Correction 16 Jan - Results amended by Leinster - u/14 boys 1st & 3rd
The Leinster Junior and Senior Cross Country and Juvenile Cross Country Relays in Kilmacow,
Co. Kilkenny on Sunday 15th January gave our underage athletes another opportunity to show why Mullingar Harriers won best
Club and best County in underage cross country at the recent Leinster Star Awards for 2011, as they won medals in five of
the six relays and the junior men and women teams won Club and County medals.
The day was cold but dry and sunny, making it ideal for athletes and spectators, and underfoot conditions were perfect.
First on the programme were the juvenile relays where we fielded two or three teams in some age groups, showing the depth
of talent the Club currently enjoys.
We had three teams
in the 4x250m for girls under 12 but despite terrific effort by Aoife Darby,
Maolíosa Ní Léannacháin, Megan McNamee,
Caoimhe Gaffney, Elysia Greene, Jennifer Fidgeon,
Susan Glennon, Sarah Moloney, Andrea Brady,
Caitriona Kennedy and Daria Fidgeon, our teams were unlucky to finish
out of the medal places. It was great to see so many young Mullingar girls in action in the one race, the biggest number from
one Club by far and many of these girls are underage again next year.
Just the one team in the 4x250m for boys u/12, but what a team! Enda Gaffney
got the team off to a great start, handing over to Jack Moran who quickly took the team into
second place and chased the leader all the way to the second handover. John Whitelaw continued
the chase and began to close the gap on the leader. Handing over to Conor McHugh for the final
leg, the gap to the leader looked too big but Conor was unfazed and took off after the leader to try and close the gap but
despite a brilliant run and closing the gap considerably, the lead proved too big in the end and the team finished second
to win the first medals of the day for Mullingar. Rather than just stand and watch the race, substitute Adam
Bate ran along with the first leg runners and was delighted to join his Club mates on the medal podium.
The medals continued with the 4x500m for girls u/14
where Niamh Quinn, Alanna Bate, Laura Whitelaw
and Claire Fagan combined well to take bronze, followed home closely by our
second team of Rachel Glennon, Ellen Cronin, Dorothy
Bane and Lucy Langley battled all the way but finished just of the medals places.
No surprise that first gold of the day for Mullingar came in the 4x500m
for boys u/14 where Declan Brady, Michael Moran and Shane Hughes kept the team right on the heels of the leaders and on the final leg, Patrick
Shaw unleashed his customary sprint finish to take the lead with 200m to go and pulled steadily clear to win
well. Our second team of Adam Loughrey, Senan Lynam, Niall
Brady and Eoghan Gallagher also ran extremely well and kept right in contention for a
medal throughout but were just run out in the finish to place fourth, just out of the medal places. Results were subsequently revised and our second team was awarded the bronze
Taking the lead from the start, Victoria
Harris looked very comfortable in the opening 500m of the 4x500m for girls u/16 and pulled clear to
hand over a good lead to Linda Conroy. Linda increased the lead further and handed over to Aisling Moody who consolidated the team in pole position before handing over the Caoimhe
Shaw with a commanding lead. Despite the big lead, Caoimhe took no chances and stormed around the 500m to win
by a very big margin. Meanwhile, Lorna Moody, Edel Glennon, Faye Walsh and Yvonne Malone were also running very well and though they
looked like they might take bronze, were very unlucky to finish in fourth, just out of the medals but top
marks for effort and team work.
The final relay,
the 4x500m for boys u/16 saw two Mullingar teams in action. Mervyn Harris took
the early lead with a very powerful run, passing over to Glen Gaffney who increased the lead
further. Any hope the opposition had of getting back on terms was destroyed by Padraig Moran
who tore around the track, passing over to Liam O’Reilly well ahead. Liam romped home to
give Mullingar a convincing win and the third relay gold medal of the day. Great credit to our second team
of Dean Murphy, Wayne Murphy, Jake Galvin
and Oisin Quinn, who despite really battling throughout the race, finished out of the medals.
On to the Junior Women 4,000m where Lorraine
Daly was first to finish for Mullingar with an excellent 6th place finish, and with great support from Elizabeth
Carr in 8th, Ciara Hewson really showing a significant improvement in form in 10th, Lorna Moody in 11th, Lorraine Claffey, Edel Glennon,
Yvonne Malone and Anna Ryan packing well, the girls were delighted
to take gold for 1st Club and silver for 2nd County.
Patrick Fagan looked comfortable and relaxed as he settled into second place early in
the Junior Men 6,000m and it was only in the closing stages of the final lap that he had to surrender the
silver medal place but was still pleased to finish 3rd and earn a Leinster individual junior medal. With
terrific support running from Padraig Moran (8th), Stephen Nea (10th)
and Ryan Blundell providing the vital fourth score, the team finished 2nd Club,
beaten by only 5 points. Packing well at the finish Jonathan Daly, Eoghan
Lynam, Jack Galvin and Liam O’Reilly secured the gold
medals for 1st County.
The final race
of the day with a Mullingar interest saw Breda Daly compete in the Senior Women 5,000m
where she finished strongly with a good placing and was very pleased to have made the long trip to Kilmacow.
The medal haul in Kilmacow was impressive,
but more important was the strength in depth shown in all the age groups and our juvenile athletes can now look forward with
confidence to competing indoors in the coming weeks. It was great to see all our young athletes and the many parents who travelled
in support show great Club spirit by staying for all the races last Sunday and providing terrific vocal support and encouragement.
Well done too to St. Senan’s AC for providing a great fixture with a very well laid out course and excellent facilities
in the local hall.