Novice road races to be held in Ferns on Sunday afternoon
The Mr Oil Novice county road race championships will be held in Ferns on Sunday next, March 22, at 12 noon. Large fields are expected in both the ladies' 3k race and the men's 6k.
As the Novice is often the springboard for new athletes to make their mark on the road race championships, it would be almost impossible to predict where the winners will come from. Last season saw outstanding performances from S.B.R's Paul Lynch and Croghan's Anna Bushe; both newcomers who dominated at Novice and Intermediate level, going on to stamp their presence on the Senior championships in both road and cross-country.
With big increases in contenders at Novice level last year, most notably in cross-country, but also at the track and field championships, it is expected that the 2015 road race championship will see similar increases. The growth in popularity of road running, coupled with the shorter distances of the Novice grade, will see many recreational runners convert to championships, increasing the standards of competition for the coveted county title. Club teams will also be out in force seeking glory.
Registration will take place from 11.30 a.m. and the ladies' race kicks off at 12 noon sharp from Ferns village centre. The men's 6k will follow directly after the ladies' race. Complimentary refreshments will follow directly after. All routes and parking will be signposted by the host club, Sliabh Bhuidhe Rovers. Entrants must be registered members of Athletics Ireland.
The National Masters indoor track and field championships took place in the Athlone International Arena on Sunday. Athletes from St. Killian's, United Striders, Menapians, D.M.P. and Kilmore took to the boards on foot of very good performances at regional level the previous month.
The first medal for Wexford went to Kevin Cogley in the Over-35 60m sprint. Kevin won his heat in a time of 7.26 seconds but, as the final results were based on times only, he did not get a chance to contest a final and was awarded silver based on his clock time. Clubmate Jimmy O'Neill showed excellent form in the Over-50 60m when he powered over the line in eight seconds flat to take the gold.
Both Jimmy O'Neill and Kevin Cogley doubled their medal count when they sprinted to silver in the 200m in their respective age categories.
Catherine O'Connor, also of Menapians, won her age category in the 3,000m.
Over on the bends, United Striders took their first medal when Sinéad McCarthy completed two sprint laps in the Over-35 400m to be crowned national champion. Fellow Strider Gavin Kelly had to give his all to equal his clubmate's performance in the Over-45 400m, but, not to be outdone by the female section of the club, Gavin had the extra sprint finish to take the gold as he crossed the line.
Antoinette Stafford from D.M.P., holder of the national 200m Over-35 record in both the long jump and the 200m, took the national titles in both disciplines. Antoinette recorded a 200m of 27.01, just slightly outside of her own record. In the long jump she took the gold with a jump of 5.39m, earning her second gold medal of the afternoon.
On the field, Sinéad McCarthy was back in action at the shot putt and added a national silver to her Leinster gold in the event. Aine Cullen, also from U.S., got her first national medal also in the Over-35 shot putt when she took the bronze.