Cross-country medals for Kerry
SPACE blankets were the order of the day at the Irish Life Health National Master and Juvenile B cross-country championships last Sunday, when athletes from U-11 to O-60 took to the fields around Clarinbridge in Galway.
Weather conditions were atrocious, especially for the juvenile races when snow showers reduced visibility. The ground was very wet underfoot and the terrain rapidly deteriorated as the longer races progressed, making for very difficult running.
In the juvenile races, Kenmare athletes were again to the fore with their U-15 boys team scooping bronze club medals and contributing the first three runners to the county team that won silver medals.
Running for Kenmare were Liam Palmer (5th), Michael O’Reilly (12th), Tadgh O’Donogue (24th) and Timothy O’Donoghue (35th), and completing the Kerry team were Lios Tuathail runners Dermot Pierse (28th), Robert Stack (29th) and Gearoid Mulvihill (34th).
There was also county medal success for the U-13 girls team. Kenmare runner Abby Dunlop was the first Kerry athlete across the line, finishing in 14th place, just outside of individual medal position. She was followed by Rachel Neylon Lios Tuathail (20th), Kathryn Ryan Killarney Valley (24th) Sarah Quinn Lios Tuathail (29th), Éabha McCarthy Farranfore Maine Valley (33rd) and Aoibhinn Gleeson Killarney Valley (37th).
Farranfore’s Shauna McCarthy ran a gutsy 2,500m in the U-15 girls race, getting herself into second place very early on – a position she held to the finish line. However, she later heard she was not eligible for an individual medal after receiving a Munster province team medal last November.
In the Master’s women events, Individual medals went to Farranfore’s Maria McCarthy (8th) and club mate Mary Daly (11th). In the age categories, Niamh O’Sullivan (An Riocht) took gold in O-55. Majella Diskin (An Riocht) finished 6th in O-60. In the O-50s Sharon Cahill took silver, with team mate Liz Heaslip 20th.
Caroline Murphy (Gneeveguilla) was 11th in same group. Farranfore’s Caitriona Barry was 11th in the O-45s. In the O-40s the Farranfore women did very well, Maria McCarthy finished in third, Marie McKenna 35th and Grainne Tierney 42nd while team mate Mary Daly finished 6th in the O-35s. In the club and county points, An Riocht took top honours in the O-50 group while Kerry took silver in the O-50 county standings.
In the Intermediate Men’s Conor O’Mahony finished in 12th and brought his An Riocht team home to a fourth place club finish, the team included Patrick O’Connor (3th), Martin Dineen (32nd) and James Doran (34th).
The men were joined by Farranfore Maine Valley’s George McCarty (21st) and club mate Seán O’Sullivan (47th) for county fourth place. Also competing was Darren Burke in 50th.
Sunday also saw our young track and field athletes in action at the Munster U-9 to U-12 indoor championships. There were two medals for Lios Tuathail with Saoirse Dillon winning gold in the U-12 girls’ 60m and Steve Reidy winning bronze in the U-10 boys’ 60m.
Last Friday the IUAA indoor intervarsities took place in Athlone. Four medals and three new records came back to IT Tralee. In the women’s triple jump, Tralee Harriers athlete Solonge Diogo took silver with a record jump of 11.18m, while Travane Morrison took silver in the men’s 200m in 21.61 and bronze in the 60m in 6.87, both records for the college.
Rossa Foley of Farranfore Main Valley brought home bronze in the weight for distance with a throw of 7.49m. There was silver for David Kenny (Farranfore Maine Valley and representing CIT) in the 2,000m walk in an excellent time of 8.06. Notable mention goes to Aoife Mahony of Lios Tuathail – Aoife won her heat in the 800m and was just piped into fourth in the final.
Shona Heaslip was the outright winner of the second race in the Gneeveguilla Spring Series, covering the 5km course in 16.41 minutes. Second woman across the line was Sharon Rynne (Kilmurry-Ibrickane) and third was Siobhan Daly (Gneeveguilla).
The first three men were Seán O’Sullivan (An Riocht), Brian Murphy (Ennis Track) and Ger O’Sullivan (An Riocht). The third race takes place on February 17 at 11am with registration from 9:45.
The Kenmare runners who won bronze club medals, and were on the Kerry team that won silver medals, at the National Juvenile ‘B’ Cross-country Championships in Clarinbridge; from left: Timothy O’Donoghue, Tadgh O’Donoghue, Michael O’Reilly and Liam Palmer
The An Riocht Health and Leisure Over-50 ladies team that won club gold and silver county medals in the National Masters Cross-country championships on Sunday. From left are Niamh O’Sullivan, Liz Heaslip, Sharon Cahill and Majella Diskin