On a day that was ideal for cross country running the first of the County Championships took place in Two-Mile-Borris with the club having representatives in all 10 races from U/10 to U/18. In all 49 athletes donned the green and gold and by the end of the day they had amassed 6 sets of team medals along with the 6 individual medals won by Jack Flanagan, Aaron McLoughlin, Philip Hayes, Helen Cleere, Louise Hickey and Roisin Daly.
The club had the most representation at U/10 level where 20 athletes lined out in both the Girls and Boys events. In the girls race Alan Spillane was our first athlete across the line in 14th place with Blathnaid Lloyd hot on her heels in 15th. Maebh Leahy and Dearbhla Gleeson powered home in the finishing straight to finish 19th and 20th respectively and with a score of 68pts the girls finished fourth in the team competition. Saoirse Doran was our next athlete to cross the line in 28th place with Orla Duggan in 34th, Mary Kate Ely 40th, Sarah McGinley 44th, Alana Maher 46th and Isobel Jones 48th. In the Boys event Jack Flanagan finished strongly in 9th place to win an individual bronze medal while Frank Doyle, Adam Spillane Leane and Lorcan Burke made up great ground throughout to finish 14th, 17th and 18th and in the process secured 3rd club in the team competition on a score of 58pts. Not far behind this quartet were Adam Phelan and Jack Gleeson finishing 20th and 22nd respectively. Sean Boland finished 34th with Shane Burke 37th, Jack Reddan 39th and Ben Moore 40th. Many of these young athletes were competing for the very first time in a championship and great credit is due to all of them on their wonderful performances.
12 athletes represented the club at U/12 level and in this age group the club collected 3 individual medals in Helen Cleere (4th), Louse Hickey (8th) and Aaron McLoughlin (6th). With the addition of Amy Reddan in 19th, Tara Gleeson 20th and Una Duggan in 39th the girls were crowned County U/12 Champions, finishing first in the team competition on a score of 51pts. Along with Aaron were Jake Bowe who finished in 13th place, David Doyle in 16th and Cathal Guilfoyle 26th to win the silver team medals. Martin Cleere in 36th, Liam Ryan in 37th and Cormac Burke in 44th were also vital members of this squad. Again the club had new additions to racing in this age category and all of them did themselves and the club proud.
At U/14 level our standout performance came from Philip Hayes who finished 3rd in a very competitive event. With the addition of Gavin Ryan in 6th, Eanna Guilfoyle in 11th and Kian Dunne in 17th they combined to bring home the silver medals in the team competition. Emma Gleeson was our first athlete across the line in the Girls event finishing a very creditable 7th overall. Aine Duggan, Aoife Dwyer, Emma Leahy and Leona Maher all produced the goods to finish 14th, 15th, 16th and 22nd respectively to claim the bronze medals in the team competition.
As we move up the age groups the fields may get smaller but the quality is always there and Sunday was no exception. At U/16 level the boys team finished runners-up in the team competition with Dylan McLoughlin the first of them home in 6th place. Charlie Tobin finished 8th with Brian O’Callaghan 9th and Sean Burke 10th. The girls were unfortunately one short for a team but both Aisling Dwyer and Aoibheann Duggan gave their all to finish 9th and 10th respectively. At U/18 level just two athletes Roisin Daly and Nathan Bowe were our representatives and again the quality was there for all to see. Roisin produced a great performance to finish in 3rd place and collect an individual bronze medal for her efforts while Nathan was just out of the medals in 4th place after putting in a sterling performance.
So the first day resulted in excellent performances from all our athletes with 6 individual and 23 team medals won by them. As already mentioned above some were competing for the very first in a competitive surrounding but did not let that phase them and hopefully will only spur them on to even better things in the future. Well done to everyone on their performances.