The benefits of Donie Walsh’s training regime were clearly evident at the County Senior and Junior Cross Country Championships, held in blustery conditions at Clonakilty Showgrounds today. The highlights included an emphatic win for Ryan Creech in the Junior Men’s race, a hard-fought win for Lizzie Lee in the Senior Women’s, and 2nd placings for both men’s and women’s senior teams. Mark Hanrahan also had a convincing victory in the Senior Men’s event, to make it a superb 3 individual victories from 4 events overall.
Ryan Creech is in flying form at the moment and led from gun to tape in the Junior Men’s race. Not even some confusion over the course of the first lap was enough to slow him down as he romped away for a victory that was never in any doubt.
Lizzie Lee has been unstoppable so far this cross country season, and she looked to continue her run of victories today. Early on it looked as though she would pull away for a straightforward win as she opened up a good early lead. However, Rhona Lynch of Eagle gradually reeled her in over the second half of the race and was in close attendance going into the last lap. The Leevale athlete battled on valiantly though, and maintained a 10m lead going into the final straight to allow her just hold off her challenger. Carmel Parnell in 4th also had a great race, and along with Jessica Vonhatten (8th), Rosaleen McKeown (11th), and Aisling Gould, helped Leevale to a 2nd placing overall, unlucky to be beaten by just two points by Eagle.
In the Senior Men’s race, Mark Hanrahan and Seán McGrath (East Cork) broke away early on, and had a great battle for 4 of the 5 laps of the 10000m race. Mark always looked to have the edge, however, and pulled away strongly for victory over the last lap. Barry Donovan, John Shine, and James Grufferty were together for much of the race and Barry proved the strongest in the end, leading the trio home for 9th, 10th, and 12th placings. It was a great team performance from the Leevale lads, but unfortunately not enough to take the team title from East Cork.
Senior Women’s Team Result
|1||Eagle||2, 5, 6, 9||22|
|2||Leevale||1, 4, 8, 11||24|
|3||Bandon||3, 7, 16, 18||44|
Senior Men’s Team Result
|1||East Cork||2, 3, 7, 11||23|
|2||Leevale||1, 9, 10, 12||32|
|3||Togher||4, 5, 11, 15||38|