with three major events across various distances.
Belfast was the port of call for six Kilkenny athletes as they took part in the Celtic International, while several juveniles from St Senan’s, Thomastown and St Joseph’s competed in the open events.
Others made the trip to Athlone, where the National Combined events had local interest. Some athletes made a much shorter trip, heading to Kilmacow for the County Masters over 30/35 and junior championships.
Kilkenny Athletics is in a good place at present, a fact highlighted by the six locals who featured on Irish teams for the Celtic International in Belfast.
Teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland compete each year in the under-17 and under-20 events. Additionally the teams from England and other countries are regulars in the under 20, under 23 and senior events.
Kilkenny athletes who competed on Irish A teams were Tadgh Connolly (St Senan’s), under-17; Hannah Kehoe (Gowran), under-17; Shay McEvoy (Kilkenny City Harriers - KCH), under-20 and Lauren Dermody (Castlecomer), under-23.
On the Ireland development teams were Hannah O’Keeffe (Thomastown) and Annie McEvoy (KCH). Other athletes are also entitled to run alongside the internationals through an open entry system. St Senan’s, Thomastown and St Joseph’s had athletes in the Open entry field - a fantastic experience for these young individuals, who someday might make international debuts themselves. Selection for the Irish team is based on the under-16 and junior national cross-country championships.
In the girls’ under-17 race Kilkenny had two competitors, Hannah Kehoe (Gowran) and Hannah O’Keeffe (Thomastown). This race was run in conjunction with the under-20 race, where Annie McEvoy was competing as part of the Ireland Development team.
Hannah Kehoe was the first of the three girls home. Hannah O’Keeffe and Annie McEvoy battled out together for the final 40m, McEvoy getting a marginal advantage in the end.
Hannah Kehoe was seventh in the Celtic International under-17 race - an exceptionally good race from an athlete who is eligible for this race again next year - with Hannah O’Keeffe finishing 13th. Annie McEvoy was 16th in the Celtic under-20 event.
In the boys’ under-17 race Tadgh Connolly (St Senan’s) was 10th in the Celtic International. This race was Tadgh’s international debut; like Hannah Kehoe he is also eligible for this race again next year.
The Irish team ran exceptionally well, with Tadgh leading the way. He was the third Irishman home, helping the team to the gold medal - a great experience for his first time in a green vest.
Shay McEvoy was sixth in the Celtic under-20 race and was the third Irishman home for the Irish A team. Former St Senan’s athlete Aaron Donnelly also competed with the Ireland under-20 team. Aaron, who now resides in Dublin, competes for DSD.
In the women’s under-23 race Lauren Dermody (Castlecomer) had a good performance. No stranger to the green vest, having competed several times for Ireland, Dermody finished ninth in the Celtic race with Ireland second in the team competition.
In the primary school race Joss O’Connor (St Joseph’s) ran a great race to finish second. It was a great experience for this talented young man from Tullogher.
Thomastown also had their turn, with Orlaith O’Keeffe and her Thomastown team-mates competing in the girls’ under-13 event. Orlaith finished 15th and led her team to fifth place.
The boys’ under-15 race saw St Senan’s AC athlete David Williams finish 27th while running a year out of his age.
Fiona Dillon and her Thomastown team-mates, along with Saoirse Allen (St Senan’s), competed in the girls’ under-15 race. Fiona led the race for the first 1,000m before eventually finishing in 11th place. Thomastown were once more fifth club overall. Several athletes from Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland competed in both these races.
Alongside the Celtic International, athletes from Thomastown and St Senan’s took part in the under-17 and under-20 races. Thomastown finished first club in the under-17 event while St Senan’s finished first club in the under-20 event.
Members of the Thomastown team were: Aine Kirwan, Ellen Ryan and Orla O’Keeffe. The St Senan’s team consisted of Aoife Allen, Tara Ramasawmy and Sophie Jackman. There were particularly good runs from Aoife Allen (St Senan’s) and Aine Kirwan (Thomastown), who beat many athletes running on Irish teams.
National medals went home in the pockets of four Kilkenny athletes who competed at the National Combined events in Athlone.
Jordan Knight (St Joseph’s) finished third in the boys’ youths events with his favourite event, the long jump, scoring him the most points. His clubmate Evan O’Toole was third in the boys’ under-16 event, also scoring well in the long jump.
