Caoimhe Phelan (St Senan's), Sara Kehoe (Gowran) and Charlotte Carpendale (St Senan's) after the under-14 race
A blast of fresh air with the heat of autumnal sun greeted the first day of the Kilkenny county championships in Ballycurran Cross Tullogher. It was a much-changed scene from 24 hours earlier, when torrential and unrelenting rain battered the country, but the course was still in pristine shape for a cross-country race.
For more than 20 years large groups of athletes from all over the county have made the trip to the Cross to sample the excitement that is cross-country running. Host club St Joseph’s have their roots in cross-country and the venue, kindly loaned by the Grennan family, has seen many a national champion tread across the fertile ground.
Sunday’s events saw a host of 2018 national medal winners contesting their county’s championship race - there were 13 national cross-country individual medal winners from 2018, with many more members of either national club or country-winning teams.
There were more than 28 Leinster individual medal winners, making the Kilkenny championships races some of the toughest county events around.
Despite the hectic competition St Senan’s took the lead in the points race for the Cross-Country Shield, the Kilmacow-based club clawing back two points from the cross-country relays.
However, their lead is only by the narrowest of margins - they are just half a point ahead of last year’s winners Gowran. Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) are lying third overall, some six and a half points behind the leaders.
The first race of the day saw St Senan’s runner Ellen Quinlan storm up the hill as she recorded a convincing victory in the girls’ under-8 race. It was a similar story for KCH athlete Darragh O’Callaghan as he shook off a late challenge from Eddie Bolger (Barrow Harriers) to take the gold.
At under-10 level, where the county championship ages kick in, KCH took victory in the girls’ team event. Ellen Daly claimed individual victory over an impressive Aisling Phelan from Castlecomer. Sinead Cormack of KCH, daughter of former Harrier Sinead Delahunty, was third.
The boys’ under-10 race saw Gowran’s Robert Coogan claim victory ahead of clubmate Evan Ryan and a fast-finishing Patrick Quinlan (St Senan’s). Gowran won the team title from St Senan’s.
Drama enveloped the girls’ under-12 event where Lily Ryan (St Joseph’s) had a 10-metre lead after 1,000m when she took the wrong route.
Having to double back, she was back in about 22nd place when she rejoined the race and had to claw back considerable ground, finally finishing in fourth place. There is little doubt that she will be an athlete to watch at the Leinster under-12 level, where she will have a great chance of winning an individual medal.
Katie O’Shea of Thomastown was to benefit from the mistake and chased down Molly Daly (KCH) to take overall victory. Lucy Coomey of Gowran was third. Molly Daly led her KCH team to victory over an impressive Thomastown team.
The boys’ under-12 race was won in fine style by local hero Joss O’Connor (St Joseph’s AC). The vastly improved Anil Ramasawmy of St Senan’s was second with Conor Carroll of Gowran third. Gowran won the team title from St Joseph’s and then St Senan’s.
The girls’ under-14 race was probably one of the most exciting of the day, with three athletes - St Senan’s duo Caoimhe Phelan and Charlotte Carpendale and Sarah Kehoe of Gowran - locked together for all of the 2,500m race.
As the three entered the final run home nothing separated the trio. A late minute surge by Kehoe which was matched by Caoimhe Phelan saw the Gowran athlete clinch victory by inches. Gowran took the team title from St Senan’s.
St Senan’s once again were on top form for the boys’ under-14 when the retained the title they won last year. This year the individual honour went to Rory McEvoy (KCH), younger brother of twins Shay and Annie. Eoin Aylward (St Senan’s) took silver, which was also his first individual county cross-country medal, with clubmate Ben Wallis third.
St Senan’s had another team victory to celebrate in the girls’ under-16 race. Fiona Dillon of Thomastown dominated the individual medal race from start to finish. Her club mate Maria O’Keeffe was second with Emily Murphy of Castlecomer breaking free of the closely-packed St Senan’s athletes to take the bronze, her first ever cross-country individual medal.
Tadgh Connolly (St Senan’s) got the better of a tense battle with Tom Lodge (KCH) in the boys’ race. The pair were locked closely together for most of the race with St Senan’s David Williams close behind. In the end Connolly powered to victory, leading St Senan’s to the team title in the process.
The girls’ under-18 race was full of class, with four very talented athletes occupying the top four places. Hannah O’Keeffe (Thomastown) was the eventual winner from clubmate Aine Kirwan, with the St Senan’s pair of Sophie Jackman and Tara Ramasawmy not far behind. Thomastown won the team title.
