The St Senan’s team who finished second in the senior men’s event. From left: Conor Rochford, Jonathan Crowley, Thomas Caulfield (Super Valu, sponsor) David Irish, Oliver Mullally
The rain tumbled down for the entire duration of the St Senan’s AC open cross-country races on Sunday.
Starting at 11.30am the first prolonged cloudburst saw rivers of water rolling off the bridge crossing the Blackwater while officials, knee deep in water, directed the large crowd of visitors to their respective car parking locations.
Not since the county uneven age cross-country championships in Tinnypark in October 1982 has there been so much relentless rain for one event.
Back in 1982 the county senior hurling final was cancelled - the cross-country event continued. There were echoes on Sunday, when events all around the south-east were called off – but the cross-country continued as it has done for the last 42 years.
Ironically despite the incessant rain, numbers were up in each event, with a larger than normal crowd of spectators too, though most could be found huddled in tents or in large groups huddled under trees with umbrellas as shields. Owing to the altitude of the field, resting high above the river and the athletics track, the water did not lodge and the ground was perfect for running. It was also a perfect day for St Senan’s, who were winners of the cup for the best overall club.
Tributes were paid to the volunteers who helped out on the day and to the parents who brought their children to this event. To brave the elements for their love of athletics says a lot about the positive attitude and loyalty that exists in many clubs. Thanks also went to sponsors Caulfields Super Valu.
The under-8 and under-9 events for girls and boys got the best of the weather, the rain calming slightly for their duration. Ellen Quinlan (St Senan’s) was the first athlete from the county home.
Running hard from the start, she chased down Siobhan Moloney (Ferrybank) to earn a silver medal. Katie Ryan (St Joseph’s) had a great race, passing two athletes in the last 50m to finish sixth. Dave O’Callaghan (Kilkenny City Harriers - KCH) was victorious in the boys’ under-8 with St Joseph’s runner Luka Kinsella finishing sixth.
The under-9 girls and boys races ended with victory for two county athletes. Mia Brennan (Thomastown) took gold in the girls’ race with Emma Kelly (KCH) second. Amy Whyte (St Senan’s) had a great race to finish sixth.
Sean Doherty of St Joseph’s made his mark on the boys’ under-9 race from the very start. He had a great victory, beating Daire O’Flaherty (KCH) to the gold.
Despite making inroads into the leading position for the latter half of the race, KCH duo Ellen Daly and Sinead Cormack had to settle for second and third spots respectively in the girls’ under-10 race.
There was however no doubt to who was going to take that gold in the boys’ under-10 event. The talented Robert Coogan of Gowran left no blade of grass unturned as he came across the finishing line ahead of Gowran team-mate Evan Ryan. Gowran filled the top three spots in this race, with Darragh Carroll third, while Patrick Quinlan (St Senan’s) was fourth.
With Molly Daly (KCH) having to settle for second in the girls’ under-12, she and her KCH team-mates were rewarded with the team gold. Thomastown were second.
Anil Ramsawmy was the unquestionable winner of the boys’ under-12 race, following in big sister Tara’s footsteps as a great middle distance runner.
Another St Senan’s athlete who was an unquestionable winner was Caoimhe Phelan. Caoimhe led from start to finish in the under-14 event and never looked in danger of being caught, despite a large field of more than 40 athletes.
The county had good athletes in action in this event, many of whom feature in the medals at national level. Sarah Kehoe (Gowran) was second and Orlaith Kirwan (Thomastown) third. St Senan’s also finished with gold and bronze from the team event. Newcomer to athletics, Liam Thompson of Thomastown, ran a great race to take silver in the boys’ under-14 race.
Fiona Dillon (Thomastown) gave Claragh Keane of DMP a good run for the first half of the girls’ under-16 race, the Wexford girl showing her cross-country strength to take ultimate victory. This race had over 30 competitors, showing a rise in the number of mid-teens continuing in athletics - a very promising trend for the future.
Tadgh Connolly (St Senan’s) showed the crowd what an All-Ireland champion looks like as he raced to under-16 gold. It was a one-two for the Saints as club mate David Williams was second.
The girls’ under-18 was again a race of champions with Hannah O’Keeffe (Thomastown), the reigning track 3,000m champion, clinching victory ahead of Corrine Kenny of St Laurence O’Tooles. With the Junior race being run at the same time Sophie Jackman (St Senan’s) was the winner from club-mate Aoife Allen.
Cathal O’Reilly (Castlecomer) had a ding-dong battle with Hubert Howa (Waterford AC), with Cathal finishing a close second. The Irish steeplechase champion has improved this year and will be hoping for a good placing over cross-country this year.
In the senior men’s race Waterford AC, with their first and second-placed athletes, took the team title from a vastly improved St Senan’s team. St Senan’s are starting to transition athletes to the senior ranks with all four boys having run as juveniles. Kings River AC were third in the men’s team event with some good running by all four men.
The senior ladies team event was won by St Senan’s AC – again with athletes who have come through the juvenile ranks.
Peter Lynch does well in Tennessee
There was another cross country race happening this week. This time across the Atlantic, with Peter Lynch (KCH) competing for his university team, the University of Tulsa.
Peter finished fourth in the invitational event and was the third scorer on his team as they won the event.
