Carrick AC’s Declan Kennedy was the star performer at the Connacht Primary Schools Cross-country last Saturday in Loughrea as he crushed the field to win the Senior Boys race.
With driving rain and howling wind, the Provincial Finals turned into a real endurance test for the Primary School children with four athletes from Leitrim clubs coming home with individual medals and as it happened it was two sets of brothers.
There were also some strong performances in the Adult Cross-country League races from Leitrim athletes.
Declan Kennedy, running for Croghan NS in Roscommon, set the pace from the off and burnt off the field of 120 runners as he came home well clear of his pursuers. His brother Patrick and Ballinamore’s Mark Aherne both got caught up in the huge field on the first bend and found it hard to make their way through the big field.
Patrick would finish 10th with Mark 15th, both earning individual medals while the Kennedys teamed up with David Molloy (55th) and Ben O’Connor (72nd) to take second in the team race while the brothers also won bronze medals with the Roscommon county side.
Przemek Zaremba of St. Patrick’s Drumshanbo ran an excellent 37th while Oran Butler, underage next year, finished a strong 52nd for St. Joseph’s Leitrim Village. Matthew Lee of St. Brigid’s Drumcong finished 73rd with Cian Reynolds of Kilnagross turning in a solid showing in 77th.
Drumshanbo’s Oisin Molloy (88th), St. Joseph’s Riaghan Guckian (93rd) & Aodh Gavin (98th), Oran Foley of Drumshanbo (104th), Matthew Shivnan of Scoil Mhuire Carrick (105th), Harry Glancy of St. Joseph’s (106th), Scharhan Szajna of Drumshanbo (110th), Ben Clarke of St. Joseph’s and Evan gray of Drumshanbo (120th) completed the Leitrim finishers.
In the Junior boys, Niall Ahern of Scoil Chlann Naofa Ballinamore was an excellent 10th with Largy’s Sean Brady 52nd, Kevin McNamara of Fatima Cloone 63rd, Rian Walpole and John Macklin of St. Manchan’s Mohill 67th and 71st.
Solomon O Gliasain of Gaelscoil Liatroma finished 103rd with Scoil Mhuire’s Richie Gavican and Charlie Shivnan 105th and 107, Malachy Chilton of Gaelscoil Liatroma finished 114th. Leitrim finished sixth in the Inter-county race.
In the Junior Girls race, Sarah Mulvaney Kelly was the leading performer with the St. Clare’s Manorhamilton student finishing 34th with schoolmate Mia Connolly in 40th. Hannah McKeon of St. Patrick’s Drumshanbo finished 53rd with Katie Beck of St. Manchan’s Mohill 88th.
Scoil Mhuire Carrick’s Phoebe Lynott was 94th with schoolmate Aoife McDwyer 97th while Sophia Saesiao of Gaelscoil Liatroma in 100th place. Fatima Cloone’s Elaine and Ann Tiernan were 104th and 106th with Kilnagross’ Mia Guckian 111th.
Aifric Gibney of Scoil Mhuire Carrick completed the Leitrim athletes with Leitrim finishing sixth in the inter-county race.
In the Senior Girls race, Saoirse McWeeney led the Leitrim team to sixth place with a 37th place finish with St. Patrick’s Drumshanbo duo Ailise Dowler and Ella Guckian 85th & 86th. Anna Byrne of Fatima Cloone was 93rd with Drumshanbo’s Briona O’Donnell, Elizabeth Flynn and Grace Gillard 98th, 99th and 101st.
In the adult races, Michelle Lannon of Carrick AC put in a very strong display in the Women’s race to cross the line in and second Over 40. Clubmate Susanne O’Beirne also ran strongly to finish.
In the men’s races, Leitrim had interest with three competitors - Manorhamilton’s Seamus Leddy, running for Galway City Harriers, finished ??? with Ken Kennedy, father of the Kennedy brothers, finished .
The Leitrim interest was completed by former Kiltubrid and Leitrim footballer Emmett Lee who finished in the colours of Castlegar AC in Galway.
Leitrim Cross-country Championships
The Leitrim Club cross-country championships takes place this Saturday, October 20, at 3pm in the grounds of St. Felim's College in Ballinamore, with entries from 2.30 pm in the adjoining Sports Hall. All athletes are asked to be on time to ensure the smooth running of the event
There will be races for Under 9, Under 11, Under 13, Under 15 and Over 15 Boys and Girls and the races are an ideal opportunity for athletes to get a race before this year's Connacht Club championships.
The Even Age Championships will be held in Sligo racecourse on Sunday November 4, with Belleek Park in Ballina, Co Mayo hosting the uneven ages on Sunday November 11.
The National Even Ages will be held in Abbottstown on Sunday November 25, with Navan racecourse hosting the National Uneven ages on Saturday, December 15.