Shannon shades it
Exciting end to U-14 race in JFK Park
JFK Park was the venue on Sunday for the first day of a new season of cross-country championship action in the county.
Hosted by United Striders A.C., the event was held in glorious conditions with the sod largely unaffected by the previous day's rain. There were some very competitive and hard-fought races, starting with the Under-10 non-championship runs.
The highlight was the boys' Under-14 3,000m in which a battle royal between U.S.A.C. clubmates, Aidan Shannon and Myles Hewlett, saw Aidan shading it in a sprint finish. Both boys looked very impressive and both will be hoping to make an impact at Leinster level.
Claragh Keane (D.M.P.) was a class apart in the girls' Under-14 race. Running with her trademark efficient metronomical style, she made light of what was a deceptively demanding course.
Róisín O'Reilly, with her easy lopping stride, was no less impressive in how she won the Under-16 race.
In the boys' Under-16 4,000m, Joe Byrne of S.B.R. left it until the second of three laps before stamping his authority on the field and galloping to a facile victory. When it comes to the country Joe is king!
The girls' Under-18 4,000m race was not unlike one of those bicycle races on the velodrome - start slow, keep it slow for as long as possible, then launch a blistering final kick to the line. This is exactly what Kate Byrne (U.S.A.C.) did to leave her fellow Strider, Rebecca Bawden, in her wake.
In the Novice ladies' 3,000m race, Kilmore's Fidelma Rossiter broke away from a well strung-out field on the final lap and stormed home for a convincing victory.
With three athletes fighting for the final two podium spaces, the Striders pairing of Sonya Byrne and Ailish Browne came out on top to take second and third respectively. Slaney Olympic took the team title, by just three points, from United Striders.
The boys' Under-18 race was run, with the Novice men, over 6,000m. Aedan Rogers (U.S.A.C.), competing at Under-18, took it up from the start and stretched his lead right to the finish. He was followed home by clubmate James Boland and Edward Kinsella (S.B.R.).
Completing a good day for U.S.A.C. was Alan O'Connor who took the county Novice title, with team-mates Brendan Lyng and Mark Poole taking second and third spots. Not surprisingly the club took the team title also.
Next up, on Sunday, October 15, are the Juvenile unevens and Senior championships which are hosted by S.B.R. in Ferns. Juvenile events commence at 12 noon (with the Under-9 non-championship race starting at 11.50 a.m.). The Senior ladies' race has a start time of 2 p.m. (and not before!).
The programme: Under-11 boys' and girls' 1,500m; Under-13 boys' and girls' 2,500m; Under-15 boys' and girls' 3,500m; Under-17 girls' 4,000m; Under-17 boys' 5,000m; Under-19 girls' 4,000m; Under-19 boys' 5,000m; Senior ladies' 5,000m; Senior men's 10,000m.
Juvenile even ages and Novice results - boys' Under-10: 1, Cian O'Donovan (Menapians); 2, Oisín Larkin (Enniscorthy A.C.); 3, Elijah Page-Redmond (St. Paul's).
Girls' Under-10: 1, Éabha Keane (D.M.P.); 2, Laura Thompson (Kilmore); 3, Emma McCarthy (St. Killian's).
Girls' Under-12 2,000m: 1, Gráinne English (Adamstown); 2, Layla Stafford (D.M.P.); 3, Katie Doyle (Bree).
Teams: 1, DMP (13); 2, Kilmore (24); 3, D.M.P. 'B' (41).
Boys' Under-12 2000m: 1, Conn Mernagh (D.M.P.); 2, Kevin O'Mahoney (D.M.P.); 3, Rob Sterling (St. Paul's).
Teams: 1, D.M.P. (10); 2, U.S.A.C. (25); 3, Adamstown (30).
Girls' Under-14 3,000m: 1, Claragh Keane (D.M.P.); 2, Aoibhinn Mernagh (D.M.P.); 3, Eimear Fortune (Kilmore).
Teams: 1, D.M.P. (16); 2, Kilmore (23); 3, S.B.R. (25).
Boys' Under-14 3,000m: 1, Aidan Shannon (U.S.A.C.); 2, Myles Hewlett (U.S.A.C.); 3, Darragh Flannelly (U.S.A.C.).
Teams: 1, U.S.A.C. (6); 2, U.S.A.C. 'B' (19); 3, Adamstown (30).
Girls' Under-16 4,000m: 1, Róisín O'Reilly (Menapians); 2, Aoibhinn Crean (Adamstown); 3, Clodagh Foran (U.S.A.C.).
Teams: 1, U.S.A.C.
Boys' Under-16 4,000m: 1, Joe Byrne (S.B.R.); 2, Cathal Dowd (D.M.P.); 3, Conor Keane (D.M.P.).
Teams: 1, D.M.P. (12); 2, U.S.A.C.
Girls' Under-18 4,000m: 1, Kate Murphy (U.S.A.C.); 2, Rebecca Bawden (U.S.A.C.); 3, Alannah Byrne (U.S.A.C.).
Boys' Under-18 6,000m: 1, Aedan Rogers (U.S.A.C.); 2, James Boland (U.S.A.C.); 3, Edward Kinsella (S.B.R.).
Novice ladies' 3,000m: 1, Fidelma Rossiter (Kilmore); 2, Sonya Byrne (U.S.A.C.); 3, Ailish Browne (U.S.A.C.).
Teams: 1, Slaney Olympic (34); 2, U.S.A.C. (37); 3, S.B.R. (45).
Novice men's 6,000m: 1, Alan O'Connor (U.S.A.C.); 2, Brendan Lyng (U.S.A.C.); 3, Mark Poole (U.S.A.C.).
Teams: 1, U.S.A.C. (19); 2, Slaney Olympic (37); 3, Croghan A.C. (52).