The cross country season kicked off Sunday (Oct 3) with the Mr Oil Wexford Juvenile (even ages) and Junior Championships. The event was hosted by DMP A.C. on a fine 1km loop course in Orristown. This was the first cross country race in the county since before the first lockdown so there was a great sense of excitement and anticipation among athletes, parents and coaches. There is no purer sport than cross country running, athletes lining up to do battle with each other and with nature armed with nothing other than spiked running shoes and a will to be first across the finish line. What could be easier!
The going was good in Orristown with the rain during the week having brought a touch of pliancy to underfoot conditions. The course itself had two deceptively testing long drags which, especially in the longer races, made their presence felt. Generally, it was a pleasant day for both athlete and spectator with good sunshine, an absence of wind and just the occasional suggestion of rain coming in.
From the start there was plenty of entertainment for the crowd with some keenly contested races. The meet opened with non-championship races for under 10 boys and girls. These were followed by the under 12 girls 2000m race, two laps of the course. Taghmon girls Kayley Butler and Issy Aspel led out in the first lap followed by Kilmore girls Faye Barry and Kate Fortune. Midway through the second lap Maria Colbane of DMP injected some pace to move up to third position, with the early leaders showing signs of tiring. The race ended with a great battle to the finish with Faye Barry taking gold, Kayley Butler silver and Maria Colbane bronze. Kilmore won the team event.
In the under 12 boys race, also 2000 metres in length, a group of six athletes set a hot early pace. Going into the second lap Aaron Hancock of Kilmore made his move but he was tracked closely by Sam Dowling of United Striders. DMP athletes Oisín Ennis and Sean Power were still in the mix at that point. Aaron, however, had matters in hand and used his long lopey stride to pull away on the mid-lap downhill stretch to claim victory. Oisín Ennis moved up to take second place, while a battle between Sean Power and Sam Dowling saw Sean taking the bronze. United Striders won the team event with DMP second and United Striders third.
Emma McCarthy of St Killian’s looked a class apart in the girls under 14 3000 metres race. For the first lap she was part of a group of seven which broke clear. Early in the second lap she moved ahead with ease and established a good lead. She was being chased by Ava Barry and Rayna Thompson of Kilmore with Éabha Keane of DMP keeping in contact. The DMP girls were packing well and it looked like they might challenge for the medal positions. Ava Barry showed a nice turn of pace to get clear and, in the end, she had a good margin on her pursuers to take the silver. Éabha Keane finished strongly to take third place with a spirited late run from Grace Goggins in 4th place anchoring the team win for DMP. Croghan took second team.
Max Murphy of United Striders, Enda Byrne and Aidan Bowe of SBR took an early lead in the under 14 boys race, splitting the pack early. They raced each other hard right to the top of the hill on the last lap when Max, a good head taller than the others, powered down the slope, using his easy style to open a good gap that secured him gold. The SBR boys held their positions with Enda taking silver and Aidan bronze. SBR took the team title with United Striders second.
There was a good field in the under 16 girls 4000 metres race. Early on a group of seven broke away with Aoife Walsh DMP and Abbey Wolohan of Croghan setting the pace. Aoife made her move up the hill into the second lap. Abbey seemed to have missed the break but reacted quickly and worked hard to close the gap. Aoife, displaying a classic cross country runner’s style, was able to maintain her pace and over the next two laps opened a decisive gap. She took gold with Abbey second and Lucia Goggins, DMP, third. DMP won the team event with Croghan second.
Sean Lennon of United Striders won the under 16 race with a strong display of running. Sean has been a real stalwart for Striders up through the ages and he is maturing into a fine athlete.
The under 18, 19 and junior categories were run as a combined races. In the girls 4000 metres event Róisín O’Reilly, Menapians AC, and Claragh Keane, DMP, broke away early and gradually turned the tempo up over the first two laps. On the third lap Róisín opened a small gap which widened further on the long drag to the highest point of the course. She went on to take the Junior title with Claragh placing second and taking junior silver along with the under 18 title. Kate Jackman, Adamstown, Ciara Dolan, Menapians, and Sophia Tkaceva, Croghan, were in the chasing group. Ciara and Kate opened up a gap with Ciara making a challenge up the last hill. Kate, however, was able to call on her strength from her mountain running experience to get ahead and take third spot and Junior bronze. Ciara won the under 19 title. Sophie Tkaceva was second under 18 with Emma Hannon of United Striders third.
