Grace powers away for gold
A cold and breezy Sunday morning in Darver was the place to be for more than more than twenty of Blackrock AC’s athletes who were competing on day one of the Louth Juvenile Cross Country Championships.
Grace McEvoy kicked things off in fine style for the club when she produced a typical dominant performance to sprint away from the field and win gold in the Girls U8 300m.
Hot on her heels were Niamh Rowland, Lainey Jeytoo, Ella Conway, Aoife Curran and Ivana O’Neill who all produced top class performances on their debut at a Louth Championship event.
A huge entry in the U10 800m was always going to make it tough going for all the athletes given that time and space was at a premium especially over a frantic first one hundred metres. Despite this, the club’s lone representative, Aisling Finegan, ran superbly, maintaining her form all the way round to place well inside the top twenty.
A team bronze was the reward for the efforts of James Scanlon, Sam Jeytoo, Emmet Kearney, Daniel Delassa and Oisín Curran who made up the Boys U10 team. Each member gave their all and to a man can be proud of their performance over a very challenging 800m. It was James who led the charge coming home inside the top ten followed closely by Emmet with Sam, Oisín and Daniel packing well and crossing the line not too far behind.
One of the clubs most dedicated athletes, Emmy Jeytoo, demonstrated the rewards of hard training and perseverance by producing an excellent performance to finish in the top five of the Girls U12 2000m, a great effort in a very competitive race. Emmy was chased hard all the way round by team mates, Erin Braniff, Sarah Braniff and Erin Finegan who all should be justifiably proud of their performances. Unfortunately the girls were just pipped for a medal in the team race.
Oscar Conway was the clubs only representative in the Boys U12 2000m, running out of age to get some valuable race time before day two of the championship where he will compete against athletes in his own age group. Despite not challenging for a medal Oscar wasn’t too far off the pace producing a solid performance that will stand to him going forward.
Sean Reilly, fresh from a top class win at the recent Star of the Sea cross country meeting maintained his excellent form and produced his typical sprint finish to finish fourth in the Boys U14 3000m which was a superb result considering he was running out of age. This run should set him up nicely for day two when he will compete in age over the shorter distance of 2500m.
With no entries in the U14 or U16 age groups it was left to U17 athlete Donnacha Hughes to close things out for the club by competing in the gruelling Boys U18 6000m. It was a typically dogged performance from Donnacha who maintained a decent pace over the 4 laps of the course and came home in a commendable sixth place overall. With all of day one’s competitors performing admirably, some even running out of age, things are looking good for day two of the championships which will take place on Sunday 14th October at DKIT.
In preparation for the Louth Championships, a small and determined group of Blackrock Athletes travelled to the recent running of the annual Star of the Sea cross country meeting which is held over a very testing course at Greenanstown close to Stamullen in Co Meath.
In the first race of the day U8 athlete, Grace McEvoy, took her customary place on the podium with an excellent run in the Girls U9 500m coming home 5th out of a huge number of participants. Emmet Kearney was next to tackle the hilly course in the Boys U9 500m and he ran exceptionally well to finish inside the top twenty. Grace McEvoy and Erin Braniff represented the club in fine style in their U10 500m race and both girls produced typically gutsy performances to come home well placed in a very competitive and high class race. The same could be said of Emmy Jeytoo and Sarah Braniff who did the club proud in their Girls U12 1500m with both athletes producing the goods against some very tough competition, gaining vital experience in how to run a cross country race over much longer distances than they would be used to.
Sean Reilly produced a dominant display of front running to claim a well-deserved gold medal in the Boys U13 1500m, never being headed after taking the lead early on. Demonstrating strength and endurance throughout, Sean ran the perfect race, retaining enough in his legs to kick away from his closest competitor in the last 100m and cross the line in fine style.
Donnacha Hughes, Peter McGuiness and Eoin Smyth lined up in the Boys U17 4500m with seasoned campaigner Donnacha finishing fifth overall and leading the team to a fine silver medal.
Emmet Kearney in action for Blackrock in the U-10 race.
Blackrock’s Emmy Jeytoo leading the U-12 girls race.