123.ie All Ireland B XC Championships
11th February 2024
While many of our athletes are now well under way with their indoor seasons, this weekend marked the end of the cross country season, with the Juvenile B Cross Country Championships. This event was held on the grounds of Dundalk IT, on a challenging course made all the tougher by heavy underfoot conditions.
Moyne A.C. were delighted to have a big group of athletes make the journey to compete in this championship in what was a brilliant experience for all involved. This was a first all-Ireland for many of these athletes. The day got underway with the girls U11 race, where the team of Annie Ely (15th), Meadhbh Hall (32nd), Doireann Quinlan (85th) and Lily Murphy (88th), competed in a huge field of 129 athletes. The girls combined to finish 11th of the 20 teams, and Annie, Meadhbh and Doireann formed part of the Tipperary team that finished 6th.
Next up was the U11 boys, and they again toed the line among well over 100 athletes from all over the country. The boys went out hard and found themselves in a good position as they headed toward the halfway mark. Matthew Esmonde fought for a medal as he battled through the muddy conditions. His determination was evident as he rounded the final bend in excellent position and crossed the line in 2nd place. An outstanding achievement at this level, well done Matthew! Matthew was followed over the line by teammates Darragh Maher (53rd) and Tom Renehan (55th), who ran close together for much of the race. Darragh Joyce was unfortunate to suffer a fall close to the halfway point, and we wish him well as he recovers, great credit due to Matthew, Darragh and Tom as they checked in on their injured team mate at the first aid tent shortly after the race. Team Spirit.
As the day went on, the underfoot conditions got more and more challenging, and the older groups had inches of mud to get through. In the U13 girls, Caoimhe Slevin led home the Moyne contingent in 56th place, running a brave race throughout. Saoirse Joyce was next across the line in 85th and Helen Renehan followed in 111th place. In the boys equivalent, Moyne had just one athlete, and Michael Doyle finished 96th, and formed part of the Tipperary team.
The final athlete of the day was Kate Delaney, who ran in the girls U17 race, completing two laps of the course in very challenging conditions to finish in 15th place. Kate had a tough battle all the way round and had a strong finish to pick up places over the last 500m.
Well done to all the athletes who took part in this competition and I’m sure the experience will stand to them as they compete in their indoor championships in the coming weeks.