Jennifer Leahy (KCH) collected a silver medal in the girls’ youth category, scoring high on the hurdles, her favourite event. It was a good day also for all-rounder Masters athlete Verena Fenlon (St Joseph’s) who finished third in the Masters event.
The county Masters and Junior championships and open juvenile cross-country championships were held in Kilmacow.
With eight athletes competing in Belfast, Kilkenny teams were somewhat decimated - the junior championships featured just one athlete in Orla O’Keeffe (Thomastown).
The junior men’s event did not have any competitors but the picture was somewhat rosier in the masters over-30 women’s and over-35 men’s sections, where more than 20 athletes took part in each category.
In the men’s event there was victory for Paul Moran (KCH), with Conor Bolger (KCH) second and Peter Barry (St Joseph’s) third. Peter had pushed the early pace with Paul and together these two surged ahead for the first 3km.
However, with just over half of the race to go, Peter faded somewhat - at the 5km mark he was overtaken by Conor Bolger. KCH won the team event from Gowran. The ladies event was also won by KCH, who took the first three places.
In the juvenile races St Senan’s dominated the older age groups, winning both the boys and girls under-14 and 16 races. Anil Ramasawmy (St Senan’s) won the boys’ under-12 race while Ellen Quinlan (St Senan’s) won the girls’ under-8 race.
The St Senan’s domination was interrupted by Clodagh O’Callaghan (KCH) who won the girls’ under-12 event. Mia Drennan (Thomastown) won the girls’ under-10 race and Darragh Carroll (Gowran) took the boys’ under-10 title.
There were good numbers in the juvenile races, with more than 20 athletes competing in most races. Thomastown won both the girls’ under-10 and under-12 team prizes with Gowran winning the boys’ under-10 and under-12 team spoils.
Friday: County Board annual meeting, 7.30pm Club House Hotel Kilkenny.
Saturday: County Sportshall athletics (under-8 to under-11), Watershed, Kilkenny.
Sunday: County intermediate championships and juvenile cross-country relays, Tullaroan.
Results, county masters and open cross-country championships (club code: BH = Barrow Harriers, CC = Castlecomer, G = Gowran, KCH = Kilkenny City Harriers, SJ = St Joseph’s, SS = St Senan’s, TT = Thomastown:)
Girls’ Under-8: 1 Ellen Quinlan (SS), 2 Ava Coady (BH), 3 Aobheann Garvey (SJ).
Girls’ Under-10: 1 Holly Drennan (G), 2 Mia Brennan (TT), 3 Katie Byrne (BH), 4 Ella Millea (KCH), 5 Grainne O’Shea (TT), 6 Chloe Byrne (BH), 7 Lily Cullen (TT), 8 Emma Nicol (BH), 9 Sophie Phelan (SS), 11 Hannah O’Reilly (TT), 12 Ava Connolly (TT), 13 Lisa Ryan (TT), 14 Muireann McDonald (SS), 15 Chloe Brandon (TT), 16 Ciara Furlong (BH), 17 Ruth Doherty (BH), 18 Amy Whyte (SS), 19 Muireann O’Shea (BH). Teams: 1 Thomastown, 2 Barrow Harriers, 3 Thomastown, 4 St Senan’s, 5 Barrow Harriers.
Girls’ Under-12: 1 Clodagh O’Callaghan (KCH), 2 Orla Brennan (G), 3 Megan O’Reilly (TT), 4 Katie O’Shea (TT), 5 Erin Morrissey (TT), 6 Amy O’Shea (TT), 7 Moya O’Shea (TT), 8 Megan Kinsella (BH), 10 Lily Ryan (SJ), 11 Kila Garvey (SJ), 12 Mary Kate Ryan (TT), 13 Eimhin Donohue (SS), 14 Jane Bolger (BH), 15 Maggie Kearns (SS), 16 Evelyn Williams (SS), 17 Camille Brandon (TT), 18 Rachel Browne (BH), 19 Maeve O’Keeffe (SS), 20 Orla O’Shea (BH), 21 Lily Treacy (BH), 22 Una Cooper (SS), 23 Meabh Garvey (SJ).
Teams: 1 Thomastown, 2 Thomastown, 3 Barrow Harriers, 4 St Senan’s, 5 St Joseph’s.