It was St Senan’s who also won the boys u18 team title. The race was won by podium newcomer Dylan McLaughlin with the St Senan’s duo of Josh Fenton and Ryan Cummins second and third respectively.
The men’s masters races were dominated by St Joseph’s, who not only occupied the top three positions but also won the first and third team spots.
The second stage of the county juvenile championships will be held in Castlecomer on Sunday at 11am. There will be races for girls and boys at under-7 and under-9 levels, as well as championship races for girls and boys under-11, 13, 15, 17 and 19 levels.
With St Senan’s just marginally ahead on points and both KCH and Gowran boosting large younger age teams can the Saints be overtaken? There will be several national 2018 medal winners in action, with many close contests expected in many of the races. The girls’ under-19 race should be a close contest between Thomastown, St Senan’s and KCH, with this age group managing to sustain reasonable numbers right through their juvenile years.
The masters over-45 race will take place after the juvenile races with Bill Lacey expected to don the jersey for St Senan’s and Johnny Mackey for St Joseph’s. It will be a real race of past champions.
Results, Kilkenny cross-country county 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: Ellen Quinlan (SS), Aoibhinn Lacey (KCH), Lana Conway (SJ), May Timmons (G), Abigail Daly (CC), Katie Ryan (SJ), Hannah O’Brien (KCH), Ava Cody (BH), Kate Langton (G), Alison Ryan (TT), Kate Bolger (BH), Olivia O’Shea (TT), Abbie Doherty (BH), Kira Mullally (SS).
Boys’ Under-8: Darragh O’Callaghan (KCH), Eddie Bolger (BH), Charlie Canavan (KCH), Luca Kinsella (SJ), Darragh Browne (KCH), Joey Bolger (BH), Cathal Murphy (SJ), Patrick Drennan (G), Ted Kelsey (G), Liam Lavin (BH), Bobby Coomey (G), Andrew Foley (BH), Calum Cuddihy (BH), Tommy O’Hanlon (SS).
Girls’ Under-10: 1 Ellen Daly (KCH), 2 Aisling Phelan (CC), 3 Sinead Cormack (KCH), 4 Cara Canavan (KCH), 5 Mia Brennan (TT), 6 Olivia Mullally (SJ), 7 Zoe Becker (TT), 8 Orlaith Carroll (G), 9 Holly Drennan (G), 10 Rachel Duff (G), 11 Lauren Phelan (G), 12 Niamh Brennan (G), 13 Emily O’Keeffe (G), 14 Molly Ryan (SJ), 15 Ellen Cormack (KCH), 16 Emma Nicol (BH), 17 Aisling O’Neill (G), 18 Anna Kelsey (G), 19 Grainne O’Shea (TT), 20 Saorla Mullally (SJ), 21 Aoibh Gilmartin (SS), 22 Holly Murphy (SJ), 23 Amy White (SS), 24 Lisa Ryan (TT), 25 Isobel Griffin (SJ), 26 Rebecca Murphy (SJ), 27 Amelia O’Brien (KCH), 28 Daisy Coomey (G), 29 Emilia Fox (G), 30 Heidi Ryan (G), 31 Muireann McDonald (SS), 32 Maeve Doherty (BH), 33 Mairead Ring (CC), 34 Chloe Thompson (KCH), 35 Mairead Murphy (SJ), 36 Freya Dawson (BH), 37 Ada Mullally (SS).
Teams: 1 KCH, 2 Gowran, 3 Thomastown, 4 Gowran, 5 St Joseph’s, 6 St Senan’s.
Boys’ Under-10: 1 Robert Coogan (G), 2 Evan Ryan (G), 3 Patrick Quinlan (SS), 4 Daniel Bolger (BH), 5 Zack Fenton (SS), 6 Ryan Farrell (KCH), 7 David Timmons (G), 8 Darragh Farrell (G), 9 Danny Murray (SS), 10 Sean McDonald (SS), 11 Daire O’Flaherty (KCH), 12 Dara Leamy (G), 13 Patrick Wall (KCH), 14 Shea Molloy (KCH), 15 Peter Quinn (KCH), 16 Cathal Bennett (G), 17 Matthew Cooke (G), 18 Dennis O’Hanlon (SS), 19 Eoin O’Callaghan (SS), 20 Dylan Drennan (G), 21 Daniel Carew (SS), 22 David Carroll (G), 23 Diarmuid Quinn (CC), 24 Simon O’Hanlon (SS), 25 Neil Ryan (SJ), 26 Dylan Murphy (SJ), 27 Noah Wilkinson (SS), 28 Rory Hayden (G).
