Leinster Even Ages Cross Country Championships, Gowran Co Kilkenny – Saturday Oct 26th 2019

Leinster Even Ages Cross Country Championships, Gowran Co Kilkenny – Saturday Oct 26th 2019

The rain that fell all day on Thursday and Friday before the Leinster Cross Country Championships hosted by Gowran Ac may have subsided when the band of juvenile athletes from Dunboyne AC arrived on the course, but it had left its mark and done its damage.

As all our athletes returned to base after jogging the course, the feedback was unanimous; it was going to be VERY challenging. There was surface water all over the course and many parts were already extremely muddy. The older athletes watched with trepidation as the huge fields of athletes in the younger ages events churned up the course ahead of them.

Before the Championship races began there was an under 10 non championship open race and Zac Ryan wore the Dunboyne singlet with distinction here finishing well up the big field. Well done Zac.

Dunboyne’s interest in the championship proceedings commenced in the u12 girls race where Sadhbh Pitt and Holly Ryan battled it out in a huge field of runners. Sadhbh dug deep and finished well up the top half of the field while Holly, who was running up an age group, battled hard to the line after suffering plenty of bumps and pushes in what was a rough race. They both ran very well and deserve a lot of credit for how they handled the tough conditions.

In the boys U12 event we had George Comerford and Harry Drake competing.

George, competing out of his age group, ran extremely well despite taking a tumble in another rough race and finished 34th in a huge field of athletes. This will have left him well primed for his own age group Leinster Championships in Ferbane on November 9th. Harry also battled extremely hard and finished a little further back but gave a very good account of himself here. Well done lads.

Kate Gormley and Isabel Phillips lined up for the u14 event over 3,000m. Again a very large field lined up and both girls battled hard throughout. The girls had to battle the conditions as well as the other competitors. In a very high quality race Kate fared slightly the better while Isabel dug deep all the way to the line. Again great credit to the girls for getting out there and competing in extremely challenging conditions.

Our only complete club team lining up was the boys u14 team of Ciaran McCormack, Dylan Ryan, Mathieu Kieffer and Jed Collins. Again a big field lined up and Ciaran got amongst the leaders from the off eventually finishing 15th after a very strong performance on the day.

Jed finished narrowly ahead of Mathieu as they both placed well in the top half of the field and Dylan (who was running up an age group) found conditions didn’t suit but dug deep to the line. The club team were 7th overall, while Ciaran scored on the county team, which Jed was also a member of, that claimed a Bronze medal on the day and with that qualification to the All Ireland Cross Country in Abbottstown in November. Well done boys.

Unfortunately illness and other commitments left Kayla Ryan and Aoife McCormack without a club team so they were competing as individuals and as part of the Meath team. Kayla ran a very strong race to finish 15th after putting herself in the business end of the race throughout. Aoife, returning from a long injury, ran a very encouraging 34th place and both girls were scorers on the Meath team that finished 4th which also gave them qualification for the All Ireland in November. Well done girls.

Our final involvement on the day was left to Bonnie McFeat and Katie Green who both ran in the u18 event. Bonnie ran a cracker here and finished 20th after attacking the race and conditions with gusto, while Katie, who was running up an age, dug deep into her reserves to finish an impressive 24th.

Two big runs from the girls and just rewards for their commitment to their training and their professionalism at all times. They got the added bonus of being key scorers on a strong Meath team that earned a very well deserved Silver medal, thus gaining qualification to the All Irelands too. Very well done girls.

Well done to all who competed for the club in horrible conditions. Thanks to all the parents who came to support all the athletes and best of luck to those who qualified for the All Irelands.

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