High winds can’t stop talent at Rock races

50km per hour winds and a mid event downpour were not sufficient to deter the great horde of local athletes which amassed at Geraldines GFC in Haggardstown on Sunday January 27 for the Annual Blackrock AC cross country races.

50km per hour winds and a mid event downpour were not sufficient to deter the great horde of local athletes which amassed at Geraldines GFC in Haggardstown on Sunday January 27 for the Annual Blackrock AC cross country races.

In hock deep mud, these intrepid juvenile athletes demonstrated their prowess on what proved to be a very challenging cross country course, which became ever more daunting as the day wore on.

The afternoon started with the U9s Girls race. This was a hard fought race which saw Ardee bring home gold and silver in the form of Ruth Gillespie and Ava McNally respectively. Bronze was brought home to the host club by Aibhlis Todd for Blackrock whose colleagues Sophie McArdle and Nicola McElroy ran Trojan races in behind to ensure team gold for Blackrock.

The boys U9 saw a greater spread of medals across the clubs represented on the day, with Oisin Cheshire fighting off stiff opposition to bring home gold for Dunleer. Silver went to Pearse Dunne of Dunshaughlin, while James McBride secured bronze for Glenmore. Blackrock took the team bronze with Leo McRuairi, Cian Farrelly, Senan McCarthy and wee Cathal Fee all in fine form.

The younger athletes then took their places for a very busy U7s field. Mountpleasant took home the gold in the Girls’ race in the form of Dearbhla Quinn, followed very closely by Deirdre Brennan who took silver, and Eimear Treanor who took bronze.

The Boys U7 was won by Dara Osbourne, bringing home the first medal of the day for Ardee. Carrick Aces also got their first medal of the day in this race thanks to Cillian Fox, with Conn Bonner bringing bronze glory to Dunleer.

Girls U11 saw the pride of Blackrock, Neasa Reilly, run a magnificent race to bring home gold. Silver and bronze went to Glenmore in the form of Ann McArdle and Alice Ferguson respectively. In a large field, Blackrock’s Aoife O’Brien ran a marvellous fifth, ahead of club-mates Maebh and Eimear Fee, Caoilfhionn McCarthy, Leah McArdle, Eve Brosnan and Sorcha McElroy. This earned Blackrock the team silver.

The Boys U11 was a very busy field navigated expertly by Oran Hamilton to bring gold for Three Ways. Jack Carolan took silver for Boyne, while Callan McDonagh took bronze for Burren. Blackrock’s Jonah Power, Aaron Spaight, beach races winner, Cillian Duffy and Luke Johnson took team bronze.

The next race was the Girls U13 with a long 1500m stretch seeing Abby Sheridan peel away to take gold for Ardee. Silver went to Ciara Quinn of Glenmore. Blackrock’s Ava Kiernan ran a stellar race to fight off her team mate Kelly Breen for Bronze with Penny Morris breathing down their necks ahead of strong finishing youngsters Ciara O’Hanlon, Sara Morgan and Niamh Cunningham. This brought team silver to Blackrock.

The Boys U13 saw Dunleer in terrific form, bringing gold to Conor Matthews and bronze to Peter Meegan. Harry Dunne tucked between them to secure silver for Dunshaughlin with Blackrock’s Declan Curtin running a big race ahead of hard battling Donncha Hughes and sprint finishing Cameron Duffy.

The Girls U15 had a full 2000m to cover with was no bother to Shauna Campbell who took gold to Dunleer, with Eva Cummins bringing silver to Boyne and Shauna Kerley snatching bronze for Carrick Aces. Katie Todd ran other magnificent race for Blackrock back in fourth with Grace Brosnan having a good warm up before next week’s Leinster sprint relays.

The Boys U15 was expertly won by Tadhg Leahy for Glenmore with great runs from Ruarcan O’Gibne for Boyne in second place, and St Brigids AC ensuring they featured in the medals with Shane Hanlon taking bronze. Blackrock’s Padraig Cunningham ran a fine race up in the van the whole way around to finish just out of the first three ahead to bag the team silver for Blackrock with Aidan Curtin and Oisin Hughes.

The Boys and Girls U17 and U19 groups ran a combined race over what by this stage had become a very gruelling 2500m course. The Girls’ U17 was nimbly won by Annabelle Morris, securing another gold for the host club Blackrock. Sarah Doran took silver for Three Ways and Blackrock’s own Eimear Curtin took bronze.

The Boys U17 allowed Oisin O’Gibne show great form taking gold for Boyne, while Glenmore secured silver and bronze in the form of Emmet Hughes and Eoin McDaid respectively.

Rebecca Carr took the U19s title for host club Blackrock, with the U19 Boys champion being Cormac Barry of Glenmore. Silver went to Jim Barry of Star of the Sea and Jordan Flood’s bronze ensured Dun Dealgan’s place in the medals.

A big thank you to the great turnout of spectators who braved the elements to cheer on the assembled athletes for what proved to be a great day out. And a big thank you to the Geraldines.

Scoil Ui Mhuiri 
students have a great day at DCU

The Scoil Uí Mhuirí Athletics team had a great outing at the North Leinster Cross Country Schools’ Championships in DCU last Wednesday week with teams competing in the U14 girls, U14 boys, U17 girls and U17 boys. There were also two boys in the U15 race.

With most of the boys and girls competing in their first schools’ cross country championships, they acquitted themselves very well with the Minor girls U14S unlucky in the team event with one of their team members sick on the day, but successful individually with Seoda Matthews finishing 8th out of 104 participants, and therefore qualifying for the Leinster Schools’ Championships in Santry in two weeks time.