Teams: 1 Gowran, 2 St Senan’s, 3 KCH, 4 Gowran, 5 St Senan’s.
Girls’ Under-12: 1 Katie O’Shea (TT), 2 Molly Daly (KCH), 3 Kate Hayden (G), 4 Lucy Coomey (G), 5 Lily Ryan (SJ), 6 Emer Cormack (KCH), 7 Grace Gilmartin (SS), 8 Kate Maher (KCH), 9 Moya O’Shea (TT), 10 Martha Bergin (KCH), 11 Megan Riley (TT), 12 Clodagh O’Callaghan (KCH), 13 Amy O’Shea (TT), 14 Megan Kinsella (BH), 15 Cila Garvey (SJ), 16 Ruth Crowley (KCH), 17 Orla Brennan (G), 18 Mary Kate Ryan (TT), 19 Aisling Coverdale (TT), 20 Ailbhe Steiger (G), 21 Keelin Byrne (SJ), 22 Aisling Mullally (SJ), 23 Emily Lauhoff (KCH), 24 Eimhin Donohue (SS), 25 Kathy Phelan (G), 26 Danika Vit-Ter Krueger (G), 27 Ceola Leamy (G), 28 Laura Leahy (KCH), 29 Una Cooper (SS), 30 Evelyn McEvoy (KCH), 31 Maeve O’Keeffe (SS), 32 Evelyn Williams (SS), 33 Eva Quinn (KCH), 34 Mia Barry (SJ), 35 Ava Butler (CC), 36 Roisin Holohan (CC), 37 Muireann Holden (KCH), 38 Mairead McDonald (SJ), 39 Roisin Connolly (SS).
Teams: 1 KCH, 2 Thomastown, 3 Gowran, 4 St Joseph’s, 5 KCH, 6 St Senan’s.
Boys’ Under-12: 1 Joss O’Connor (SJ), 2 Anil Ramaswamy (SS), 3 Conor Carroll (G), 4 Robert Lacey (KCH), 5 James Kelsey (G), 6 Jamie Cahalan (CC), 7 Luke Browne (KCH), 8 Hugo Tierney (BH), 9 Adam Joyce (G), 10 Tomas Carroll (G), 11 Tom Kehoe (G), 12 David Phelan (SS), 13 Joseph Langton (G), 14 Conor Duggan (TT), 15 Kyle Bolger (SJ), 16 Tadgh Roche (SJ), 17 Joshua Malone (KCH), 18 Jack Barron (SJ), 19 Padraig Quinn (CC), 20 Ross Murray (G), 21 Sean Lavin (BH), 22 Charlie Ryan (G), 23 Brian Phelan (SS), 24 Mikey Ryan (SJ), 25 Rory Foot (SS), 26 Jamie Kennedy (BH), 27 Finn O’Neill (SS), 28 Thomas Hayden (G), 29 Tadgh Allen (SS).
Teams: 1 Gowran 2 St Joseph’s 3 St Senan’s 4 Gowran
Girls’ Under-14: 1 Sarah Kehoe (G), 2 Caoimhe Phelan (SS), 3 Charlotte Carpendale (SS), 4 Ruth Fogarty (G), 5 Maeve Bookle (SJ), 6 Siofra Kennedy (CC), 7 Orlaith Kirwan (TT), 8 Rachel O’Neill (G), 9 Hazel Coogan (G), 10 Eve Dunphy (SS), 11 Emer Phelan (CC), 12 Aoife Lanigan (SJ), 13 Ava Mullally (SJ), 14 Alex Brennan (G), 15 Aine O’Callaghan (SS), 16 Niamh Cleary (SS), 17 Hannah Quinn (KCH), 18 Molly Long (SS), 19 Martha Dolan (G), 20 Georgia Geoghegan (KCH), 21 Grace Ramaswamy (SS), 22 Laura Kehoe (KCH), 23 Abbey Kehoe (KCH), 24 Clodagh Mahon (G), 25 Blaithin Holden (KCH), 26 Juliette Evans (SS), 27 Luiseach Donohue (SS), 28 Caoimhe Barry (SJ), 29 Laura Challoner (TT), 30 Moya O’Keeffe (SS), 31 Kate Kelly (G), 32 Jane Holohan (CC), 33 Caoimhe Bennett (G), 34 Molly Connolly (SS).
