Louth Novice and Even Ages Cross Country (2020)
Louth Athletics and host Club Drogheda & District AC pulled out all the stops to host the Louth Novice and Even Ages Cross Country Championships at Newtownstalaban on Sunday last 4th October 2020. Due to Covid 19, there were huge restrictions on movement in and out of the field and the plan to spread the programme out over the day from 10 am until 4pm, with 4 separate sessions was a huge amount of work for the officials, but thanks to superb co-
The Novice Ladies and Men’s races were held during the first session and Dunleer AC got proceedings off to a dream start with the Dunleer AC ladies making a clean sweep of individual medals and winning the team competition. Claire O Malley was a convincing winner of the 3km ladies race, with Kelly Lynch and Áine Mc Bride
The Dunleer AC men were very content with their silver team medals with Anthony Connolly leading the men home in 6th and closely followed by 19 year old Fran Whelan in 8th place in his first Novice competition. Garreth Moran, Noel Williams, Richard Califfe, Paddy Mahoney and Charlie Breagy all contributed to the team standings.
Next up for Dunleer AC was the boys under 16 and 18 with a Louth Championship under 18 title deservedly going to Seán Connaughton, Esosa Victor 3rd and Patrick Farrell 4th. The boys had a great victory in the team competition. In the boys under 16 race Oisín Cheshire was first Dunleer man home in 4th, with Matthew Fitzpatrick , Ciaran King and Conn Bonar all combining to bring home the silver team medals.
The girls under 16 race provided an opportunity for the Dunleer AC girls to show the fruits of their hard training over the summer, with Erinn Leavy coming away with the individual title and a very well deserved bronze for Maeve Eakin. The girls were joined by Lisa Conlon, Lucy Sheridan and Vanessa Brennan to win the team competition.
The under 10s were next up and there was a fantastic win for Dearbhla Leavy, sister of Under 16 winner Erinn Leavy. Dearbhla traced the early leader and at the half way stage took the race on to come away with a very convincing win and the Louth Championship under 10 title. Dearbhla had the backing of a very tightly packed team to easily win the Team title, with Grace Mc Evoy, Ella Meegan, Kelly Sheridan and Sadhbh Greene all running a great race.
The Dunleer AC boys under 10 had a very well deserved second place team finish. They were led home by Adam Mc Donnell, with super support from Gavin Donoghue, Loughlin Welsh and Fionn Mc Ginn. This was another great team effort.
The under 12 races were run in even muddier conditions as the rain continued but undaunted 10 year old Cliodhna Reilly finished her 2km race in a flying 5th place, while in the boys’ equivalent Cormac Greene also aged 10 finished 2nd, closely followed by Evan Costello who had the race of his career to date to bag himself the bronze medal. A battle behind had Declan Mc Entee out sprinting his rivals to ensure victory for this team with Christian Farrell close behind and producing a great run to help his team.
The under 14 girls 3km was the penultimate event and great credit goes to all of the team who found themselves in a race that was run at such a pace that the first kilometer was faster than the Novice men’s! First home was Erin Finnegan for Dunleer, followed by Megan Mc Evoy, with Síofra Ní hUallacháín, Sally Sheridan, Danielle Brennan and Ailbhe Reilly all running very well to secure team silver.
The last race of the day, the boys under 14 was also very exciting with Dáire Mathews and Sam O Neill running in the first pack for most of the race, with teammates Tom Meegan and Jack Greene in a second group tracking the first. As the race unraveled, Dáire Mathews went after the leader to contest the title and seemed to run out of grass as he finished n 2nd place, but was very happy to do so in such a quality field. Sam O Neill, Tom Meegan and Jack Greene were a great support to Dáire and finshed in second place in the team competition.
All in all a fantastic day for Dunleer AC and a dream start to the cross country season. With such brilliant adherence to all of the restrictions it seems that the sport of cross country will be safe for this season after all! Well done to all involved.