Mohill Community College’s Dearbhaile Beirne was the top Leitrim finisher at last Wednesday’s Aviva Connacht Schools Cross-country Championships in Calry as five individuals and one team from the county qualified for the All-Ireland Championships in Belfast next month.
Held on a dry and sunny day, the Calry course nevertheless was quite heavy and hilly in places and proved a tough test for many athletes but Dearbhaile Beirne rose to the challenge to be Leitrim’s only individual medal on the day, with Joanna Duignan of Carrick-on-Shannon Community School just missing out with a fourth place in the Inter Girls.
Dearbhaile got out strongly at the start of the Junior Girls race and chased the impressive Shannon Lee of Athenry. This took her away from a group including Carrick CS’s Elise Bruen and Dara Morahan. The Mohill runner showed great strength to overcome Caolinn McGonigle who had defeated her in the North Connachts to take a clear second place.
Elise Bruen overcome a mid-race tough patch to finish strongly for seventh place while Dara Morahan also produced a big finish to end up just outside the qualifying places in 16th place. Mohill Community College’s Dearbhaile Beirne finished second in the Junior Girls race won by Presentation Athenry runner Shannon Lee. Mohill CC’s team finished just outside the medals with Beirne, Lily Crossley (25), Emma Quinn (44) and Heather Maxwell (50) seeing them finish 4th.
There was a team medal for Leitrim as Carrick CS’s Minor Girls team of Sara Crowe (12), Kasey Bruen (16), Tara Duggan (48) and Megan Butler (70) secured third position behind the two Athlone schools, Athlone Community College (48) and our Lady’s Bower (75) with a team score of 76 points as Ballinamore PPS’s Breege McGovern finished 66th.
Both Crowe and Bruen were outside the top 20 in the early stages but produced very strong last laps to finish well up the field.
Carrick CS’s Joanna Duignan and Ballinamore PPS’s Eilish O’Dowd were well up in the early stages of the Inter Girls race and Duignan showed great strength to come through well to take 4th while O’Dowd finished 12th. Ballinamore’s team of O’Dowd, Grainne Griffin (30) and Clara Leguen (34) finished sixth.
Mohill’s Michelle Beirne was another qualifier, finishing 13th in the Senior Girls race while Carrick AC member Shane Comer, running for Abbey College Boyle, finished 14th to make the All-Ireland lists.
Unlucky to miss out on a top 15 qualifier place, however, were Carrick’s Shaun Chandler (Minor) and Ballinamore’s Jack Gilheaney (Junior) who both finished 16th in their races while other Ballinamore placings were Riordan O’Rourke (19) & Sean Keegan (30) in the Junior Boys, Oisin McLoughin 33rd in the Minor Boys while Ryan O’Rourke was 19th in the Inter Boys race.
Carrick-on-Shannon Community School minor boys finished 9th on 192 points behind Rice College Westport and the Carrick positions were Brian Finn (48), Caillin Smith (64), Arjan Patresco (74), Colin O Donnell (87), Shane Finn (94) and Shane Finn (95).
Big day in Athlone on Sunday
There is great demand among athletes to sample the atmosphere and run on the fast Mondo track at the new International Indoor Arena in Athlone. Leitrim athletes will get their chance next Sunday when the first Connacht juvenile Championship will be held there, commencing at 10 am. It is estimated that there will be a record entry in the Championships which are for Under 12 upwards and that the day will provide a memorable experience for all regardless of the results.
Primary Schools Sportshall
The North Leitrim Primary Schools semi finals took place in St Clare’s Sports Hall on Wednesday of last week. The winning schools were- 3/4th Class Girls- Drumkeerin Central, 3/4th Class Boys- St Clare’s, 5/6th Class Girls- Four Masters, Kinlough, 5/6th Class Boys- Four Masters, Kinlough. The qualifiers from North Leitrim will take part in the County Finals in Ballinamore Sports Hall on Thursday March 7. The South Leitrim semi final takes place in Ballinamore on Friday next (1st) at 10.00 am.
Mohill & District AC
Connacht Schools Cross Country: Well done to our club athletes who competed in the Connaught Secondary Schools Cross Country which were held in Calry on Wednesday last. Dearbhaile Beirne came 2nd in the junior girls 2000m and qualified for the All-Irelands as did her sister Michelle who came 13th in the Senior Girls 2k. Aisling McNabola competed in the inter girls 3000m but was unfortunate not to qualify. Due to injury Keith Beirne was unable to take part as he had taken 6th place in the North Connachts.
Connacht Indoors: A number of Club Athletes are competing in the Indoors in Athlone AIT on Sunday next. This will be quite an experience for our young athletes to compete in this new indoor state of the art facility so good luck to all. Club Training: continues on Monday 6 - 7pm and Friday 4.30 - 5.30 at GAA Grounds. The adult running club meet at Marian College Tuesday and Thursday evenings 8.30, see Facebook page for details.
The Club have a big day ahead next Sunday, March 3, with the Bradley Carrick 10Km and the Western Region Juvenile Indoors in Athlone on the same day. Best of luck to Chris Callaghan and Graham Allen and their team of workers who are organising the fifth edition of what is an extremely popular and well organised event. Anyone who is interested in helping out with stewarding or at the registration are urged to contact either Graham, Chris or John Connolly as every bit of help would be appreciated.
On Sunday, the club’s juveniles are off to Athlone for the first Western Region Indoors on the fantastic new International arena. We’ve had two training sessions in Athlone already and it is a fantastic facility. And again, anyone willing to help out on the day in Athlone, contact John Connolly as we have 35 athletes competing from U-12 to U-19. Details of transport at training during the week.
Training continues as normal on Tuesday from 6 to 7 pm for the 7, 8 & 9 year olds and from 7 to 8 pm for 10, 11 & 12 year old Primary School children. The Post Primary group meet at the Complex on Tuesday at 7 pm with an indoor circuits session on Wednesday at 7 pm.