Declan leaves it late to snatch last individual medal in Navan

Irish Life Health Athletics Ireland Uneven Ages Cross-country Championships

Carrick AC’s Declan Kennedy picked up a second All-Ireland Cross-country medal in three weeks but this time, he had to show his finishing speed to do so.

Competing in the Irish Life Health Athletics Ireland Uneven Ages Championships at a testing course at Navan Adventure Centre last Saturday, Declan claimed the last individual medal with a superb 12th place finish in the U13 Boys race.

Competing a year out of his age group, Declan was again the second U12 finisher in the race with Annalee’s Fionn McNamara just two places ahead of him in tenth but it was a battle as the Carrick-on-Shannon Athletic Clubman was out of the medals less than 150 metres from the finish.

Chasing an athlete in front of them, Declan moved to the front of a five strong group and drove for the finish and despite being passed by one athlete, his strength was enough to see him add to his silver medal won in the U12 race.

Next across the line for Leitrim was Ballinamore AC’s new recruit via Elphin, Cathal Enright, who belied his inexperience to finish an excellent 39th on a course that featured a 400m long hill.

Patrick Kennedy, twin to Declan, was next to finish in 61st, still obviously suffering the effects of illness, with Ballinamore AC’s Mark Ahern next in 114th. Leitrim’s contingent in the 160 strong field was completed by Colm McLoughlin who finished 137th and Matthew Lee in 149th, leaving Leitrim 13th in the Inter-County race.

Leitrim’s next best finisher was Carrick AC’s Ellie O’Rourke who put in a very solid performance in the U17 Girls race, finishing 38th and second finisher from Connacht. It was a strong performance from the Fenagh runner in a very competitive race.

North Leitrim’s Niamh Carolan finished 86th in the U15 Girls race, eighth finisher from the province which was a big improvement on her 14th place in the Connacht Finals.

Riaghan Guckian led home the closely bunched Leitrim trio in the U11 Boys race as the Carrick AC runner finished 86th out of the 174 finishers. Niall Ahern of Ballinamore AC was close behind in 90th while his clubmate Oran Butler was just few short paces behind in 102nd, runners flooding across the line in huge numbers.

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