Clonmel proved a happy hunting ground for our junior and senior athletes on Sunday with Orla Healy claiming the County junior title, our senior ladies winning the silver medals in the team event and our senior men finishing fourth in their event.
Orla Healy was our only athlete to compete at junior level and was also only one of two junior athletes from the County to take part but this did not detract from her putting in a fine performance over the 3k distance. This completes her last year as a junior athlete and what a way to go finish that element of her career – County Champion. Well done Orla.
The ladies had to contend with a field that also included athletes from Ballynonty, Clonmel and Moreabbey Milers but each member of the team put up a sterling performance over the 6k distance. Katie Harrison was the first athlete from the club home and in her first ever senior race finished an excellent 5th overall. Next home was Lorraine Healy, who for a long time during the race was running with Kate, finished 6th having held off a strong challenge to that place on the run-in to the finish line. Louise and Susan Fogarty completed the team running in the company of another couple of athletes throughout the race and their stronger finishing with Louise coming through for 8th and Susan 9th proved to be vital in the team event. When the team points were made up the ladies finished 2nd overall on 19pts, the best ever placing for the club at this level of competition for the past 15 or so years. Each of the ladies is to be commended for their commitment and performance on Sunday and congratulations to them or their terrific result.
It was also great to see a team from the club in the senior men’s event run over a distance of 10k and also to be in contention for team honours, something that has eluded them over the past number of years. Again it proved to be a newcomer to the cross country scene this year that led the team home with Stephen Flanagan having a great race to finish 9th overall. Backing him up throughout the race was Liam Kelly who came through to take 15th with Richard Daly showing great sprinting powers at the finish to clinch 20th while in the group behind was Paddy Doyle and again a strong finish from him saw him cross the line in 24th to leave the club on a score of 68pts. The club was very much in contention for the bronze medals but Sunday was not to be their day and despite a great performance from each of the men they finished in 4th place. Like the ladies this result is their best ever performance since the formation of the AAI and the team can but surely build from this. Well done to each of the men for their fine performances.