Team gold for Mas­ters men

United Strid­ers re­lay crew also sweep to more suc­cess

New Ross Standard - - SPORT -

CLARINBRIDGE IN Gal­way was the venue for the Mas­ters and In­ter­me­di­ate na­tional cross-coun­try cham­pi­onships. It was freez­ing cold, it was mucky and, if the cold got in on you, it was thor­oughly mis­er­able.

The pro­gramme opened with the Ju­ve­nile ‘ B’ na­tional cham­pi­onships (un­even age) along with the Un­der-12 and Un­der-14 re­lay races.

The ir­re­press­ible Un­der-14 boys of United Strid­ers won their re­lay race. As they have shown so of­ten over the past year, they re­ally know how to raise their game for the big oc­ca­sion.

Well done to Myles and Cosmo Hewlett, Ai­dan Shan­non, Dar­ragh Flan­nelly and Eoin Shan­non.

Éabha Keane (D.M.P.) placed fifth in the Un­der-11 girls’ race. Like Cin­derella, she lost a shoe en route - not the first time that has hap­pened!

Next over the line for the club was Layla Stafford in 20th, fol­lowed by Aoife Walsh (31st) and Sarah O’Ma­hony (75th). This left the team nar­rowly out­side the medals in fourth place.

El­lie Stafford (D.M.P.) ap­pears to have been the only Wex­ford rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the Un­der-13 race. In the Un­der-15 race, Erinn Shan­non (United Strid­ers) was 22nd. Conor Keane (D.M.P.) was a bat­tling eleventh in the Un­der-17 boys.

In the Mas­ters race, the Co. Wex­ford men Over-50 won team gold ahead of a more fan­cied Dublin team.

Lead­ing Wex­ford home was Jim Stafford who also won in­di­vid­ual gold Over-55, his first at na­tional level. He was fol­lowed by David Ke­hoe, Ger Maloney, Pádraig Mo­ri­ar­ity, David Bar­ron and Pat O’Cal­laghan.

The ground was well cut up by the time the In­ter­me­di­ate ath­letes lined up. Kil­more’s Fiona Ke­hoe bat­tled her way through the muck to place a very re­spectable fifth in the women’s 5km.

In the men’s race, run over eight en­ergy-sap­ping kilo­me­tres, Ger Forde (Slaney Olympic) stayed in touch with the lead­ing group for much of the race.

How­ever, he found, to his cost, that should you fall off the pace, even by a cou­ple of sec­onds, on a course such as this you will strug­gle to re-en­gage. Like Fiona he had to set­tle for a fifth place fin­ish.

Day one of the Ir­ish Life Health Le­in­ster Ju­ve­nile in­door track and field cham­pi­onships took place in Athlone on Satur­day.

Tagh­mon’s Ais­ling Kelly won the Un­der-16 60m with a P.B. of 7.99s. This is her sixth suc­ces­sive Le­in­ster gold medal in six dif­fer­ent events. This time last year she won the 60m hur­dles and, in the sum­mer, she col­lected Le­in­ster golds in 100m, 200m, long jump and re­lay.

Sammy De­laney (St. Paul’s) won the Un­der-19 long jump with a best jump of 5.82m. Maeve Hayes col­lected an­other gold for St. Paul’s as she re­tained her Le­in­ster in­door ti­tle in the long jump with a best of 5.03m.

Said­hbhe Byrne took a bronze in Un­der-15 long jump (4.73m). Club­mate Blanaid Fog­a­rty was fifth in Un­der-17 long jump, just five cm. off bronze. She also qual­i­fied for the na­tion­als in 60m, run­ning 8.21s en route and plac­ing fifth.

Eva Casey (Ma­camores) won the Un­der-14 shot putt with a best throw of 10.48m, over one me­tre ahead of sec­ond place.

S.B.R’s Or­laith Dee­gan jumped her way to a joint share of the gold in Un­der-14 high jump (1.40m). Her for­mer pairs part­ner, Or­laith Byrne, dashed her way to a run­ner-up spot on the podium in Un­der-14 60m.

Kevin O’Ma­honey (D.M.P.) is as happy with the sprint as he is with the longer dis­tance as he proved with a gold medal-win­ning per­for­mance in Un­der-12 60m.

Dan­nan Long (En­nis­cor­thy) won a sil­ver medal in Un­der-14 high jump, equalling his P.B. of 1.46m.

Aoife Mul­doon (U.S.A.C.) was sec­ond in the Un­der-19 long jump.

Michael Kent (D.M.P.) placed fifth in Un­der-12 high jump. Brídín Doyle of Craan­ford Har­ri­ers won the Un­der-14 1k walk.

Ciara Mur­phy (U.S.A.C.) was sec­ond in the Un­der-15 walk.