In the combined under 18/19 and Junior boys 6000 metres race, Joe Byrne of SBR along with Myles Hewlett and Will Park of United Striders opened up an early lead from the rest of the field. Over the six laps of the course Joe opened up a convincing lead to take the junior and under 19 title completing the 6 km course in an impressive 20.08 minutes. Myles Hewlett finished a strong second to win the under 18 and take second in the junior in 21.18. Will finished third in the junior and silver in the under 18 in 22.06.
The top ten finishers in each race from under 12 up will now go on to represent Wexford at the Leinster Championships.
DMP AC is to be commended for an excellently organised event with the course layout, in particular, drawing loads of praise. Athletics Wexford Chairman, Paddy Morgan applauded the club’s efforts. He also thanked the land owners for the use of a fine field and Wexford Civil Defense who were on hand to deal with any medical emergencies.
Next Sunday October 10th the Mr Oil Wexford Intermediate and Juvenile (uneven ages) Championships take place on the same course, starting at 12 noon. Clubs are asked to provide two officials.
1 Faye Barry Kilmore A.C.
2 Kayleigh Butler Taghmon A.C.
3 Maria Colbane DMP A.C.
4 Izzy Aspel Taghmon A.C.
5 Kate Fortune Kilmore A.C.
6 Justina Tkacheva Croghan A.C.
7 Jeden Ryan Kilmore A.C.
8 Aoibheann Farrell Menapians A.C.
Girls U12 Club
1 Kilmore A.C. 13 pts 4,5,7
1 Aaron Hancock Kilmore A.C.
2 Óisín Ennis DMP A.C.
3 Seán Power DMP A.C.
4 Sam Dowling United Striders A.C.
5 Pádraig Swan United Striders A.C.
6 Oisín Tyrrell Enniscorthy A.C.
7 Maitiú Wall United Striders A.C.
8 Fionn MacEochaidh United Striders A.C.
9 Darragh Grennan United Striders A.C.
10 Aidan O’Callaghan Adamstown A.C.
11 Charlie Fogarty DMP A.C.
12 Conall Delaney United Striders A.C.
13 Bobby O’Shea Adamstown A.C.
14 James Kavanagh Craanford Harriers A.C.
15 Cillian O’Shea Adamstown A.C.
16 Will Fortune Adamstown A.C.
Boys U12 Club
1 United Striders A.C. 16 pts 4,5,7
2 DMP A.C. 16 pts 2,3,11
3 United Striders A.C. 29 pts 8,9,12
4 Adamstown A.C. 44 pts 13,15,16
1 Emma McCarthy St Killians A.C.
2 Ava Barry Kilmore A.C.
3 Éabha Keane DMP A.C.
4 Grace Goggins DMP A.C.
5 Ava Wolohan Croghan A.C.
6 Rayna Thompson Kilmore A.C.
7 Ruby Gallagher O’Reilly Croghan A.C.
8 Sarah O’Mahoney DMP A.C.
9 Emma Barrett DMP A.C.
10 Erín Byrne Croghan A.C.
11 Ava Kehoe United Striders A.C.
12 Coráinne Kelly Taghmon A.C.
13 Ruby Noonan United Striders A.C.
14 Lilly Gadasz Enniscorthy A.C.
15 Muireann Kavanagh Craanford Harriers A.C.
16 Eleanor Gahan Craanford Harriers A.C.
17 Áine Crean Adamstown A.C.
