2020 County Even and Novice Xcountry

October, 2020 Ballycurran


It is hard to believe that two weeks ago athletes raced in the St Senans AC Open Cross Country in basking sunshine. Fast forward to last Sunday and the conditions could not be more contrasting. In what could only be described as miserable conditions that saw biting winds, driving rain and temperatures that felt like sub zero, the first stage of the Kilkenny County Cross Country Championships got underway.

The lofty hills of Tullogher are at their best in the worst of weather. No better location to host a real feast of cross country racing. Running cross country this winter is challenging with new rules being designated by Athletics Leinster and Athletics Ireland, making qualifications through the levels more difficult. Normally clubs and county teams along with individuals can enter the Leinster Championships. This year sees only eight per county in each age group, being permitted to race these prestigious events. On top of this new anti-virus constraint, no club or county teams will be permitted to qualify for the All Irelands. This year the qualification is limited to the top 15 athletes in each age category in each province. For Kilkenny this means that qualification for either Leinster or Nationals is very difficult. Kilkenny is traditionally the best cross country county in Leinster, often with the entire 15 on the traditional county team within the top 30 finishers. Added to this – Leinster is the best province in Ireland at Cross Country. This will see some good athletes not advancing from the county level.

With much at stage in these years championships, the athletes had a lot more added pressure than normal. While numbers were generally down in many of the races (the lockdown and inclemental weather being to blame), the quality of the athletic talent was up.

St Senans AC and Gowran AC emerged from the first day of the championships being joint leaders in the race for the overall shield for the best club. St Senans had four individual winners in David Williams (boys u16), Caoimhe Phelan (Girls u16), Issac Carew (boys u14) and Eve Dunphy (Girls u14) with many other minor placings. Gowran had a great win from Conor Carroll in the boys u12 with some minor placings in other races. Thomastown produced two victories with Katie O’Shea winning the girls u12 and Hannah O’Keeffe having a great victory in the girls u18 – which ran a combined race with the novice, for which by default Hannah also claimed victory. Cathal O’Rielly (KCH) won the boys u18 while clubmate Kevin Burns won the men’s Novice. This was a great run from Kevin and his first victory outside of the juvenile ranks.

O’Shea and Carroll claim u12 victories

Thirty Seven athletes competed in the Girls u12 with Kilkenny City Harriers claiming the team title from last years All Ireland bronze medalists Thomastown. Gowran were 3rd. The city girls bunched well together claiming 2nd, 5th, 6th and 8th spot. Sinead Cormack leading the group in 2nd place. While Thomastown lead by Katie O’Shea had 1st, 7th, 9th and 19th – all four girls being in the unique position of bearing the name O’Shea. Good running too from Grace Gilmartin of St Senan’s who finished 4th. Gowan were headed by 3rd place finisher Kate Hayden.

With the wind picking up the Boys u12, faced into storm conditions, Gowran were very much the front leaders in this race with Robert Coogan and Conor Carroll rotating the 1,2 positions throughout the race. In the end it was Conor who pulled away in the last 400m. Fast on their heal’s was Robert Lacey (KCH). Robert was followed by another Gowran man Evan Ryan, with Barrow Harriers athlete, Hugo Tierney looking strong as he finished in 5th.

St Senans complete the first double

The girls u14 was very much a St Senans AC affair with four of their athletes in the top 7 and 6 in the top 12. From the start it was the light frames of Charlotte Carpendale and Eve Dunphy who dominated. These two athletes pulled away from the chasing pack progressively through the entire race. Training partners, friends and team mates, it was hard to have to decide who was going to be the eventual winner. Down to a sprint finish Eve Dunphy managed to get the better of Charlotte. It is worth noting that these two athletes would normally finish in the top 6 in the All Irelands. Good solid race from Hazel Coogan (Gowran) to clinch 3rd ahead of the much improved and fast finishing Moya O’Keeffe (St Senans). Back in 5th and 6th it was the St Josephs pair of Caoimhe Barry and Lily Ryan who sprinted for the finish with Barry making it just ahead of clubmate and training partner Ryan. These two girls were just ahead of fast finishing Aine O’Callaghan of St Senans with Eabha Mullally (St Josephs) taking 8th and the final qualifying spot. St Senans took the team title from St Josephs and KCH in 3rd.

