It gives uz great pleasure to report on a great day out at the East Cork Division Cross Country Championships hosted by St Catherines AC. At one stage, not too long ago, we weren’t sure whether there would be any cross-country season but working under new recommended guidelines, the club and the Divisional officers put on a very successful event.
The championships were held once again on Frank Hayes’s farm and the course was in fantastic shape, especially so as the sun came out and with it being dry underfoot, it was set for ideal running conditions.
Numbers were down in some of our under age races, but this did not detract from the quality running on display.
Our opening races over 1000 metres were for the under 10 athletes. Lara Byrne was our sole participant in the girls and finished a highly creditable 5th place.
The under 10 boys had 5 running and what a performance they put in to secure first place to win the team medal.
Kenneth O’Connell put on a commanding performance to win the race by some distance to be followed by Oscar Cunninghan in 4th, Zach Pyne in 8th and Noah Keane in 9th spot. Really great stuff lads!
The under 12s races were over the 1,500 metre course which featured a fair few drags, up and down. The girls and boys performed very well through this challenging course. The seven strong girls team secured 2nd place overall which is a fabulous achievement, Ciara Hayes led the team home in 6th, followed closely by Ella Higgins in 7th, Aimee Kearney in 8th, Ciara O’Regan in 10th, Amy O’Connell in 20thAnnA Byrne in 32nd and Maebh O’Connell in 34th. The team coaches did well making sure they packed well as a team. Great stuff, girls! Silver medals on their way!
The boys race was a very hard fought race up front and Conor Ronayne put up a great battle before settling for 2nd place and silver. Ryan Whelan finished strongly in 9th spot and Ryan Molumphy cam home in 26th. Well done, lads.
Our under 14 girls of Ellie Barry and Sadie Linehan tackled the 3,000 metre course with their usual courage and tenacity. Both girls finished strongly in the last few hundred metres to pass fellow athletes to finish strongly, Ellie in 12th and Sadie in 15th. Mighty stuff, girls!
Our sole representative in the under 14 boys was Darragh ronayne. Again, not for the first time, he found himself in a ding dong battle upfront and having lost the battle for first place held off the field to secure second in a fine sprint finish. Brilliant tactical running as always, Darragh. Good amn yourself.
Our next competitors were Sinead Goss in the under 18 girls and Sara Barry and Natalie Nicholson in the Junior Women. This race was rac together and what a display our girls put in. Natalie led out the field and kept pulling away from the field the longer the race went on. She won by some distance from her teammate Sara Barry in second spot. Sinead Goss finished in seventh spot overall in her first competitive outing for the club and picked up a Junior team medal for her efforts. The Junior Women secured a silver team medal.
Lastl but not least, the Ladies and Mens events. Our 2 Ladies in the Masters over 4,000 metres were Catherine Clancy and Agnes Hurley.There was a big field of nearly 50 runners , one of which was Ireland and Ballymore-Cobh’s very own Sonia O’Sullivan, who was chasing an East Cork Senior medal, one of the very few that she hadn’t picked up in all her years competing and entertaining us. Great to see her back competing in cross country in her beloved county.
Catherine came home in 24th place,and Agnes in 40th on her debut for the club. (And Sonia finished 10th).
The mens race over 4 laps of the 1,500 metre course was a fast race won by Kevin O’Brien from East Cork. In a very large field of 60 athletes, our men put up a great show and they were led home by Mike Byrne in 20th, closely followed by John Beecher in 22nd, Chris O’Connell in 33rd , Brendan Hickey in 34th, Kevin Hayes in 36th, John Mulcahy in 39th, Kieran Harte in 51st and Kieran Murphy 57th.
Our Mens over-35 team finished third overall, a very commendable performance , earning themselves bronze medals.
It was satisfying to hear from the other clubs how well organized the event was, especially the new incentives like the Call Area and the new labelling system which speeds up the recording of results.
It’s so important to keep all of our athletes active and to have them and their families representing our club at these events. Long may it continue.
Hope to see you all the second East Cork Cross Country In Carrignavar next Sunday.