The Munster Juvenile Even Ages Cross Country Championships, as well as the Novice and U23 events, were held yesterday on a picturesque course at Carrigadrohid. The course was tough but fair and the day was well organised by the host club, West Muskerry AC.
There was a big step up in standard from the County Championships for the juvenile athletes, but there were some good performances from the Leevale contingent. There was only one Leevale athlete in each of the U10 races, Kaitlyn Coffey in the girls’ event, and Spencer Keaty in the boys’. Kaitlyn had a battling run to finish well up the field in 22nd position, with Spencer 72nd in a large field in the boys’ race. We had two competitors in the boys U12 race, and both acquitted themselves very well. Timmie Hennessy had another great run following his 5th in the countys last week, finishing in 23rd overall, with James Mintern not far back in 44th.
Louise Shanahan was the sole Leevale competitor in the girls U14 race, and had another gutsy performance in finishing 9th over a tough 3K distance. In the boys’ event, David Fox and Dara Curran ran together for much of the race, and there wasn’t much to separate them in the end, in 28th and 30th positions.
Leevale took 4th position in the girls U16 team event, Aisling Hanrahan the team’s first finisher in 31st. Also scoring for the team were Sophie Collins, Denise Hallahan and Kate Henry. In the girls U18, Melanie Hyde and Una Buckley finished in 24th and 26th positions.
There was a good Leevale turnout in the Novice and U23 events. In the women’s event, newcomer Carol Finn was the first Leevale athlete home, taking 10th in the Novice event and 5th U23. Another newcomer, Amy Wolfe, ran a very strong race for 19th in the Novice race. Aisling Gould and Ciara Mangan completed the Leevale four.
An impressive total of 9 Leevale athletes, some competing for UCC, started in a strong men’s event. Barry Donovan, competing for UCC, had another very strong run, finishing 6th in the Novice event, and taking gold in the U23 category. Next Leevale man home was triathlete Mark Nolan, another newcomer to the club, who ran a very consistent race throughout to take 12th in the Novice. Chris Harrington and Donal Coffey also finished well up the field in 16th and 18th. George Boyle, running for UCC, Dave Comber, John Hallahan, Stephen Walter, and Dave McEvoy were the other Leevale athletes who competed. Only 9 points separated 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places in the Novice team competition, and the Leevale team were unfortunate to miss out on medals in 4th.