The Irish Life Health National Juvenile Uneven Age and Novice Cross Country Championships were held in Navan Adventure Centre on Saturday December 15 in very wet and windy conditions. That didn't deter the four Dundrum AC athletes who made the long trip northwards. We had two boys compete in the U13 2,500m race. This was Shane Buckley's third time to compete at these championships while in age. At U11 and U12 he placed just outside the medals. This time Shane went with the leaders and was in the Top 3 for most of the race. With 500m to go Shane pushed forward up a hill, with head on winds and opened the gap to lead the whole way to the finish line. Winning a very well deserved Individual National Gold Medal. He also led the Munster Team to Gold and the Tipp Team to Bronze. Shane is the first Dundrum AC juvenile to win an Individual National Gold at cross country level since the AAI formed in 2000. The club is amazed and proud of this young man and all of his achievements and hard work. Tadgh O'Donnell made his debut at National level and did really well to place 90th out of huge field of 160.
In the Ladies Novice over 4,000m we had two compete in yet again a large field of over 150 athletes. Dymphna Ryan showed that she can mix it up with the best and placed 29th and was on the Tipp Team that placed 5th. Eimear Loughman also ran well to place 101st.
The Newmarket 5k was held in Co Cork on Sunday December 16. Here we had two athletes compete. Dermot Hayes ran very well to place 10th in 16:11 and was 1st O50. Eamon Morrissey ran a fantastic race to place 21st in PB time of 16:46.
COUNTY JUVENILE CROSS COUNTRY RELAY CHAMPIONSHIPS
The County Juvenile Cross Country Relays were held in Thurles on Sunday December 9 and were hosted by Thurles Crokes AC. The races were in the even ages and all ages ran 4 X 500m. We got off to a great start in the girls U/10 where Sophie Moynihan ran the first leg and gave a lead to our second runner Clodagh Kilmartin who passed to Belle Kelly still in the lead and Anna Butler anchored the team to win the gold medals. Our boys U/10 team of Conor O’Donnell, Misha Nesteruk, Cian Buckley and Conor Hickey tried hard but were out of the medals. We won another set of gold medals in the girls U/12 where Aisling DeCruis led off and handed on to Niamh Buckley who passed to Emma Kingston who brought the team in to the lead and Mary Ellen Holmes extended the lead all the way for gold. We had a ‘B’ team in this age group made up of U/11 girls Brid Quirke, Ruby Kelly, Jessica Kelly and Roisin Ferencombe who ran well but were out of the medals. Our Girls U/14 team were next off with Kate Ferncombe taking the first leg and giving a lead to our second runner Paula Quirke who improved it and handed on to Millie Kelly who again made ground and Orla Ryan brought the team home to gold medals. Our boys U/14 were led off by Shane Buckley who handed over to Cian Ryan in second who held thatand Taine Astwood took the next leg and handed over in third with Tadgh O’Donnell completing the team for the Bronze medals.
COUNTY U23 AND MASTERS CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
The County U23 and Master's Cross Country Championships were held alongside the Juvenile Relays in the Thurles Crokes grounds on Sunday December 9. Here we had 14 athletes compete. Our ladies put on a fine display of running. In the U23 race Eimear Loughman won Gold. With Dymphna Ryan winning the race outright and claiming Gold O35, she was followed by 2nd Linda Grogan who won Silver O35. Next we had Karen Coughlan in 6th place and Mairead Julian in 13th and won Silver O40. Dymphna, Linda and Karen were the clear winners of the O35 Cup and were 15 points clear of Silver. In the Men's race we had 3rd Dermot Hayes and won Gold O50, 10th Martin Keane, 15th Gareth McGlinchey, 23rd John Kelly and 25th Michael Ryan. These previous of Martin, Gareth, John and Michael won Bronze O35-49 in the Team Event. Next we had 36th Michael Moore who won Bronze O55 and 38th John Moore who won Gold O60. Dermot, Michael and John won Silver in the O50 Team Event. We had 42nd Jim Hally and 48th PJ Holmes who won Silver O60. Currently John Moore holds Gold O60 for Cross Country, while his son Kevin also holds Gold for the Senior Cross Country. Not many father and son duos can say that. Well done to our Juvenile and Senior ladies bringing home so many medals and 4 Gold Teams.
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