Once again a huge entry from the club took part in the second day of the County Championships held in Moyglass on Sunday. 59 young people donned the green and gold of the club with every one of them giving it their all on a tough but true cross country course. Of the 12 races on the day the club fielded teams in 8 of them and great credit is due to all the athletes as each of those eight teams featured in the medals. It is also very difficult to secure individual medals but eleven members had that honour on Sunday and each one is to be commended on their performance.
As is the norm the day began with the Girls U/9 race where 10 athletes represented the club. Nearly 60 athletes faced the starter in this race with young Dearbhla Gleeson showing the way to finish a terrific 7th overall just ahead of the fast finishing Alana Spillane who secured 9th place. Both girls were presented with bronze individual medals for their efforts but in addition they were also part of the club team that finished 3rd overall with Maebh Leahy in 13th and Reiltin Morrissey 26th. Ruth Phelan was hot on the heels of Reiltin finishing 27th, followed by Orla Duggan 31st, Mairead Duggan 34th, Mary-Kate Ely 37th, Sarah McGinley 39th and Isabella Jones 49th to finish 8th overall in the club competition.
The Boys U/9 race was away immediately after and Luke Walsh had a superb run to finish 10th overall and win an individual bronze medal. Mark O’Shea was also having a great run and finished 13th overall with Shane Bourke and Eamonn Hayden flying through the finish in 27th and 28th respectively to secure the bronze team medals. Just a couple of yards behind in 30th place was Jack Reddan with Sean Boland coming through to take 31st and Aaron Loughnane 56th.
The Girls U/11 were represented by five athletes and what a race Amy Reddan ran showing great maturity to move through the field to finish 4th overall and earn an individual bronze medal for her efforts. Saoirse Doran came through to take 18th overall with Blathnaid Lloyd 21st and Una Duggan 31st to claim the team bronze medals. Martina Creedon was making her debut in these championships and in a field of over 40 runners gave it her all before retiring from the race. The Boys U/11 race saw the biggest representation from the club with 11 athletes facing the starter. The club secured two individual medals with David Doyle and Lorcan Burke giving it their all to finish 7th and 10th respectively. Both boys together with Cathal Guilfoyle in 19th and Jack Flanagan in 23rd went on to win the bronze team medals. Next club member to cross the line was Frank Doyle in 27th followed by Jack Gleeson in 32nd, Adam Spillane Leane in 33rd and Finn Jones 37th to finish eight club overall. Cormac Burke, Fred Power and Adam Phelan gave it their all to finish 39th, 42nd and 43rd.
As you go up the age groups the intensity increases as well as the effort involved but this did not deter the five young ladies who lined up at the start of the U/13 event. As the race unfolded Helen Cleere was making great inroads at the head of the field and following a great effort finished 4th overall and won an individual bronze medal. Aoife Dwyer was very solid throughout to finish 12th with Louise Hickey crossing the line in 17th followed by Emma Leahy in 18th who showed great determination throughout the entire race and Tara Gleeson 27th. Athletes from 11 different clubs competed in the race with the girls winning the silver team medals for their great efforts. The Boys U/13 had an equally tough encounter but Philip Hayes showed his talent when finishing 5th overall to win a bronze individual medal as did Aaron McLoughlin whose 10th place finish brought its just reward. Jake Bowe finished a great 15th with Aaron Moore having one of his finest runs to date finishing 17th to secure the bronze medals in the team event. Great efforts were also made by Liam Ryan in 30th and Kian Dunne 34th.
The club was represented by five girls at U/15 level and despite the increased distance involved all five showed great resilience with Emma Gleeson finishing an excellent 7th overall. Aine Duggan was having a superb run, moving through the field as the race progressed, to finish 12th overall with Aisling Dwyer and Cathy Hogan keeping a very steady pace throughout to finish 13th and 14th respectively and in doing so won the bronze team medals. Shannon Boland tried hard before the effects of a recent illness forced her out but despite this there is still plenty for Shannon to take from the race. Our Boys U/15 team certainly put it up to their more illustrious opponents with a superb performance from all four athletes. Dylan McLoughlin had a superb run to finish 3rd overall and win an individual bronze medal. With great back up from Charlie Tobin in 7th followed by a terrific effort from Gavin Ryan in 8th and Eanna Guilfoyle in 14th the boys finished second in the team competition just three points short of being crowned County Champions.
There was many fine individual performances at U/17 level and it was great to see the efforts all of these athletes put into their events despite the lack of a team behind them. Roisin Daly was very unfortunate not to win an individual medal when finishing 4th in the U/17 race with Aoibheann Duggan finishing an excellent 7th overall. Nathan Bowe had a very steady race to finish 8th in the Boys event with Sean Burke coming through for 17th.
We had to wait until the final race of the day, the Boys U/19 event, to claim a County Champion. Both athletes, Harry Hogan and Eamonn Troy deserve great credit for completing the 6,000mts race on a tough and demanding course but to their credit both ran very sound races with Harry proving to be the stronger this time around to claim the title of U/19 County Champion while Eamonn took the silver medal as runner-up.
As already mentioned above there was terrific performances from all our athletes especially our individual medallists Dearbhla Gleeson, Alanna Spillane, Luke Walsh, Amy Reddan, David Doyle, Lorcan Burke, Helen Cleere, Philip Hayes, Aaron McLoughlin, Dylan McLoughlin, Harry Hogan and Eamonn Troy. To all our athletes who scored on the Boys & Girls U/9, Boys & Girls U/11, Boys & Girls U/13 and Boys & Girls U/15 teams well done but equally important are all those athletes who turned out for the club, performed admirably on the day but were not amongst the medallists, it is you who contribute to making the club the success that it is.