Leinster Uneven Ages Cross Country Adamstown Co Wexford

Leinster Uneven Ages Cross Country Adamstown Co Wexford

On Sunday 12th November it was the turn of the uneven ages to have their day in the spotlight after the even ages excelled a fortnight ago.  Dunboyne AC had a juvenile troop of 18 athletes competing on the day.  The venue was Adamstown, Co. Wexford and after a 2 hour jaunt from Dunboyne our intrepid bunch were greeted by a course that was showing all the sings of the recent rain.  While the course itself wasn’t as daunting as other courses we have been to recently, the condition underfoot was extremely soft and in large parts it was just a quagmire, with no patches of green to be seen at all.  It was apparent as we walked the course and tried to pick the safest racing line, that the conditions were going to suit some athletes and not others, but such is cross country racing.

As is now customary at these Leinster events, there was an open non-championship event for the youngest age group, this time is was the under 9’s who would display their talents.  We had 2 very talented youngsters lining up in club colours, both younger siblings of experienced Dunboyne AC athletes.  Holly Ryan and Isabelle Dolan really did themselves and our club proud with 2 fantastic runs, being up front throughout.  In a big field of provincial club runners Holly led Isabelle home as both girls finished in the top 6 and nabbed themselves a well-deserved medal.  The future for Dunboyne AC is very bright indeed if these performers are anything to go by.

152 competitors lined up for the first championship race of the day, the under 11 girls event and Dunboyne AC had 5 athletes toeing the line for the 1,500m distance.  Maeve Walsh, Hannah Brown, Sadbh Pitt plus sisters Amy and Ruth Reilly all donned the blue and white and gave their absolute all on the day.  Hannah ran an absolute cracker leading the girls home and finishing well up the huge field.  She also had the honour of leading home the Meath team to a fantastic 4th place overall such was the strength of her run, hence earning All Ireland qualification.  Sadbh picked her way through the field to finish next, just ahead of Ruth after 2 good runs from the girls.  Not far behind these, Maeve battled on well all the way to the line with Amy very close behind also putting in a brave showing in these really challenging conditions.  While the club team finished outside the medals, all the girls can be proud of their efforts today.  Well done girls.

In contrast, only Dylan Ryan was lining up for Dunboyne AC in the boys U11 race.  While Dylan didn’t have a club team to support him, he was part of a strong Meath team competing over the 1,500m distance here.  Dylan ran well and found the sticky underfoot conditions very tough but put his head down and battled to a top 20 finish and was a key part of the Meath team that performed very well to earn a silver medal in the club competition.  Well done Dylan.

Our under 13 girls were 1 member short of a full team due to illness but all 3 girls ran well as the course continued to cut up.  Sophie Dolan, Aleah Kelly and Kate Gormley were in mixing it with the best of the province in this field of 165 runners over the 2,500m distance.  Sophie was out aggressively and into the top 12 places early in the race as Aleah and Kate started more conservatively and started to pick off runners as the race progressed.    Sophie kept battling throughout and finished in the top 10 of this very talented field after a very strong run, earning her a well-deserved individual medal.  Aleah ran very well also, not letting the conditions get the better of her, while Kate, who was competing out of her age group, also ran very well finishing not far behind Aleah.   Well done girls.  The very talented Meath team were victorious on the day bringing home a gold medal to the county.

Again only one of our boys was on duty for the under 13’s and John Brown, who had been cheering on sister Hannah earlier, was on individual and county duty.  In another huge field of over 130 athletes John ran really well, picking off places as he progressed through the tough 2,500m race.  He showed great determination throughout and finished well up the field, continuing his improvement with every race.  Well done John.

Next up two under 15 girls were in action in Dunboyne AC colours.  Katie Green and Kayla Ryan were in among the top cross country runners in the province lining up for the 3,500m race which was a real challenge in the conditions.  From the gun, Kayla was very prominent and raced up with the top 20 athletes throughout.  Katie seemed to find the underfoot conditions especially tough having a couple of tumbles and it was a struggle throughout keeping upright as the conditions continued to deteriorate.   As the race progressed Kayla continued to battle and finished strongly to finish just outside the individual medals after a fine run.  Katie was incredibly brave as she continued to battle the conditions keeping going right to the end and toughing it out to display wonderful determination and a great spirit.  Well done girls.  The county team finished 3rd bringing another medal home to Meath.

Three Dunboyne AC athletes lined up in the boys u15 race also over the daunting 3,500m distance.  Mark Leane, Ross Lyons and Conor Leane were on duty today.  All three of the boys had strong races and ran very well with Conor leading home our gang ahead of Mark who was followed closely by Ross as all three finished in the top 28 places. It was really good running in extremely tough conditions from all three boys.  Well done lads, you all showed good determination and fight.  The county team were rewarded with a Bronze medal which was good reward for their fine efforts.

Finally Bonnie McFeat lined up in the girls u17 race over an unbelievably tough 4,000m.  By now the conditions were really difficult underfoot with parts of the course looking more like a scene from the Battle of the Somme than a Co. Wexford field.  However Bonnie went about her business with no fuss, got her head down and battled her way around the tough course.  A very gutsy performance and sheer determination saw her finish in the top 30.  Well done Bonnie.

On a day that was not for the faint hearted, all our Juvenile athletes deserve great credit for getting on with the job and attacking their races with gusto and showing a fine determined spirit.  Well done to all who ran today in very tough conditions and many thanks to all the parents who made the long journey to support all our athletes on the day.  I’m sure sales of Persil went through the roof on Sunday evening.  Best of luck to those athletes who will be competing in the All Irelands over the coming weeks.

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