The Club captured its first County Senior Men’s Cross Country Club title last Sunday in Goold’s Cross under Athletics Ireland rules. While in recent years our Ladies have won the County Senior Cross Country title on a number of occasions, last Sunday it was the turn of our men to capture the headlines at this year’s Championships.
Our Men went into the 10K race as one of the contenders for the title but they faced tough competition from defending champions Dundrum and former winners Thurles Crokes. As the race unfolded Kevin Maunsell was running the proverbial blinder as he took up the pace right from the start and set a strong tempo that saw him move well clear of the chasing pack on the first lap.
He was now full of running and he maintained this strong pace all the way to the line to be crowned County Senior Cross Country Champion for the very first time in a very convincing fashion in 35:15 and in so doing joins John Fitzgerald and Patrick Guidera as our only County Senior Men Cross Country Champions in the Club’s history. It is great to see Kevin running so well and this performance along with his 7th finishing position in the All Ireland Novice Cross Country Championships shows that he running very well at present.
Niall McCormack also ran very well on his debut in these Championships. Despite picking up an injury in last week’s race that saw him miss a week’s training, Niall was determined that he would run for the Club and give it his best shot. That he did in style as he moved into 3rd place on the 3rd lap and he held that all the way to the line to win his first County Senior Cross Country medal when capturing the Bronze medal in 35:45.
William Maunsell also ran very well over what was a very demanding course. William moved into 4th place on the 3rd lap and despite a number of late challenges he maintained the strong pace that saw him finish 4th in 37:12, a major improvement as he was 12th on his debut last year.
Paudie O’Keeffe was making his debut in these Championships and what a debut! He went off at a steady pace and as the race progressed he was running well and he kept that strong pace going all the way to finish a very respectable 17th in 40:18 and in the process along with Kevin, Niall and William created Club History as they won this title for the very first time for the Club, a fantastic and brilliant achievement.
Niall O Ceallaigh was 25th, championship debutant Joe Whelan 34th and Maurice Boland 37th and these three athletes combined very well to win the Silver medals in the B Section, a competition for Clubs who enter more than one team.
Earlier in the Day Cliona Doyle got the day off to a great start when she won the County Junior Ladies title convincingly.
Sandwiched in between these two great races was the County Senior Ladies 5k race and here we also witnessed some great performances with Angela McCann running very well over such demanding conditions to finish a brilliant 4th (21:39) and then we had Aine Roche also running very well when 6th in 22:50. Catherine Rice also ran very well when finishing 7th in 23:15 and these three athletes combined very well to win the Inter Club Silver medals.
Girls under 17 win All Ireland Silver medals
The All Ireland Juvenile Uneven age group Cross Country Championships took place over a good course in Adamstown, County Wexford. In the Girls under 13 race Muireann O’Connell ran a great race when finishing 56th. Moya Whelan was 62nd and Anna Carey 84th and they were all on the County team that finished a close 6th. In the Girls under 17 race Orlaith Moynihan ran very well when finishing 9th. This performance spurred on the rest of the team and they all responded with great efforts over the closing stages which saw Aoife Laste 27th, Laura Tobin 29th and Megan O’Brien 31st. This quartet have trained together over the past number of years and they are a force to be reckoned with and so it was in Adamstown when their combined great efforts saw them win the All Ireland inter Club Silver medal. Orlaith’s great performance also saw her play a key role in helping the Munster team win the All Ireland Provincial Silver medals. The last race of the day was the Boys under 19 race. Here we had Michael Carey, the Munster Under 19 Champion running a brilliant race. Always well positioned throughout the race Michael ran very well when finishing strongly in 5th place and in the process led the Munster team to Gold medals, brilliant performances all round and a great way to finish 2012 which was a brilliant year for the Club.
The Club would like to thank all its members, Juveniles and Seniors, for all their performances during 2012 and hopefully many of them achieved their 2012 Athletic Goals. May 2013 be another year of fine achievements for all our Club members. The Club would also like to thank everyone who helped the Club during the year to promote the Sport.