|The second stage of the Cork juvenile cross country championships were held at Macroom today. Much favourable comment was made about the course, on land owned by Sean O’Lionaird. Sean himself ran in the mens race, while his son Ciaran ran in the under 13 race for the West Muskerry club. Ciaran had a tough battle with Shane Cotter of Glenbower but had enough in reserve to win handily in the end. Training over the course most days definitely has it’s advantages! There were certainly a lot of talented youngsters in action at Macroom, and a whole lot of others who will shine in the not so distant future. At under 15 level Damien Dunlea of Leevale had a good win from Timmy O’Donoghue of Glenbower, while Joyce Curtin had ‘miles’ to spare when winning the girls under 15 race. Dunlea headed the field from the start with Keith Linehan also in contention. But there was no stopping the Leevale youth who keeps race fit through his boxing skills. Aaron Kearney, John Shine, and Richard O’Connor combined well to give Leevale the team title. Top photo shows (from L-to-R) Aaron, John, Keith, Richard, and Damian.
In the girls under 17 race Niamh Walsh was an impressive winner from Edel Murphy of Ballincollig. Going out the final lap of the boy’s under 17 race, the lead group was down to three, with Tadgh O’Callaghan of Togher, Jamie McCarthy of Riverstick and Thomas Maunsell of Leevale battling it out. O’Callaghan was first to yield. The other pair were locked together for the remainder of the race until Maunsell sprinted with half a lap to go. He then turned into the finish straight instead of going out the country one last time. McCarthy responded by sprinting past him and crossed the finish line first. The rest of the runners followed, so officials eventually allowed the result to stand. McCarthy is proving to be one of the most talented runners in the county, while Maunsell has improved immensely in the past few months. Mark Hanrahan was fifth, followed by Sean Casey, Alan McGrath and Alan Sexton to ensure Leevale won the team contest. (Bottom photo).