Castlelyons, Co. Cork staged the National Juvenile B Cross Country Championships on Sunday and what a day for the club with our Boys U/17 team crowned National Champions, individual medals at U/17 Boys & Girls and Inter County medals at U/13 Girls.
Our full complement of 15 athletes arrived in Castlelyons on Sunday to a dry day but heavy rain overnight resulted in some areas of the course being soft and muddy, but everyone had to face the same conditions and our athletes proved equally adept at mixing the soft and the firm as they all gave a great display of running. With races from U/11 to U/17 it was our older athletes who shone on the day with the Boys U/17 team of Aaron Moore in 6th, Michael O’Mahony 7th, Jake Bowe 15th and Cathal Guilfoyle 35th winning the National U/17 Club title, no more than they deserved as they all put in a huge effort in training over the past couple of months and transferred that effort throughout their 3k event on Sunday. Aaron and Michael also collected individual bronze medals as the top 12 individuals are also rewarded with National medals. Congratulations boys on a fantastic performance.
Another athlete who deserves all the accolades is Mary Cussen who has soldered through the years without a club team behind her. Running as an individual for nearly all her career with the Club she got her deserved reward on Sunday as she crossed the line in 12th place in the Girls U/17 race to win her first national medal. Never was there a more sweeter moment and congratulations Mary on your perseverance and never give up attitude.
The Tipperary Girls U/13 team finished third in the Inter-County event, and this was no doubt due to the great running of Aisling O’Reilly and Ruth Phelan who both contributed hugely to this success. Aisling finished 19th and Ruth 51st to secure the bronze medals for the County and gain their own first national medals at this level. Well done girls and enjoy the success. Along with the two girls the club also had Ciara Joyce and Olive Spillane-Leane in action finishing 58th and 83rd respectively to bring the club to 5th place in the Inter-Club competition. 5th club at National level is a great achievement and the girls should be rightly proud of their performances.
Our youngest athlete to compete on the day was Cathleen Cussen in the Girls U/11 and undaunted by the occasion, her first national finals, she ran a very gallant race to finish 103rd. In the Boys U/13 race we had Shane O’Dwyer who finished 69th and Dáithí Cussen 83rd while Adam Phelan & Bill Cussen took part in the Boys U/15 race to finish 37th and 42nd respectively. Again for many of them their first taste of national competition. Our final athlete was Alana Spillane who ran a terrific race in the Girls U/15 event, showing her speed over the final 200mts to pick off athlete after athlete crossing the line in 14th place, just inches from a national individual medal. What an all-round athlete as she had competed in Nenagh the day before and the week before at the Munster championships winning a bronze medal at 800mts.
To all our athletes on Sunday, you did yourselves, your families, and the club proud in your efforts and success and to the parents and supporters on the day, many thanks for travelling. It does mean a lot to the athletes.
Sunday brought down the curtain on the cross-country season and it is now onto the track season where no doubt many of the above athletes will also shine.