An excellent day at the races for the Juveniles

After all the snow and freezing conditions over the last six weeks it was a welcoming sunny day that greeted the athletes who travelled to Kilmacow on Sunday for the Leinser Cross-country races.

And if the weather was positive so were the performances of our Kilkenny athletes, particularly the juvenile athletes from Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH). The club was in jubilant mood taking home medals in five out of the six races.

First away were the under 12 girls – Annie O’Connor, Jennifer O’Keeffe, Sinead Tuohy and Lauren Gleeson with the latter two particularly impressive when bringing the team into first place. Next came the boys under 12. John Dillon gave them a good start. Eric Mahon then took the baton to Luke FitzPatrick who made up considerable ground before handing over to the speedy John Nolan. John took the front and held off the opposition to take the second gold for the club.

Then it was the turn of the under 14 girls. The running order was Charmaine O’Donoghue, Emer McMullan, Aisling McDonough and Abigail O’Keeffe. All ran well and were rewarded with silver medals for their second place finish. The girls from the St Joseph’s club – Cora Power, Clara Kennedy, Mia Griffen and Margeurite Hoynes – pushed the city club all the way and were happy to win the bronze medals.

The under 14 boys – Pat Maher, Jack Manning, P J Dalton and Aidan Tuohy – ran their hearts out and gave good value to win the bronze.

Then it was the turn of the under 16 girls. KCH were in the hunt for medals again. This time, with three legs run – Sarah Kate Lacey, Margaret Caldbeck and Anna Sheehan- KCH were in bronze position behind two strong teams from the Mullingar club. Cliodhna Manning received the baton some 150m adrift and gave a truly scintillating display. She not only closed the gap. She overtook the leaders to enter the finish chute in first place, a remarkable performance.

There were no medals for the under 16 boys but with six sets of medals already won by clubs from the county, the outcome was satisfactory indeed.

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