Cross-coun­try up and run­ning

Adamstown club hosts Ju­ve­nile and Novice events

New Ross Standard - - SPORT -

ADAMSTOWN A.C. hosted the Mr Oil Wex­ford Ju­ve­nile (even ages) and Novice cross-county cham­pi­onships on Sun­day in scenic Bal­lye­den, David­stown, with Bree Hill as a back­drop.

Solid banks of cloud and an un­re­lent­ing cross-course breeze kept tem­per­a­tures on the cooler side, but other than that it was a fine day for run­ning. The go­ing was very firm with the ground still to re­gain much of the pli­ancy given up to the long hot sum­mer.

The ac­tion com­menced with the younger age cat­e­gories. Lea Bol­ger (Bree) won the girls’ Un­der-10 race from Áine Crean (Adamstown) in sec­ond, Saoirse Flana­gan (D.M.P.) in third, and Kayleigh But­ler in fourth.

Jay­den Kenny (Bree) won the boys’ Un­der-10 race from Tomás Brennan (En­nis­cor­thy) in sec­ond, Enda Byrne (S.B.R.) third, and Ai­dan Bowe (S.B.R.) fourth.

Sarah Phy­lan (En­nis­cor­thy) took the Un­der-12 ti­tle ahead of Éabha Keane (D.M.P.) in sec­ond, Rayna Thomp­son (Kil­more) third, and Emma McCarthy (St. Kil­lian’s) fourth. D.M.P. took team gold (twelve points), with Éabha backed up by Aoife Walsh in fifth place and Sarah O’Ma­hony in sixth.

In­deed, the club packed re­ally well as they had an­other two girls (both scor­ing on the ‘ B’ team) in the top twelve, namely Ni­cole La­gan (tenth) and Emma Barrett (twelfth).

Rayna Thomp­son led Kil­more to sil­ver team medals (22 points), with Katie Fo­ley in eighth and Ava Barry eleventh. D.M.P ‘B’ took the bronze (39 points) just ahead of S.B.R. in fourth place.

D.M.P’s Kevin O’Ma­hony gave a real vir­tu­oso per­for­mance in winning the boys’ Un­der-12 race. The ten-year-old, who does not turn eleven un­til De­cem­ber, is a joy to watch such is his pow­er­ful, yet re­laxed, run­ning style.

The fact that he is as happy run­ning cross-coun­try in win­ter as he is com­pet­ing in sprints and long jump in sum­mer shows that he is blessed with great ver­sa­til­ity to go with a winning can-do at­ti­tude.

Eoin Han­non of United Strid­ers was sec­ond, Ross English (Adamstown) third and Ro­nan Shan­non (U.S.) fourth. Strid­ers, with four in the top ten, only needed three to take team gold (twelve points), with Han­non and Shan­non backed up by Kee­lan Ryan in eighth.

D.M.P. took the sil­ver (24 points), Adamstown the bronze (27 points), and En­nis­cor­thy were fourth just one point be­hind.

Kil­more made it a 1-2-3 in the Un­der-14 girls 3,000m with Freya and Ar­wyn Thomp­son tak­ing gold and sil­ver re­spec­tively, and Kate O’Fla­herty in third. This fine col­lab­o­ra­tive and co-op­er­a­tive ef­fort, some­thing we are more used to see­ing among the Kenyans on the Grand Prix cir­cuit, meant that the girls also took home gold team medals.

El­lie O’Ma­honey, steal­ing in to nab fourth spot with her fi­nal lunge, helped en­sure D.M.P. took the run­ner-up spot just two points ahead of Adamstown in third. Adamstown’s three scor­ers, in fifth, sixth and twelfth places, were Gráinne, Ni­amh and Iso­bel English.

The boys’ Un­der-14 race was dom­i­nated from the start by Myles Hewlett of United Strid­ers. Myles had a fab­u­lous sum­mer sea­son with All-Ire­land gold in 1,500m and sil­ver in 800m, and P.B’s in both, one of them a C.B.P.

Although un­chal­lenged in this race, he showed why he is top of his game with an ex­hi­bi­tion per­for­mance that com­bined er­gonomic ef­fi­ciency with speed en­durance. Myles’ clos­est pur­suer from early on was brother Cosmo.

Con­tent to run at a more con­ser­va­tive pace, he had suf­fi­cient in the tank to stay in the sil­ver medal position ahead of fast-fin­ish­ing club­mate Eoin Shan­non. In­deed, Strid­ers filled nine of the top ten po­si­tions with D.M.P’s James He­garty, in fifth place, spoil­ing their ef­forts at a clean sweep.

Not sur­pris­ingly, Strid­ers’ ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘ C’ teams took all three sets of medals on six, seven and 27 points re­spec­tively.

The au­di­ence was treated to a tour de force per­for­mance in the girls’ Un­der-16 race which matched that of the pre­vi­ous race. Claragh Keane of D.M.P. put down an early sea­son marker that she is back to her best as she gal­loped away from the field.

