North Leitrim AC's Sarah Brady was the county's only medalist at the Connacht Even Ages Cross-country Championships in Calry last Sunday with five other athletes qualifying for the National Championships.
On an excellent day for cross-country on a superb course, there were also some very strong performances from Ryan Owen, Deirdre Martin, Ken Kennedy and Suzanne O'Beirne in the adult races.
With the entire event being organised and hosted by the Leitrim Athletics Board, the event was a wonderful success and organisers would like to pay tribute to the 31 volunteers from clubs around the county who worked so hard to make the success.
Sarah Brady was the top performer as she claimed third place in the U18 Girls race over 4,000m with Carrick AC's Lauren Reynolds also qualifying with a sixth place finish. It was a strong run for Sarah on a demanding course.
Deirdre Martin made her first ever adult cross-country appearance a successful one as she finished second Novice and 10th overall in the Women's race with North Leitrim's Susanne O'Beirne 5th Masters and 14th overall. Her teammates Caroline Rooney, Janis Dolan and Sinead Keogh Finnegan finished 14th, 15 & 16th.
The Kennedy clan had a busy day in Calry with Declan finished seventh in the U14 Boys race with his twin Patrick also qualifying for the All-Irelands in the last qualifying spot in 12th. Completing the day, their father Ken then finished an excellent fourth Master in a very high quality Adult Men's race.
Also in that race was North Leitrim's Ryan Owen who delivered a very strong run to finish tenth overall and sixth in the Senior men's event, a superb performance against some excellent runners.
His North Leitrim clubmate Ciaran Clancy defied the conditions to run barefoot and finish 4th in the Novice Class and 26th overall in a field that featured 43 finishers.
Next highest Leitrim club finisher was debutant Clara Doherty who finished a superb 13th and just missed out on qualifying for the All-Irelands by one place. What made the Carrick AC runner's performance all the more noteworthy was the fact that she competed a year out of her age group and will run the U13s next Sunday in Ballina, Co Mayo.
North Leitrim's Darragh Mitchell and Carrick AC's Cian McKiernan both also qualified in the U18 boys race with Darragh finished 9th and Cian 11th.
Leitrim had a strong contingent in action in the U12 Boys race where Ballinamore's Niall Ahern led them home in 26th place with Carrick AC's Riaghan Guckian close behind in 31st. Then came a rush of athletes with Keefe Dolan 33rd, Oran Butler (36th), Mark Hazlette (37th), Hugh McGovern (38th), Kyle Lannon (39th), Eli Regan (52nd), Solomon Glesson (61st) and Jamie Brady (66th).
Carrick AC boys finished fifth in the team race with North Leitrim eighth while Leitrim finished fourth in the Inter county race.
The U12 Girls race saw Sarah Niamey Kelly lead home her North Leitrim AC teammates in 17th place with his sister Karen 26th, Beth Hodson 51st and Mia Connolly 70th as their team finished seventh.
The second part of the Connacht Juvenile Cross-country takes place next Sunday, November 10, at 12 noon in Belleek Park in Ballina.