If the girls u14 was St Senans affair then so too was the boys u14. Issac Carew looked strong as he battled to come back from an injury that has plagued him since last year. He was pushed hard all the way by u13 athlete and fellow St Senans clubmate Anil Ramasawmy. Sam Brennan (Gowran) joined these two athletes and the trio created a gap between themselves and the rest of the field. On the last lap Carew dug deep going up the hill and pulled away from the Brennan and Ramasawmy.  In doing so he built up a decisive lead which he maintained to the finish. A good downhill stride saw Sam Brennan edge ahead of Anil Ramasawmy. Patrick Lacey (KCH) was 4th just ahead of another St Senans athlete Michael O’Shea in 5th. With 1st, 3rd and 5th this would have placed St Senans as prime contenders for the team title – however they failed to produce a team and this left Gowran with the title.

Williams and Phelan make it a St Senans u16 double

The girls u16 continued the same as it has down all last year, with a battle between Irish International athlete Caoimhe Phelan (St Senans) and Sara Kehoe (Thomastown). These two girls were initially challenged by KCH athlete Isabella Burke who faded into 6th after the first lap. Back in 3rd Laura Challoner of Thomastown was having her best race ever. From the mid-way through the race Caoimhe Phelan looked very strong as she started to pull away from the diminutive figure of Kehoe. The St Senans girl built up a sizable lead to claim a comfortable victory. Good running from Rachel O’Neill (Gowran) and Maeve Bookle (St Josephs) to finish 4th and 5th respectively. St Senans took the team title from Thomastown. Again

David Williams (St Senans) led from start to finish and never looked in danger of being beaten. The double Irish International battled the elements to increase his lead to 200m for a convincing victory over Billy Coogan of Gowran. Such is the depth of talent in this race, that we have two international athletes as Coogan himself was also selected on the Irish team along with Williams for the Irish Schools Team which of course did not travel due to lockdown. The much improved Gearoid Long (St Senans) finished 3rd with a good run from Ruairi McEvoy (KCH) in 4th. St Senans won the team title.

The girls u18 race had yet more Irish International athletes in the form of the eventual winner Hannah O’Keeffe of Thomastown, 2nd placed athlete Aine Kirwan of Thomastown and 3rd placed Hannah Kehoe now running for Thomastown. In fact another Irish International athlete Elenore Goddin (KCH) was 4th. Thomastown won the team title.

With yet more depth of talent in the boys u18 race, Cathal O’Rielly won the race from two Irish International athletes; Tadgh Connolly (St Senans) in 2nd and Tom Lodge (KCH) in 3rd. With all these international athletes in Kilkenny this creates a picture of how strong cross country running is within the county. Cathal has been running well this last year and it should be just a matter of time before he dons the green vest himself.

O’Keeffe and Burns head the Novice

The novice races always entice a good field of entry. With the under 18s and the novice race being held together this year, it proved a good combination with some fast, competitive running. Hannah O’Keeffe won the ladies event with a very good run from St Senans AC 400 hurdler Sophie Jackman to get the better of Aine Kirwan (Thomastown) and Grace Richardson (KCH) to take 2nd. In fact with Hannah O’Keeffe pulling away from the girls, the real race was for 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Sophie, Aine and Grace rotated the positions for much of the race, with the tall figure of Jackman proving to be the stronger over the last half lap. Thomastown won the team title from St Senans.

It was lovely to see yet another athlete in the county making a transition from Juvenile to Senior. Kevin Burns (KCH) won his first senior title as the claimed victory in the novice event. Burns is a 1st year student in WIT taking a degree in Exercise Science. It would be hoped that the benefit of doing this course, will see him forge a good career as a senior athlete in the future years. John Muldowney (KCH) was 2nd with Patrick Lennon of Gowran in 3rd. The novice B race saw Ronan O’Donovan (St Senans) claiming victory. Ronan originally from Cork is a former national juvenile 800m champion, having returned to running earlier this year after a 20 year hiatus. St Senans produced a 1,2 and 3 in this event with George Carpendale 2nd and newcomer John Dempsey 3rd. KCH won the A team title from St Josephs and Gowran. St Senans won the B title from Gowran in 2nd and 3rd.

