Happy New Year

As always, Washington State High School athletes were welcome guests on New Year’s Day.  Unfortunately there was a disappointing turn-out by Cork athletes, and those who decided not to run missed out on an excellent international experience.  After the continuous downpour of New Year’s Eve the course at Midleton CBS was in great condition – just one stretch of mud that just made things a little more interesting.
Ciaran O’Lionaird and John Shine dominated the junior men’s race.  Ciaran took control after 1,500m and was never threatened after that.  John was involved in a good tussle with Kevin O’Brien and Riley Eoff until breaking away with just over 2,000m remaining for a good second place finish behind Ciaran.
The junior women’s race was dominated by Team Washington who had the first six places at one stage.  However, Orla Farmer from Midleton spoiled the party by making steady progress to finish second.  Team Washington won both team contests.
Just before Christmas Ciaran was in fine form at the All Ireland cross country championships in Athlone.  He took it easy for the first 2k of the under 18 race but then injected a change of pace that saw him ease clear of the field to win impressively.
A couple of weeks earlier he was eight in the national junior inter county championships in Sligo after leading for the first 2,000,  John also ran here but a leg injury saw him drift back after a good start.  Another who was off form that day was Mark Hanrahan who dropped out of the senior race after leading in the early stages.
The indoor season got under way with the Irish Universities championships in Nenagh.  A big disappointment was the shortage of competitors from both UCC and CIT compared with previous years.  Ailis McSweeney, competing for DCU, showed excellent form by winning both the 60m and 200m and should again have a good season.  There was good news for her when the qualifying standards for the World indoor championships in Moscow were announced as her best time for the 60m qualifies her.  Derval O’Rourke also has the qualifying standard so Leevale will have at least two competing there.
Also in Nenagh Claire McSweeney, who is also in DCU, was third in the 400m; Jennifer Goggin, UCC, 4th in the 3,000m; Deirdre Murphy, UCC, 2nd in the shot and 2nd in the 8k WD; Carl McNamara, CIT, 2nd in the 200m; Greg O’Leary, DCU, third in the 200m; and Robert Baer, UL, 8th in the 1,500m.
Road races over the Christmas saw Mark Hanrahan dominate the Dick Copithorne Memorial road race in Belgooly on St. Stephen’s Day.  He covered the four mile circuit in 19:25, seven seconds ahead of Alan O’Shea from Bantry.  Alan Triggs, home from Stockholm, was 12th and Padraig O’Dubhgain 23rd.  Carmel Parnell was second in the women’s race behind winner Una English from DCH, while the evergreen John O’Leary was second in the over 60 section.
Bernard Twomey was 10th in the Bandon 5 mile road race on New Year’s Day, and John O’Leary won the over 60 category.

Washington State Meet Photos   
Results. 1. C. O’Lionaird Leevale 15:19; 2. J. Shine Leevale 15:44; 3. K. O’Brien, Midleton CBS 15:57; 4. R. Eoff, WS 16:00; 5. D. Casseria, WS 16:17; 6. J. Fitzgerald, Mid CBS 16:32; 7. T. Noland, WS 16:50; 8. P. O’Neill, Mid CBS 16:59; 9. K. Joyce, WS 17:18; 10. M. Elias, WS 17:43; 11. S. Coffey, Togher 18:14; 12. J. Allen, WS 18:29; 13. N. Griffin, Glenbower 18:45; 14. K. O’Leary, Mid CBS 19:05; 15. D. Harpur Mid CBS 19:46; 16. C. McCarthy Mid CBS 19:55; 17. L. Higgins.
1. C. VanDerBlake, WS 10:58; 2. O. Farmer, Cork 11:16; 3. H. Camden, WS 11:30; 4. L. Cushing, WS 11:37; 5. M. McCluskey, WS 11:46; 6. H. O’Moore, WS 12:02; 7. C. Ramerez, WS 12:04; 8. R. Yorkston, WS 12:06; 9. L. Berkseth, WS 12:06; 10. N. O’Regan, Cork 12:32; 11. E. O’Connell, Cork 12:38; 12S. Dahlstrom, WS 12:40; 13. E. O’Neill, Cork 12:53.