The Tipperary Primary Schools Cross Country Championships took place on Wednesdaylast in Thurles Crokes Complex amid glorious sunshine.
Moved from its traditional place of the last Wednesday in September due to the Ploughing Championships, the new date did little to deter the numbers participating. A record number of 2,433 children were entered in 20 different races (an increase of 333 from 2011) from 87 County Schools. On the day, the total figure of children who finished was 2,263. The whole fixture was superbly run in just over two and a half hours with the rain holding off for the last race of the day, the Extra Small Schools 5th/6th Class Boys race. Congratulations to all the medal winners & to all the children who took part, they were a credit to their schools, teachers & parents.
There were many exciting sprint finishes & dashes to the finish line with mixed emotions of joy, relief & satisfaction as well as some pain etched on the faces of the competitors in the finishing chute. Some races had so many entrants (most notably the Medium & Large categories) that the finishing chute was not long enough to contain them all as the line of athletes snaked its way back up the course ( see photos for Medium Schools Boys 3rd/4th Race at www.tipperaryathletics.com). The biggest races of the day took place in the Medium Schools category where the girls numbered 163 & the boys 153 in the 3rd/4th Class race & 150 & 159 in the Girls & Boys 5th/6th class races (see details of race participant numbers further down).
Lots of schools came to the fore in their various categories scoring multiple individual & team medals.
Some notable Schools were:-
In the Major Schools competition, Gaelscoil Bhride, Durlas scored a Gold & Bronze win in the Boys 3rd/4th Class race while Scoil Ailbhe, Thurles won Silver & Bronze in the Boys 5th/6th Class race.
In the Large Schools category, St. Joseph’s NS, Templemore made it a Gold & Silver win in the Girls 3rd/4th Class race while Kilruane NS won Silver & Bronze in the Boys 3rd/4th Class race.
In the Medium Boys 3rd/4th Class race, St. Colmcille’s NS, Templemore won Gold & Bronze.
Major Schools Team Category
St. Peter & Pauls NS, Clonmel scored Silver in both the Boys 3rd/4th & 5th/6th Class team categories
St. Michael’s NS, Tipperary Town won Gold in the Girls 5th/6th Class category & Bronze in the Girls 3rd/4th Class category.
Newport Convent Primary School won Silver in the Girls 3rd/4th Class race & Bronze in the Girls 5th/6th Class category.
Large Schools Team Category
Moycarkey NS won Gold team prizes in the Boys 3rd/4th & 5th/6th Class categories & Bronze in the 3rd/4th Class Girls category.
Moyglass NS won Silver in both the Girls & Boys 5th/6th Class races.
Upperchurch NS won Silver in both the Girls & Boys 3rd/4th Class races.
St. Joseph’s NS, Templemore won Gold in the Girls 3rd/4th Class race & Bronze in the Girls 5th/6th Class race.
Rosegreen NS won Gold in the Girls 5th/6th Class race & Bronze in the Boys 3rd/4th Class race.
Medium Schools Team Category
Rahealty NS scored double Bronze in the Boys 3rd/4th Class & the Girls 5th/6th Class races.
Thomastown NS won double Bronze in the Girls 3rd/4th Class & the Boys 5th/6th Class races.
Small Schools Team Category
Mount Bruis NS, Tipperary Town won double Gold in both the Boys 3rd/4th Class & the Girls 5th/6th Class races. They also won Bronze in the Girls 3rd/4th Class category.
Ballycahill NS won Gold in the Girls 3rd/4th Class race & Bronze in the Boys 3rd/4th Class race.
Doon NS won Silver in the Boys 3rd/4th Class race & Bronze in the Boys 5th/6th Class race.
Extra Small Schools Team Category
Lorrha NS won Gold in the Boys 5th/6th Class race, Silver in the Girls 5th/6th Class race & Bronze in the Boys 3rd/4th Class race.
Skeeheenarinky NS won Gold in the Boys 3rd/4th Class race & Bronze in the Boys 5th/6th Class race.
Kilcommon NS won Silver in the Boys 5th/6th Class race & Bronze in the Girls 5th/6th Class race.
The breakdown of Race participants are below:-
1.Major Schools Girls 3rd/4th Class – 89
2.Major Schools Boys 3rd/4th Class – 124
3.Large Schools Girls 3rd/4th Class - 130
4.Large Schools Boys 3rd/4th Class – 122
5.Medium Schools Boys 3rd/4th Class – 153
6.Medium Schools Girls 3rd/4th Class – 163
7.Small Schools Girls 3rd/4th Class - 92
8.Small Schools Boys 3rd/4th Class - 143
9.Extra Small Schools Girls 3rd/4th Class – 49
10.Extra Small Schools Boys 3rd/4th Class - 63
11.Major Schools Girls 5th/6th Class – 96
12.Major Schools Boys 5th/6th Class - 117
13.Large Schools Girls 5th/6th Class - 126
14.Large Schools Boys 5th/6th Class -143
15.Medium Schools Girls 5/6 Class – 150
16.Medium Schools Boys 5/6 Class – 159
17.Small Schools Girls 5th/6th Class - 107
18.Small Schools Boys 5th/6th Class – 113
19.Extra Small Schools Girls 5th/6th Class – 63
20.Extra Small Schools Boys 5th/6th Class- 61
Finally, Tipperary Athletics County Board would like to thank everyone involved in helping to make these Championships our best one so far. Our heartfelt thanks to:-
Chief organiser, Emby Walsh & her assistants who did a superb job in organising & ensuring the smooth running of these Championships. Countless hours of organisation went on behind the scenes to stage this competition which was run so professionally & we are indebted to Emby for all her great work with the County over the years;
Thurles Crokes A.C. for providing the fine facility. No stone was left unturned in preparing for the day & Thurles Crokes A.C. did a magnificent job in hosting these Championships laying on every possible facility from car/bus parking, toilets, provision of officials all over the course & the finish line to providing refreshments for the officials. We are deeply indebted to Patsy & Kathleen Dorney & to all Thurles Crokes A.C. members who kindly volunteer their facilities & time to host these & a number of other County Championships every year.
The CBS Thurles who kindly gave us the loan of their Transition Year Students to help out on the day;
All the schools who supported these Championships & to the teachers who took on the responsibility of training their young charges & getting them ready for the competition;
Members of the Tipperary Athletics County Board who turned up in numbers to provide assistance;
All the County Clubs who supported these Championships by going to the schools in their areas & encouraging the pupils to participate. This might be an ideal opportunity for the children who participated in & enjoyed the experience, to contact their local Athletics Club & maybe join up. Out of the 2,433 children who entered, there is bound to be one or more future Olympic athletes among them. If you would like to contact your local Athletics Club, please look up the “Contacts” page on the Tipperary Athletics website.