Report on Under 11’s & U13’s Clare Juvenile Uneven Age Cross Country Meet
Cooraclare, October 9th 2016
A beautiful, warm, calm day greeted athletes on the second weekend of the cross country season. The venue was equally as impressive; the purpose built West Clare Sports and Fitness cross country track was in perfect condition.
Like all of the races, the Under 11 girls started at a frantic pace, the downhill slope leading into a sharp left turn followed by 2km of undulating course. Lucy Power and Mollie Pike started strongly but were eventually pegged back, finishing in a superb 2nd & 5th place respectively. In contrast Riona Healy started cautiously and finished strongly, picking off a number of places to sprint home in 8th place. The team gold was secured by Tori Deasy finishing in tenth to give the club a fantastic score of just 25 points. Special mention should be made to the rest of the team, many running out of age who performed so strongly; Nicole Keane with her first run of the season in a great 16th place, Esther Olaoye following up last week’s strong performance to take 22nd, Grace Rynne on only her second ever club cross country race in 27th and Tara Carey (30th). The rest of the huge Ennis track field was made up by Clodagh Carey, Emma Moloney, Amy Ryan, Ella Deasy, Ciara Frawley, Mary Ellen Murphy & Grace McGloin all who held their own against older athletes.
The boys took off at a similar pace, inspired by the girls before them and brought home gold with Ben O’Halloran surging home to take first followed by his team mates Leo Johnston (8th), Cillian Hayes (14th) & Joe Mannion (15th). Eoin Ryan gave the club a 5th athlete in top 20 with a 20th place finish. Harry Doherty (26th), Riain Hickey (30th), Evan Casey (35th), David Cahill (56th) & Oisin O’Donoghue (58th) made up the rest of a strong Ennis Track Field.
A small group of just 6 club athletes lined out for the under 13 girls, however this didn’t stop them bringing home yet another gold double with Neasa Ni Ainifein leading from start to finish and winning comfortably by over 100 metres. She was followed home by Aoife Anderson who at one stage was 2nd but settled for a very impressive 4th place. Avril Lillis put in another fine performance finishing 8th for a second successive week but more impressively beating many older athletes in the process. The team win was wrapped up by Neasa Ni Lachtnain who raced home in a great 16th place followed closely by Alma Griffin and Hannah Morrissey.
The boys under 13s had a hard act to follow but they did so with aplomb. Colin Ryan on his first outing this season had an epic battle with Niall Murphy of St. Cronans eventually succumbing by a small margin to take a brilliant 2nd. He was followed home by 4 club athletes in quick succession all competing out of age, Thomas McGuire (6th), Cian O’Dell (8th), Eoin Lahiffe (12th), and Daire Connelly (17th). There were strong finishes too from Cormac Maher (28th), William Bello (29th) and Samuel Olayoe in (33rd). Special mention to Luke Ahern in his first cross country for a number of years for battling hard and finishing strongly.
Another hugely successful day for the club with all attention now heading towards the Munsters! Well done all athletes, coaches and parents!