Just two individual medal winners and two bronze medal winning Leitrim teams from a tough final day at the Connacht Uneven Ages Cross-country in Ballina last Sunday.
With rain and cold making a tough course even tougher, Declan Kennedy stormed to U13 gold with Ellie O'Rourke picking up silver in the U17 Girls race. Carrick's Riaghan Guckian was the only other top ten finisher with ninth in the U11 Boys race.
There were bronze medals in the inter-county races for Leitrim U11 and U15 boys.
Special thanks to Moy Valley Athletic Club in Ballina for the use of their photographs
Declan Kennedy claimed his second gold medal in a week when he won the U13 Boys race with his brother Patrick in eighth place. It is the second year in a row that Declan has won both age groups but he had a tough battle with Castlegar’s Gearoid King.
The twins both made the Connacht team with Patrick getting a little detached on a tough course.
Ballinamore’s new recruit Cathal Enright was next in 17th with Mark Ahern 21st. With Matthew Lee 41st and Colm McLoughlin 43rd, Leitrim again took third in the Inter-County race with Ballinamore, their team completed by Setanta Gleeson in 57th, taking fifth in the team race.
In the U17 Girls, Carrick’s Ellie O’Rourke hit top form as she finished second behind Westport’s Saoirse O’Brien in a much stronger run than the U16 age group a week before. North Leitrim’s Sarah Brady finished sixth in the race which was run with the U19 runners.
Riaghan Guckian of Carrick-on-Shannon AC led Leitrim to bronze medals in the U11 Boys Inter-county race as he finished a superb 11th to qualify for his first Connacht team. Ballinamore’s Niall Ahern was next across the line in 16th with Carrick’s Oran Butler, who suffered two unfortunate slips, in 20th place.
North Leitrim’s Keefe Dolan was next to finish in 38th place with clubmates Sean Brady 40th, Mark Hazlett 44th and Darragh McGowan 50th. That meant that Leitrim finished third in the team contest behind Mayo and Galway with Ballinamore eighth in the club race with 156 points.
In the U11 Girls race, North Leitrim’s Sarah Mulvaney Kelly was first home in 19th with her sister Karen 34th, Ballinamore’s Eppie McAllister 48th and North Leitrim’s Elizabeth Hodson and Mia Connolly 51st & 52nd as North Leitrim finished seventh in the team race with 156 points.
Carrick’s Emily Reynolds was the only Leitrim competitor in the U13 Girls race as she finished 34th while in the U15 event where Niamh Carolan was the first of two Leitrim finishers home in 14th place with Kirsty McHenry finishing 22nd.
North Leitrim’s Eugene Doherty finished 17th in the U17 Boys 5,000m race with his clubmates Aaron Bradshaw and Oisin Carolan 14th & 16th respectively.
In the Adult League races, Susanne O’Beirne was 19th overall and tenth Senior athlete across the line in the Women’s race while in the men’s, Ken Kennedy was seventh Over 40 in 16th overall with clubmate Michael Keane 28th overall.
In the overall results, Susanne finished fifth overall in the Senior ladies section while Michelle Lannon, who missed the race in Ballina to prepare for next weekend's British & Irish Masters Cross-country in Swansea, was seventh in the Masters Ladies section.
Athletes who qualified last Sunday will compete in the Athletics Ireland Uneven Age championships in Navan racecourse on Saturday, December 15, with the first of the National championships being hosted in Abbotstown at the National Sports Campus on Sunday November 25.
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