A big thank you to everyone who abided by the Covid guidelines at the event and made the smooth running of this event possible. St Josephs AC hosted the event and well done to them and landowner Tommy Grennan for the well laid out course.

County Uneven ages and Masters

This Sunday October 11th is the county uneven age juveniles and master championships in Castlecomer. The same guidelines will apply so we ask everyone to comply with them. Entries are online and close on Thursday 8th Ocotber. No late entries will be accepted so please check out your club whatsapp or the Kilkenny Athletics facebook page for the link.

There will be a one way traffic system in place in and out of the race venue so we ask all patrons to comply with this system.


Girls u12: 1 Katie O’Shea (TT) 2 Sinead Cormack (KCH) 3 Kate Hayden (G) 4 Grace Gilmartin (SS) 5 Kate Maher (KCH) 6 Martha Bergin (KCH) 7 Moya O’Shea (TT) 8 Ellen Cormack (KCH) 9 Amy O’Shea (TT) 10 Olivia Mullally (SJ) 11 Aisling Phelan (CC) 12 Aisleann Mullally (SJ) 13 Ellen Daly (KCH) 14 Kara Canavan (KCH) 15 Chloe Doyle (SJ) 16 Anna Kelsey (G) 17 Kathy Phelan (G) 18 Daisy Coomey (G) 19 Grainne O’Shea (TT) 20 Molly Allen (SS) 21 Meabh O’?Keeffe (SS) 22 Mary Kate Ryan (TT) 23 Clodagh Maye (KCH) 24 Zoe Beck (TT) 25 Lucy Cunningham (G) 26 Sophie Doyle (SJ) 27 Rebecca Murphy (SS) 28 Lisa Ryan (TT) 29 Saorlaith Mullally (SJ) 30 Grace Roberts (G) 31 Rachel O’Sullivan (KCH) 32 Stella Langton (G) 33 Mia Barry (SJ) 34 Keelan Kennedy (CC) 35 Ellen O’Sullivan (TT) 36 Roisin Holohan (CC) 37 Mairead Mc Donald (SJ)

Teams: 1 KCH 2 Thomastown 3 Gowran

Boys u12: 1 Conor Carroll (G) 2 Robert Coogan (G) 3 Robert Lacey (KCH) 4 Evan Ryan (G) 5 Hugo Tierney (BH) 6 Tomas Carroll (G) 7 Joe Hayes (G) 8 David Phelan (SS) 9 Thomas Hayes (KCH) 10 Darragh Carroll (G) 11 Kyle Bolger (SJ) 12 Odhran Prendergast (G) 13 Joshua Malone (KCH) 14 Jack Barron (SJ) 15 Zak Fenton (SS) 16 Michael Ryan (SJ) 17 Neil Ryan (SJ) 18 John Bradley (KCH) 19 Tadhg Allen (SS) 20 Billy Rockett (SS)

Teams: 1 Gowran 2 KCH 3 St Josephs

Girls u14: 1 Eve Dunphy (SS) 2 Charlotte Carpendale (SS) 3 Hazel Coogan (G) 4 Moya O?’Keeffe (SS) 5 Caoimhe Barry (SJ) 6 Lily Ryan (SJ) 7 Aine O’Callaghan (SS) 8 Eabha Mullally (SJ) 9 Lucy Coomey (G)  10 Hannah Quinn (KCH) 11 Niamh Cleary (SS) 12 Amelia Walsh (SS) 13 Caoimhe Power (TT) 14 Eimear Cormack (KCH) 15 Aisling Coverdale (TT) 16 Molly Daly (KCH) 17 Kate Aylmer (KCH) 18 Grace O’Sullivan (KCH)  19 Jennie Calnan (SS) 20 Evelyn McEvoy (KCH) 21 Ruth Crowley (KCH) 22 Aoibhe Quinn (KCH) 23 Lily Doyle (SJ)

