Gowran A.C. hosted the Leinster Cross Country for Even Ages, Junior and Novice on Sat, Oct 26th. Weather conditions were ideal for participants and spectators with everyone happy to see blue skies rather than the torrential rain of the preceding days. The under foot conditions were heavy with no shortage of muck to dampen the enthusiasm of the speed merchants.
The day started with the non-championship U10 races followed by the under U12 – U18 races. The U18 and Junior categories were run off together.
The U12 Girls race was run off ahead of the scheduled time which meant quite a few athletes missed the start. The meet director allowed those that missed the race to run the boys’ race. Some such as Grace Kelly of Menapians chose not to. Others, including Heather Costello and Ava Kehoe, took up the offer. One girl who was most definitely present for the start of the girls’ race was Emma McCarthy of St Killian’s. She showed she is coming into some really good form as she stormed home in 2nd place. Kilmore’s Rayna Thompson also ran out of her skin to place 13th.
In U12 Boys 2000m the first Wexford boy home in 14th place was Cian Donovan of Bree. He was followed by Max Murphy (United Striders) in 28th, Enda Byrne (SBR) 30th and Aidan Bowe (SBR) 35th. Other placings listed below.
Aoife Walsh (DMP), running up an age, had a great run in U14 Girls finishing in 15th place. Sarah Phylan (Enniscorthy), also with a year in hand, found the going tough in the same race. When in form Sarah has all the style and grace of the classic middle distance runner as she showed recently in taking both U13 and U14 county cross country titles. Her usual fluency was, alas, absent in Gowran and she was labouring at a time she would usually have been ticking over. That said she was still second Wexford girl home.
Top Wexford performer in the U14 Boys 3000m was Sean Lennon of United Striders in 7th place. This, from the US FB page: ’Sean was hanging nicely in 12th position all the way through the race. However, with 200m to go he produced an outstanding finish picking off five runners in all.’ Next home for Striders and Wexford was Ronan Shannon in 24th. The Striders team placed 6th.
Claragh Keane (DMP) looked very smooth in the U16 4000m race, cruising to a good 2nd place finish. As she showed last year she has a habit of peaking at the right time. Expect her to be in the mix at the All-Ireland’s. Next Wexford finisher was Sophia Tkacheva of Croghan in 22nd.
Myles Hewlett of United Striders took bronze in the U16 Boys race over the same distance. He will settle for that at this stage in the season, especially as the winner was turbo-charged St Senan’s athlete Tadgh Connolly with Mullingar’s talented international athlete Diarmuid Fagan in 2nd. When it came to team honours, however, the New Ross club were not to be denied. With four boys in the top 12 they easily took the title, their 4th in a row at this age. Aidan Shannon placed 8th, Ben Wall 10th and Eoin Shannon 12th with Robert Wall creeping into the top 15. The Co Wexford team also took the team title, a single point ahead of Kilkenny with another Striders’ athlete, William Parle, completing the scoring six in 17th place.
Menapians’ international Róisín O’Reilly saw her first competitive action of the season when she lined out in the U18/Junior 4000m. She was happy to tuck into the leading bunch on the first of the 2km laps. Tullamore’s Danielle Donegan made a decisive break on lap 2 which took her clear of Róisín and Holly Brennan (Cillies AC). Holly was next to throw caution to the wind when, with 500m to go, she decided to give chase. Danielle held on for the win with Holly 2nd and Róisín, keeping it steady all the way, crossing the line, untroubled, in the bronze medal position. Erin Shannon of United Striders ran a good race to place 23rd (U18) with Ciara Dolan (Menapians) just behind in 25th place. The latter’s immediate race preparation included two days of mountain walking!
In the Boys U18/Junior race, Morgan Haydon (Menapians), being more of a track athlete than a mudlark, found the sloppy ground difficult to navigate. He toughed it out, however, getting stuck into the middle of the pack and moving up throughout the race. He finished up in 19th place (U18). Enniscorthy’s Ryan Basele came through in fine fashion to place just behind Morgan in 20th while Adam O’Connor (United Striders) was 27th. Race-walker Ryan Kielthy took a tumble mid-race but he was up and way again with no ill-effects.