Teams: 1 Gowran 2 St Senan’s 3 St Joseph’s 4 KCH 5 St Senan’s 6 Gowran
Boys’ Under-14: 1 Rory McEvoy (KCH), 2 Eoin Aylward (SS), 3 Ben Wallis (SS), 4 Isaac Carew (SS), 5 Patrick Lacey (KCH), 6 Sam Brennan (G), 7 Stephen Kinsella (BH), 8 Sean Young (KCH), 9 Louis Raggett (KCH), 10 Thomas Langton (G), 11 Michael O’Shea (SS), 12 Jack Joyce (G), 13 Ben Drennan (G), 14 Eoin O’Callaghan (KCH), 15 John Kennedy (CC), 16 Stephen O’Dwyer (CC), 17 Conor Lanigan (SJ), 18 Enye Boston (KCH), 19 Sean Cooke (G), 20 Matthew McAviney (G), 21 Adam Lynch (CC), 22 Ruairi Phelan (G), 23 Liam O’Dwyer (G), 24 Cillian Redmond (BH).
Teams: 1 St Senan’s 2 KCH 3 Gowran 4 Gowran
Girls’ Under-16: 1 Fiona Dillon (TT), 2 Maria O’Keeffe (TT), 3 Emily Murphy (CC), 4 Niamh Cuddihy (SS), 5 Saoirse Allen (SS), 6 Sophie Williams (SS), 7 Molly O’Dornan (CC), 8 Libby Murphy (SS), 9 Maria Connolly (G), 10 Orla O’Shea (TT), 11 Sophie Monahan (SS), 12 Ashling Cleary (SS), 13 Rose Sheridan (SS).
Teams: 1 St Senan’s
Boys’ Under-16: 1 Tadhg Connolly (SS), 2 Tom Lodge (KCH), 3 David Williams (SS), 4 Billy Coogan (G), 5 Colm Roche (SS), 6 Cillian Dunne (G), 7 Gearoid Long (SS), 8 Luke Phelan (G), 9 Jack O’Neill (SS), 10 Joe Kearns (KCH), 11 Naoise Gilmartin (SS), 12 Billy Power (TT), 13 Luke Dunne (KCH), 14 Hugh Kavanagh (G), 15 Diarmuid Langton (G), 16 Declan Walsh (KCH), 17 Joe Roche (SS), 18 Evan Walsh-Brennan (SS).
Teams: 1 St Senan’s 2 Gowran 3 KCH 4 St Senan’s
Girls’ Under-18: 1 Hannah O’Keeffe (TT), 2 Aine Kirwan (TT), 3 Sophie Jackman (SS), 4 Tara Ramaswamy (SS), 5 Ellen Ryan (TT), 6 Orla O’Keeffe (TT).
Teams: 1 Thomastown
Boys’ Under-18: 1 Dylan McLaughlin (KCH), 2 Josh Fenton (SS), 3 Ryan Cummins (SS), 4 Mark Finn (SS), 5 Fergal Suffin (SS), 6 Robert Finn (SS).
Teams: 1 St Senan’s
Men’s over-40: 1 Bernard Keane (SJ), 2 Peter Barry (SJ), 3 Patrick Bookle (SJ), 4 Derek Kehoe (G), 5 Adrian Cunningham (G), 6 David Lanigan (SJ), 7 Richie Mullally (SJ), 8 John Leamy (G), 9 Noel Maher KCH 10 Stephen O’Connor (SJ), 11 Eamon Kelsey (G), 12 Ciaran Carroll (G), 13 Mick Walsh (G).
Teams: 1 St Joseph’s, 2 Gowran, 3 St Joseph’s.
Women’s over-40: 1 Niamh Murphy (KCH), 2 Maria Griffin (SJ), 3 Maria Cormack (KCH), 4 Caroline Murphy (SJ), 5 Ann Brennan (G), 6 Mary Doolan (SJ), 7 Susan Lanigan (SJ), 8 Lorraine Carroll (G), 9 Maggie Helen O’Connor (SJ), 10 Emma Cooke (G), 11 Moira Treacy (G), 12 Michelle Ryan (G), 13 Deirdre Kelsey (G), 14 Tracey Malone (SJ).
Teams: 1 St Joseph’s, 2 Gowran, 3 St Joseph’s.
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