The blue riband of cross country running, the County Senior Championships, took place in Galbally on Sunday and in what was one of the closest team competitions in some years it was great to be able to witness and now write on a terrific victory for our ladies. Not since the helicon days of the 1990’s has the club reached this milestone and it is thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Fogarty clan, Louise, Angela and Susan that we can now celebrate being at the top again. On a course that tested the strength and power of mind and body of all the athletes on show today it was this sheer will of the three ladies that brought about victory. Up to a week ago the Club was still unsure of even having a team in action due to long term injuries and working rotas but to their credit and gentle persuasion amongst each other Louise, Angela and Susan were amongst the 17 athletes representing five different clubs that faced the starter. As already described above the team competition was so close with just two points separating the top four teams but by virtue of their finishing places of 5th Louise (29.14), 7th Angela (29.21) and 11th Susan (30.22) the ladies struck gold. Down in the team competition by 2pts at 2k, level at 4k, 2pts up at 5k, 1pt down with 800mts to go and 1pt winning margin in the last 60mts showed the true grit and determination of the ladies and their joy and disbelief in discovering that they had won the gold medals was there for all to see. 1997, nineteen long years ago, was the last time that the ladies brought home the gold at this level and two members of that team Eileen Ryan and yours truly were there to witness this special piece of history as indeed was mentor in chief John Flynn who coached and trained both teams to victory. Completing that team in 1997 was Ann Purcell and Imelda Flynn and all have now passed the victory baton to the current crop of young ladies. The victory on Sunday has been a long time in coming but over the past two seasons at least the gradual elevation of the ladies in winning novice and intermediate titles has finally led to the senior title for 2016. A huge congratulations to all three ladies on Sunday for your commitment and desire and indeed to the current contingent of ladies in the club who have all helped and shared in this success.
Lest we forget we also had a competitor in the Senior Men’s 10k event with the ever dependable Brian Carroll once again togging out for the club. Brian completed the course in a time of 46.24 to finish 33rd overall and keep the flag flying for the green and gold of the club. Well done Brian on a strong performance.