S.B.R’s Jack Byrne, in his first sea­son at the event, won bronze in Un­der-15 1k walk.

Eve Byrne (U.S.A.C.), com­pet­ing in the Un­der-16 walk, also picked up a bronze as did club­mate Ryan Kielthy in the Un­der-17 walk.

Aedan Rogers (U.S.A.C.), hap­pily re­cov­ered from an in­jury picked up in cross-coun­try, placed third in the Un­der-19 1,500m.

Danika Gil­shi­nan of St. Paul’s placed ninth in the 1,500m.

Shane O’Neill of Me­napi­ans, com­pet­ing in Un­der-17 60m, smashed his pre­vi­ous best in the heats with a time of 7.55s. In the fi­nal he bet­tered his time again, clock­ing 7.53s, and tak­ing the sil­ver medal.

His club­mate, April Keel­ing, was ad­judged to have bro­ken in the Un­der-16 60m and was shown a red card. En­nis­cor­thy’s Ross Daly was sec­ond in Un­der-19 60m and fourth in 400m.

Bree’s Ab­bie Doyle showed great de­ter­mi­na­tion in win­ning a sil­ver in the Un­der-13 60m. Club­mate Gra­cie Ke­hoe placed sixth.

Fur­ther ev­i­dence of Bree’s strength over the shorter dis­tances was pro­vided by for­mer ath­lete of the month win­ner, Seán Row­ley, who ran su­perbly through the qualifiers to ul­ti­mately take fourth in the Un­der-14 60m fi­nal. There was no medal, but he was very happy to shave 0.25s off his P.B.

Olivia Howe brought an­other podium plac­ing for Bree, tak­ing a bronze in the Un­der-19 60m. Spe­cial men­tion for the club’s Un­der-12 sprint­ers, Harry Dev­ereux and Katie Doyle, who, while giv­ing it ev­ery­thing, did not medal.

A num­ber of ath­letes from Co. Wex­ford com­peted at last week­end’s na­tional in­door varsities in Athlone.

In the com­bined events (60m hur­dles, 1,000m, high jump, long jump, shot), En­nis­cor­thy’s Tim Bowler, com­pet­ing for U.C.D., showed great con­sis­tency across all events to take the sil­ver (3,229 points - a U.C.D. record).

In the bronze medal po­si­tion was fel­low En­nis­cor­thy man Peter O’Con­nor (I.T. Car­low) with 2,930 points. Just 20 points be­hind him was Me­napi­ans ath­lete Conor Gaffney in the colours of U.C.D. Conor had the con­so­la­tion of tak­ing an easy vic­tory in the 1,000m.

In the high jump, D.M.P’s Shane Parle, com­pet­ing for N.U.I.G., jumped a P.B. of 1.90m to take the sil­ver.

Conor Wil­son (A.I.T.) placed fourth in the 200m fi­nal in 22.55s and was frac­tion­ally out­side his best in the 60m heats, run­ning 7.17s. He also helped se­cure a point for A.I.T. in the 4 x 200m re­lay.

Fel­low Me­napi­ans ath­lete Em­manuel Og­bonna (W.I.T.), an­other key mem­ber of the sil­ver medal-win­ning na­tional in­door league team, was sev­enth in the triple jump with 12.59m, just out­side his sea­son’s best.

Dale Mur­phy-But­ler (W.I.T.) had a P.B. in the 400m and also the weight for dis­tance. Mel O’Cal­laghan (W.I.T.) showed a nice re­turn to form in the men’s 60m also with a speedy 7.47s.

D.C.U. was top over­all col­lege in both male and fe­male team com­pe­ti­tions.

The River­side Park Ho­tel, En­nis­cor­thy, is the venue for next Fri­day’s an­nual Wex­ford Ath­let­ics awards night. This is one of the so­cial high­lights on the county’s ath­let­ics cal­en­dar.

Ath­letes, coaches, par­ents and sup­port­ers are en­cour­aged to at­tend. Chair­man Paddy Mor­gan, who will out­line some of the de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives to be un­der­taken by Ath­let­ics Wex­ford in 2018, prom­ises not to let for­mal­i­ties get in the way of a good evening!

The evening com­mences at 8 p.m. sharp. Fin­ger food and re­fresh­ments will be served.

Fix­tures: Fe­bru­ary 16 (7.30 p.m.), Wex­ford Ath­let­ics an­nual awards night, River­side Ho­tel, En­nis­cor­thy, 8 p.m.; Fe­bru­ary 17 and 18, Ir­ish Life Health Na­tional Se­nior in­door track and field cham­pi­onships, Ab­bot­stown.

Mas­ters ath­letes Pádraig Moriarty, David Ke­hoe, Jim Stafford (Over-55 cham­pion), Ger Maloney, Dave Bar­ron and Pat O’Cal­laghan.

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