Mullingar Harriers Athletic Club

Leinster Cross Country 2017 - Day 3 (Adamstown)

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Mullingar teams reinforce their dominance at Leinster XC

The best way to summarise the results of the Leinster Senior and Juvenile Uneven Ages Cross Country Championships in Adamstown, Co. Wexford on Sunday 12th November, is to let the numbers speak for themselves. Nearly 100 juvenile athletes on 9 teams; 2 individual Leinster titles; 19 other top-12 finish places; 7 Club teams and 5 County teams won medals. All the numbers add up to one result – Mullingar Harriers is again acknowledged as the primary force in underage cross country in Leinster and we can look forward to some excellent results in the All-Ireland finals in the coming weeks. We also fielded a senior men team and they finished a very creditable 7th Club thanks to good team running and support.

Great compliments are due to Wexford Athletics, and the local Adamstown AC, for providing an excellent venue, constructing the course the day before in very testing wind and rain. The course held up remarkably well on the day, though got broken up in places and was sticky on some corners, but it was a proper cross country course and provided a tough but fair test for all competitors. The weather on the day was cool and windy by thankfully there was no rain.

The day began with non-Championship races for girls and boys under 9 years of age hosted by Wexford Athletics. Mullingar had runners in both and they ran really well and enjoyed the races, some winning medals into the bargain, so we still have youngsters coming through and we’ll see these girls and boys in the coming years racing in Championships proper.

In a change of format to previous years, the first Championship races were the u/19 girls and boys, as many are third level students and need to get home early in the day to travel back to University and College. The Mullingar team of Andrea Brady, Catriona Kennedy and Laura Shaw finished close together in the mid-teen places in the 4,000m for girls u/19, which was enough to place them 4th Club and book their places in the All-Ireland finals. We had just one runner in the 6,000m for boys u/19, Jamie Battle. He took the lead in the early stages and as the laps unfolded, he simply ran away from the opposition to win by a very big margin and set down clear intent for the European Junior Cross Country trials in two weeks time.

Getting their first taste of Leinster competition, the Mullingar and Westmeath team in the 1,500m for girls u/11 took it all in their stride, helped by a good warm up and reassuring words of advice and encouragement from parents and Club coaches before they took to the start line. Saoirse Sheridan took the early pace and set off as the girl to chase, keeping ahead for a long way but had to surrender the lead in the closing stages and by Morgan Corcoran led the Mullingar girls home in an excellent 5th place. Saoirse rallied well in the home straight and clinched the final individual medal place right on the line, crossing in 12th. There was great team support from Katie Kilmurray, Orla Manning, Lydia McDonnell, Orlaith Dolan (North Westmeath AC), Jayne Charles, Rose Macken, Muireann Donohue, Emma Boyle (Athlone IT), Aideen Langtry, Hannah Boyle, Quyen Bartley, Eileen Farrell, Síofra O’Reilly, Emily Farrell, Anna Geoghegan, Charlotte Butler-Clyne and Norah Garry. The girls finished 2nd Club but were unlucky to finish 5th County team, out of the medal places. Ellen Daly had warmed up but unfortunately, she was too ill to compete with the team. Mullingar absolutely dominated the 1,500m for boys u/11 from the start and Conor Liston led the team home, overtaking Jamie Wallace in the home straight to win the Leinster title, the Club’s second individual win of the day, with Jamie on his heels in 2nd place. Luke O’Leary stormed through to finish 4th, followed by James Flynn (8th), Matthew Molloy (9th), Criostoir Ormsby, Alex Lynch, Rory McDonnell, Niall Brady, Arthur Drummond, Sean Byrne, Hugo Sleator, Charlie Foy, Luke Greene, Ryan Bell and James Ryan. With five in the top twelve and the rest of the team packing well in support it was no surprise that the boys finished 1st Club and 1st County team.

Adele Geoghegan battled hard in the 2,500m for girls u/13 and her reward was a great 5th place for her efforts. Continuing to return to form after recent illness, Aimee Wallace placed 10th and with Caoimhe Kilmurray, Leah Geoghegan, Lucy Donnelly, Grace Byrne, Aisling Lane, Katie Boyle (Athlone IT), Sarah Fitzgerald (Athlone IT), Robyn Bates, Síofra O’Halloran, Adi Cronin, Jessica Cunningham, Eva Farrell and Shauna Traynor providing great team effort and support, the girls finished 1st Club and 4th County team. Fourth County still earns the team a place in the All-Ireland finals. We got in the medals again in the 2,500m for boys u/13 where Diarmuid Fagan and Ryan Jenkins stormed through to 5th and 6th place respectively, and with Callum Costello (10th) and Tadhg Sheridan just missing an individual medal in 13th place, it was gold for 1st Club. Philip McCartan, Ross Killalea, Adam Brady, John Ryan, Daire McDonald, Adam Smyth, Eoin McGrath, Matt O’Leary, Darragh Smith, Matthew Shaw, Shane Ormsby, Sonny Drummond, Conleth Mullen and Ben Bose provided great support to ensure the boys also finished 1st County team.

The medals continued to come Mullingar’s way in the 3,500m for girls u/15 thanks to Amy Geoghegan (6th), Bea Drummond (8th), Phoebe Bate (10th), Meabh Killalea, Karla Cunningham, Aoife McGouran, Meghan Bates and Francesca Walshe packing well to finish 1st Club and 2nd County team. Colin Smith (4th) and Sam Smyth (6th) battled hard for their individual medal places in the 3,500m for boys u/15. Great efforts by team mates Colin McGee, Mark Langtry and Kevin Martin saw the team finish 4th Club team to advance to the All-Ireland finals. Lorcan Mullen warmed up but still carrying remnants of a recent injury, he made the wise decision not to run and risk aggravating it again.

More team success followed in the 4,000m for girls u/17 where Aoife Darby (6th), Susan Glennon (9th), Lisa Gavin (Athlone IT), Sarah Glennon, Ciara Smith and Elysia Greene combined brilliantly and richly deserved their medals for 1st Club team and 3rd County team. The final underage race was the tough 5,000m for boys u/17 where Andrew Daly had the honour of leading the Mullingar team home in 7th place. Great support from Eoin Quinn, Oisin Lane, Andrew Shaw, Rian Hogan, Brain Martin, Paul McCool, Ciaran Luby, Ruairi Fagan and Callum Greene meant the team finished 2nd Club and 3rd County team.

We had no senior women but Mullingar fielded a team in the 10,000m for senior men. Five laps of a tough and by now slippery and mucky course made for hard work but Padraig Moran, Gerard Gavin, Ian McCormack and Hans de Raeymaeker worked hard and finished a very creditable 7th Club. Timmy Murphy suffered a flare up of a recent injury at the halfway point and wisely decided to stop and not risk further injury.

That rounded off a memorable day for the Club where Jamie Battle and Conor Liston won individual titles, another 19 won other top-12 finishers’ medals, the Club won 5 gold and 2 silver Club team medals, and Westmeath won 2 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze County team medals.

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