Her easy yet fast-mov­ing stride hides a lethal and pun­ish­ing fire-power. The Me­napi­ans duo of Eimear Halpin and Ciara Dolan were happy to bat­tle it out for the mi­nor plac­ings, with Eimear ul­ti­mately eas­ing away to take the sil­ver and Ciara set­tling for the bronze. Aoib­hinn Crean of Adamstown placed fourth.

The boys’ Un­der-16 race was, from early on, a two-horse race be­tween new United Strid­ers mem­ber Ben Wall and Joe Byrne of S.B.R. It was nip and tuck up to the fi­nal few hun­dred me­tres when Ben put the head down, and bolted for the line to claim the county ti­tle.

Joe, grace­ful as al­ways whether winning or not, had to set­tle for the sil­ver. Adam O’Con­nor (United Strid­ers) was third while Ro­nan Grif­fin (D.M.P.) placed fourth.

Strid­ers took the team ti­tle (nine points) with Robert Wall, in fifth, the third scorer. Kil­more took the run­ner-up spot on 30 points.

The ladies’ Novice and Un­der-18 races were run off to­gether. Un­der-18 ath­lete Mairéad Crean of Adamstown, run­ning on home turf, took it out from the start and, by the end of the first lap, had opened up a small lead.

Novice run­ners Beth O’Con­nor and San­dra Young (both United Strid­ers) plus Angie Red­mond and Es­ther O’Leary (both Slaney Olympic) traded places as they worked to stay in touch.

Mairéad stretched her lead over the three laps and take the Un­der-18 ti­tle, while Angie Red­mond broke away from the pur­su­ing group to take the Novice ti­tle ahead of Beth O’Con­nor in sec­ond and Es­ther O’Leary in third.

The Strid­ers duo of Re­becca Baw­den and Gráinne Flan­nelly were sec­ond and third in the Un­der-18 race. The Novice team ti­tle went to United Strid­ers (23 points), just ahead of Slaney Olympic in sec­ond (26 points), with S.B.R. in third (37 points).

The boys’ Un­der-18 race was won in some style by Conor Keane (D.M.P.). Conor, look­ing fit and to­tally un­trou­bled, built up an unas­sail­able lead over the chas­ing Strid­ers duo of Aaron Browne and Cian Flana­gan.

Aaron pulled away from his club­mate in the fi­nal stages to take sil­ver, leav­ing Cian in the bronze medal position. Strid­ers took the team ti­tle (ten points).

A big field toed the line in the fi­nal race, the Novice men’s 6k. By the end of lap one of the 1k loop, and run­ning into an ever-strength­en­ing head-wind, a small lead group opened up a mar­gin on the well spread-out field.

As the race pro­gressed this group, con­sist­ing of the D.M.P. trio of Ju­nior ath­lete Liam Turner, Paul Flana­gan and John Stone, along with Ge­orge De­laney of United Strid­ers, con­tin­ued to build on their ad­van­tage. Into the fi­nal lap and Liam dropped off the pace. Just be­fore the bend for home, Flana­gan seized the ini­tia­tive and went on to the take the ti­tle, with Stone four sec­onds back in sec­ond and De­laney in third.

D.M.P’s mas­sive strength in depth (six in top twelve) meant they were a shoe-in for the gold on 14 points, with Liam Turner in fourth and Liam Collins in sev­enth com­plet­ing the scor­ing quar­tet.

Ge­orge De­laney led Strid­ers to team sil­ver (49 points) while S.B.R. were third (53 points).

The Mr Oil County Wex­ford Se­nior and Ju­ve­nile (un­even ages) cross-coun­try cham­pi­onships take place next Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 14, at JFK Park & Ar­bore­tum, New Ross. Ath­letes love run­ning on this stun­ningly sit­u­ated park­land course as, de­spite the low gra­di­ent in­clines, there is plenty of fast run­ning.

Kil­more’s Fiona Ke­hoe will be hop­ing to de­fend her Se­nior ladies’ ti­tle as well as help­ing the club re­tain the team ti­tle. Ger Forde of St. Kil­lian’s is the man to beat in the Se­nior men’s race. United Strid­ers will be hop­ing to deny S.B.R’s ef­forts to re­tain the men’s team ti­tle.

Host club United Strid­ers asks clubs to get there in good time and to fol­low the in­struc­tions of ste­wards. The ac­tion starts at 12 noon sharp with non-cham­pi­onship Un­der-9 races. The ladies’ race will not start be­fore 2 p.m.

Other fix­tures: Oc­to­ber 13, Ir­ish Life Health All-Ire­land Schools com­bined events, Athlone; Oc­to­ber 27, Le­in­ster Ju­ve­nile cross-coun­try (even ages), Na­van Ad­ven­ture Sports at Na­van Race­course; Oc­to­ber 28, A.A.I. Na­tional Marathon Cham­pi­onships held in con­junc­tion with Dublin City Marathon.

Ladies’ Novice top three (from left): Beth O’Con­nor (sec­ond), Angie Red­mond (first), Es­ther O’Leary (sec­ond).

Claragh Keane of D.M.P., the Un­der-16 girls’ cham­pion.

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