Teams: 1 St Senans 2 St Josephs 3 KCH

Boys u14: 1 Isaac Carew (SS) 2 Sam Brennan (G) 3 Anil Ramasawmy (SS) 4 Patrick Lacey (KCH) 5 Michael O Shea (SS) 6 Thomas Langton (G) 7 Louis Raggett (KCH) 8 Michael Holland (G) 9 Bobby Lanigan (SJ)  10 Conor Lanigan (SJ) 11 Jamie Cahalan (CC) 12 Joe Langton (G) 13 Stephen O?dwyer (CC) 14 Ruairi Phelan (G) 15 James Kelsey (G)

Teams: 1 Gowran

Girls u16: 1 Caoimhe Phelan (SS) 2 Sarah Kehoe (TT) 3 Laura Challoner (TT) 4 Rachel O’Neill (G) 5 Maeve Bookle (SJ) 6 Isabella Burke (KCH) 7 Aoife Lanigan (SJ) 8 Niamh Cuddihy (SS) 9 Molly Long (SS)  10 Eimear Phelan (CC) 11 Sophie Williams (SS) 12 Orlaith Kirwan (TT) 13 Emma O?reilly (TT) 14 Libby Murphy (SS) 15 Ella Costello (SS) 16 Catherine Calnan (SS)

Teams: 1 St Senans 2 Thomastown

Boys u16: 1 David Williams (SS) 2 Billy Coogan (G) 3 Gearoid Long (SS) 4 Ruairí McEvoy (KCH) 5 Kealan Gray (KCH) 6 Matthew McCarthy (KCH) 7 Eoin Aylward (SS) 8 Luke Phelan (G) 9 Paddy Kelly (G)  10 Naoise Gilmartin (SS) 11 Diarmuid Langton (G) 12 Evan Walsh Brennan (SS)

Teams: 1 St Senans 2 Gowran

Girls u18: 1 Hannah O’Keeffe (TT) 2 Aine Kirwan (TT) 3 Hannah Kehoe (TT) 4 Eleanor Godden (KCH) 5 Emma Manogue (TT) 6 Fiona Dillon (TT)

Teams: 1 Thomastown

Boys u18: 1 Cathal O’Rielly (KCH) 2 Tadgh Connolly (SS) 3 Tom Lodge KCH 4 Billy Power (TT) 5 Matthew Holland (G)

Novice Ladies: 1 Hannah O’Keeffe (TT) 2 Sophie Jackman (SS) 3 Aine Kirwan (TT) 4 Grace Richardson (KCH) 5 Tara Ramaswamy (SS) 6 Mags Kirwan (KR) 7 Siobhan McArdle (KCH) 8 Gillian Kavanagh (G) 9 Ann Brennan (G) 10 Aveline O’Neill (G) 11 Deirdre Purcell (G) 12 Michelle Doherty (TT) 13 Nicola Dooley (G) 14 Maria Maher (TT) 15 Ciara Walsh (SS) 16 Tracey Malone (SJ)

Teams: 1 Thomastown 2 St Senans 3 Gowran

Novice A: 1 Kevin Burns (KCH) 2 John Muldowney (KCH) 3 Patrick Lennon (G) 4 Bernard Keane (SJ) 5 Sean Connery (KR) 6 Padraig Ruane (KCH) 7 James Morrissey (CC) 8 David Larkin (SJ) 9 John Coady (G) 10 Paddy Walsh (KCH) 11 Noel Sugrue (KCH) 12 Gerry Walsh (TT) 13 David Lawlor (KCH) 14 Colin Barry (SJ) 15 Oisín Mac Cinnéide (KCH) 16 Vinny Mackey (SJ) 17 Paul Flood (G) 18 Johan Dewbery (G) 19 Peter Kavanagh (TT) 20 Richard Ryan (TT) 21 Michael O’Keeffe (TT)

Novice B: 1 Ronan O’Donovan (SS) 2 George Carpendale (SS) 3 John Dempsey (SS) 4 Mark Daly (G) 5 Eamonn Kelsey (G) 6 Pat Lennon (G) 7 James Delehanty (G) 8 Michael O’Grady (G) 9 Mick Walsh (G)

Teams: Novice Men A: 1 KCH 2 St Josephs 3 Gowran 4 Thomastown Novice Men B: 1 St Senans 2 Gowran 3 Gowran

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