Girls U14 Club
1 DMP A.C. 15 pts 3,4,8
2 Croghan A.C. 22 pts 5,7,10
1 Max Murphy United Striders A.C.
2 Enda Byrne SBR A.C.
3 Aidan Bowe SBR A.C.
4 Eanna Grennan United Striders A.C.
5 Artem Kelly St Pauls A.C.
6 Jack Browne Enniscorthy A.C.
7 Clint Johnston SBR A.C.
8 Sean Halpin Kilmore A.C.
9 Jack Johnston SBR A.C.
10 Roan Kavanagh United Striders A.C.
Boys U14 Club
1 SBR A.C. 12 pts 2,3,7
2 United Striders A.C. 16 pts 1,4,10
1 Aoife Walsh DMP A.C.
2 Abbey Wolohan Croghan A.C.
3 Lucia Goggins DMP A.C.
4 Maria Coone DMP A.C.
5 Cara Kelly DMP A.C.
6 Freya Thompson Kilmore A.C.
7 Nicole Lageu DMP A.C.
8 Katie Foley Kilmore A.C.
9 Luna Neville United Striders A.C.
10 Orla Kelly Taghmon A.C.
11 Cara Noonan United Striders A.C.
12 Libby Brownrig SBR A.C.
13 Orla Doyle Craanford Harriers A.C.
14 Sophia Fox Craanford Harriers A.C.
15 Annie Butler Craanford Harriers A.C.
Girls U16 Club
1 DMP A.C. 8 pts 1,3,4
2 Croghan A.C. 22 pts 5,7,10
1 Seán Lennon United Striders A.C.
1 Claragh Keane DMP A.C.
2 Sophia Tkaceva Croghan A.C.
3 Emma Hannon United Striders A.C.
4 Elaine Aspel United Striders A.C.
5 Aoife Lyng United Striders A.C.
6 Ciara Mooney Adamstown A.C.
7 Ciara Martin Kilmore A.C.
8 Isabel Bawden United Striders A.C.
Girls U18 Club
1 United Striders A.C. 12 pts 3,4,5
1 Myles Hewlettt United Striders A.C.
2 Will Park United Striders A.C.
3 Alex Gregg DMP A.C.
4 Daniel Byrne Croghan A.C.
5 Ben Redmond DMP A.C.
1 Ciara Dolan Menapians A.C.
1 Joe Byrne SBR A.C.
1 Róisín O’Reilly Menapians A.C.
2 Claragh Keane DMP A.C.
3 Kate Jackman Adamstown A.C.
4 Ciara Dolan Menapians A.C.
5 Sophia Tkaceva Croghan A.C.
6 Emmam Hannon United Striders A.C.
7 Elaine Aspel United Striders A.C.
8 Aoife Lyng United Striders A.C.
9 Ciara Mooney Adamstown A.C.
10 Ciara Martin Kilmore A.C.
11 Isabel Bawden United Striders A.C.
Junior Women Club
1 United Striders A.C. 24 pts 7,8,9
1 Joe Byrne SBR A.C. U19 20.08
2 Myles Hewlettt United Striders A.C. U18 21.18
3 Will Park United Striders A.C. U18 22.06
4 Alex Gregg DMP A.C. U18
5 Daniel Byrne Croghan A.C. U18
6 Ben Redmond DMP A.C. U18
1 Niamh McCarthy DMP A.C.
2 Kyra Jarvis St Killians A.C.
3 Alannah Flanaghan DMP A.C.
4 Lilly O’Callaghan Adamstown A.C.
5 Aoife Wall United Striders A.C.
6 Grace White Adamstown A.C.
7 Lilly Shannon Adamstown A.C.
8 Ria Doyle SBR A.C.
9 Pippa Fortune Adamstown A.C.
10 Aoife Hayes St Pauls A.C.
11 Jane Fogarty DMP A.C.
12 Aoibhinn Ryan St Pauls A.C.
13 Melissa Cleere United Striders A.C.
14 Laura Moran Adamstown A.C.
15 Ellen Murphy St Pauls A.C.
1 Oran Ennis DMP A.C.
2 Charlie Flood United Striders A.C.
3 Eoin English Adamstown A.C.
4 Bill Furlong Bree A.C.
5 Aaron Doyle Bree A.C.
6 Odhrán Tyrrell Enniscorthy A.C.
7 Henry Fogarty DMP A.C.
8 Joseph Burke Enniscorthy A.C.
9 Cian Foley Kilmore A.C.
10 Javier Galcae United Striders A.C.
11 Oliver Ainsworth St Pauls A.C.
12 Leo Johnston SBR A.C.
13 Daniel Payne Adamstown A.C.
14 Ruairí Byrne Bree A.C.