Wexford’s newest running sensation, Clodagh Kelly of Croghan AC, continued on her upwards trajectory with a fabulous gutsy run in the Novice Women’s 4000m race. She rounded the final bend into the final uphill 200m stretch in 3rd place, only to be pipped at the post. She can be very happy with her 4th place finish. Alan O’Connor of United Striders was best of the Wexford athletes in the men’s race, crossing the line in 11th place.
2 Emma McCarthy (St Killian’s), 13 Rayna Thompson (Kilmore), 29 Ava Wolohan (Croghan), 32 Heater Costello (United Striders), 38 Éabha Keane (DMP), 44 Ruby Gallagher O’Neill (Croghan), 47 Sarah O’Mahony (DMP), 61 Stephanie O’Connor (Enniscorthy), 81 Cora Finn (Bree), 87 Lea Bolger (Bree), 91 Erin Byrne (Bree).
Wexford placed 5th in inter-county competition.
14 Cian Donovan (Bree), 28 Max Murphy (United Striders), 30 Enda Byrne (SBR), 35 Aidan Bowe (SBR), 46 Cormac Delaney (US), 56 Tom Finn (Bree), 64 Cathal Ennis (Bree), 66 PJ Breen (Bree), 73 Éanna Greenan (US).
15 Aoife Walsh (DMP), 48 Sarah Phylan (Enniscorthy), 55 Abbey Wolohan (Croghan), 60 Freya Thompson (Kilmore), 78 Cara Kelly (DMP), 92 Nicole Lageu (DMP).
7 Sean Lennon (United Striders), 24 Ronan Shannon (US), 57 Joseph O’Flaherty (Croghan), 60 Luca O’Connor (US), 63 Tomasso Hickey (US), 70 Olann Delaney (US), 77 Jarlath Kelly (Bree).
United Striders were 6th best club.
2 Claragh Keane (DMP, 22 Sophia Tkacheva (Croghan), 45 Kate O’Flaherty (Kilmore), 49 Arwyn Thompson (Kilmore), 51 Isabel Bawden (US), 58 Aoife Lyng (US), 65 Aisling Ryan (US).
3 Myles Hewlett (United Striders), 8 Aidan Shannon (US),10 Ben Wall (US), 112 Eoin Shannon (US), 15 Robert Wall (US), 17 William Parle (US), 32 Alex Lafferty (DMP), 33 Alex Gregg (DMP), 34 Eoin Lennon (US), 37 James Hegarty (DMP), 55 Daniel Byrne (Croghan), 57 Darragh Ennis (DMP), 58 Jack Byrne (SBR), 67 Ben Redmond (DMP), 69 Daithí Murphy (DMP), 73 Senan Murray (Kilmore).
1st club: United Striders. 1st county: Wexford.
2nd U18 and 3rd Junior Róisín O’Reilly (Menapians), 42nd (J) Rebecca Bawden (United Striders). Following are all U18: 23 Erin Shannon (US), 25 Ciara Dolan (Menapians), 27 Aoibhinn Crean (Adamstown).
Following are all U18: 19 Morgan Haydon (Menapians), 20 Ryan Basele (Enniscorthy), 27 Adam O’Connor (United Striders), 40 Ryan Kielthy (US).
53 (J) Rory Cassidy (Kilmore)
4 Clodagh Kelly (Croghan), 22 Nicola Murphy (United Striders), 63 Christine Hill (SBR), 64 Catherine O’Connor (Menapians), 72 Áine Cullen (US)
11 Alan O’Connor (United Striders), 71 John Murphy (DMP), 78 Pat Murray (US), 81 Ted Flannelly (US), 90 Nicky Foley (Kilmore)