Girls’ Under-14: 1 Charlotte Carpendale (SS), 2 Grace Ramaswamy (SS), 3 Leisha Donohue (SS), 5 Moya O’Keeffe (SS), 6 Niamh Cleary (SS), 7 Keelin Duggan (SS), 8 Caoimhe Doyle (SS).
Teams: 1 St Senan’s, 2 St Senan’s.
Girls’ Under-16: 1 Sophie Williams (SS), 2 Aine Guthrie (SS), 3 Niamh Cuddihy (SS), 4 Sophie Monahan (SS), 5 Maria Connolly (G).
Teams: 1 St Senan’s.
Boys’ Under-8: 1 Eddie Bolger (BH), 2 Ewan Bolger (BH), 3 Joey Bolger (BH), 4 Darragh Browne (KCH), 5 Tadgh O’Callaghan (KCH), 6 Calum Cuddihy (BH), 7 Adam O’Brien (BH), 8 Charlie Cullen (BH), 9 Ryan Limpkin (KCH), 10 Will Lehane (KCH), 11 Tommy O’Hanlon (SS).
Boys’ Under-10: 1 Darragh Carroll (G), 2 Daniel Bolger (BH), 3 Evan Ryan (G), 4 Patrick Quinlan (SS), 5 Zach Fenton (SS), 6 Darragh O’Flaherty (KCH), 7 Sean McDonald (BH), 8 Shay Molloy (KCH), 9 Aaron Carrigan (G), 10 Tommy Madigan (TT), 11 Joe Doyle (SS), 12 Eoin O’Callaghan (SS), 13 Denis O’Hanlon (SS), 14 David Carroll (G), 15 Simon O’Hanlon (SS), 16 Dylan Murphy (SJ), 17 David Carew (SS), 18 Sean Doyle (SS), 19 Tadhg Daniel (SS), 20 Liam Murphy (SS).
Teams: 1 Gowran, 2 St Senan’s, 3 St Senan’s, 4 St Senan’s.
Boys’ Under-12: 1 Anil Ramaswamy (SS), 2 Conor Carroll (G), 3 Tomas Carroll (G), 4 David Phelan (SS), 5 Luke Browne (KCH), 6 James Reidy (TT), 7 Charlie Ryan (G), 8 Rory Foot (SS), 9 Oisin Marry (G), 10 Finn O’Neill (SS), 11 Tommy Madigan (TT), 12 Richard Forristal (TT).
Teams: 1 Gowran, 2 St Senan’s, 3 Thomastown.
Boys’ Under-14: 1 Isaac Carew (SS), 2 Eoin Aylward (SS), 3 Ben Drennan (G), 4 Ian Gillespie (SS).
Teams: 1 St Senan’s.
Boys’ Under-16: 1 Gearoid Long (SS).
Junior Women: 1 Orla O’Keeffe (TT).
Women Over-30: 1 Caitriona Muldowney (KCH), 2 Donna Dunne (KCH), 3 Caoimhe Foley (KCH), 4 Maria Griffin (SJ), 5 Caroline Murphy (SJ), 6 Frances Mullally (SJ), 7 Kate Millea (KCH), 8 Sheila O’Callaghan (KCH), 9 Tracey Malone (SJ).
Teams: 1 KCH, 2 St Joseph’s.
Men Over-35: 1 Paul Moran (KCH), 2 Conor Bolger (KCH), 3 Peter Barry (SJ), 4 Derek Kehoe (G), 5 Graham Bourne (KCH), 6 John O’Donnell (KCH), 7 John Davis (TT), 8 Tony Lauhoff (KCH), 9 Bill O’Sullivan (TT), 10 David Farrell (G), 11 Ciaran Carroll (G), 12 Paul Larkin (KCH).
Teams: 1 KCH, 2 Gowran 3 KCH.
Kilkenny results, National Combined Events
Boys’ Under-14: 4 Alex Cullen (KCH).
Boys’ Under-16: 3 Evan O’Toole (St Joseph’s).
Men’s Youth: 3 Jordan Knight (St Joseph’s).
Women’s Youth: 2 Jennifer Leahy (KCH).
Masters Women: 3 Verena Fenlon (St Joseph’s).
For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.