Sunday - County juvenile relays and senior short course championships, Thomastown 11am.
Sunday, October 6 - County even ages juveniles, Ballycurran Listerlin 11am.
Sunday, October 13 - County uneven ages juveniles, Castlecomer 11am.
Results, St Senan’s open cross-country (club code: CC = Castlecomer, DMP = DMP, E = Enniscorthy, FB = Ferrybank, G = Gowran, KCH = Kilkenny City Harriers, KCK = KCK, SJ = St Joseph’s, SLOT = St Laurence O’Tooles (SLOT), SS = St Senan’s, T = Tramore, TT = Thomastown, US = United Striders, WAC = Waterford AC, WW = West Waterford:)
Girls’ Under-8: 1 Siobhan Moloney (FB), 2 Ellen Quinlan (SS), 3 Muireann McGrath (KCK), 4 Charlotte Casey (FB), 5 Allanah Flanagan (DMP), 6 Katie Ryan (SJ), 7 Mia Kennedy (G), 8 Alison Ryan (TT), 9 Martha Bolger (COS), 10 Orla Frisby (SJ).
Boys’ Under-8: 1 Dara O’Callaghan (KCH), 2 Fionn Aird (C), 3 Shea Eldridge (WAC), 4 Elliot McCarthy (SLOT), 5 Louis McDonald (T), 6 Luka Kinsella (SJ), 7 Ciaran Scollard 8 Dara Scollard 9 Alex O’Connor (WAC), 10 Cillian McMahon (T).
Girls’ Under-9: 1 Mia Brennan (TT), 2 Emma Kelly (KCH), 3 Aimee Barry (WW), 4 Aoife Cleary (WAC), 5 Anna Brett (T), 6 Amy Whyte (SS), 7 Saoirse Ferguson (FAC), 8 Aoibhe Girlmartin (SS), 9 Frankier Maher (WAC), 10 Clodagh Power (T).
Boys’ Under-9: 1 Sean Doherty (SJ), 2 Daire O’Flaherty (KCH), 3 Sean Power (DMP), 4 Peter Quinn (KCH), 5 Finn Kavanagh (FB), 6 TJ Murphy (US), 7 Finn Halpin (T), 8 Simon O’Hanlon (SS), 9 Dylan Beckett (T), 10 Michael Reddy (SS).
Girls’ Under-10: 1 Isabelle Gafferey (WW), 2 Ellen Daly (KCH), 3 Sinead Cormack (KCH), 4 Katie Butler (DMP), 5 Saoirse Flanagan (DMP), 6 Lisa McGrath (KCK), 7 Zoe Beck (TT), 8 Arwen Mullins (WAC), 9 Erin Butler (WAC), 10 Marie Lambert (FB).
Boys’ Under-10: 1 Robert Coogan (G), 2 Evan Ryan (G), 3 Darragh Carroll (G), 4 Patrick Quinlan (SS), 5 Daniel Power (T), 6 Oisin Ennis (DMP), 7 Rian O’Connor (T), 8 Michael Mahoney (FB), 9 David Timmons (Conna), 10 Zak Fenton (SS).
Girls’ Under-12: 1 Sarah Caffney (WW), 2 Molly Daly (KCH), 3 Stephanie O’Connor (E). Team: 1 KCH 2 Thomastown 3 Croughan.
Boys’ Under-12: 1 Anil Ramsawmy (SS), 2 Max Murphy (US), 3 Conor Carroll (G). Team: 1 Gowran 2 St Senan’s 3 Thomastown.
Girls’ Under-14: 1 Caoimhe Phelan (SS), 2 Sarah Kehoe (G), 3 Orlaith Kirwan (TT). Team: 1 St Senan’s 2 Waterford AC 3 St Senan’s.
Boys’ Under-14: Michael Cuddihy (WAC), 2 Liam Thompson (TT), 3 Enzo Mary (WAC). Team: 1 Gowran.
Girls’ Under-16: 1 Claragh Keane (DMP), 2 Fiona Dillon (TT), 3 Meave O’Connor (WAC). Team: 1 St Senan’s.
Boys’ Under-16: 1 Tadgh Connolly (SS), 2 David Williams (SS), 3 Daniel Farrell (WAC). Team: 1 St Senan’s.
Girls’ Under-18: 1 Hannah O’Keeffe (TT), 2 Corinne Kenny (SLOT), 3 Sophie Jackman (SS).
Boys’ Under-18: 1 Hubert Hona (WAC), 2 Cathal O’Rielly (CC), 3 Adam O’Connor (US).
Junior Ladies: 1 Aoife Allen (SS), 2 Nell Murphy (SS).
Masters: 1 Kathleen Millett (KCH), 2 Ciara O’Grady 3 Beth O’Connor (US).
Senior Ladies Team: 1 St Senan’s
Junior Men: 1 Liam Cuddihy (WAC).
Senior Men: Fergal O’Brien (WAC), 2 Eoin Murphy (WAC), 3 Conor Rochford (WAC).
Masters: 1 John Murphy (DMP), 2 Peter Barry (SJ), 3 John McGrath (US).
Teams: 1 Waterford AC 2 St Senan’s 3 Kings River.
For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.