09 October 2016

Kerry Cross Country Championships - Day 2

Second event of the 2016/2017 cross country season took place on Sunday, 
9 October 2016 in Firies, organised by FFMV AC. Weather conditions were very good for this time of the year with sun shining all day long.

This week it was the turn of juveniles uneven ages, Intermediate and Masters athletes.
Day started with Intermediate and Masters Women race over 4500m distance and our club had Linda O'Sullivan (Intermediate), Yvonne Quill and Cathy Quilter (both in Masters O35),Moira Horgan and Kirstie Nowak (both in Masters O45). This was the biggest turnout in cross country event in recent club history and means that St.Brendan's AC had 2 teams competing - Intermediate: Linda, Cathy, Moira, Kirstie & Yvonne and
Masters: Moira, Cathy, Yvonne & Kirstie.

As the rules of Masters categories changed regarding age in Kerry, we have to wait for official results in individual and team placing based on new structure for Masters (O35-44, O45-54, O55-64, O65+). Great performance by all the ladies (some of them did 10K in Killarney the day before!) and the few slips on the course is just part of the fun! Cross country running is not easy and has a huge benefit for overall performance in any other running events.

Juveniles competition started with U9 categories.
St.Brendan's AC was represented in Boys U9 by Matthew O'Sullivan and Kevin Horgan, our youngest athlete on the day in his cross country debut. Both boys did very well with Matthew earning bronze medal, finishing 4th (medals awarded for top 6 in cross country competitions) and Kevin in excellent top 10 position.

Next on the starting line was our team of U11 girls who unfortunately missed official start and had to chase main group almost 1 minute behind from the start line. Despite this early mishap all 4 girls finished the race and deserve big applause for their determination and team spirit to finish this race with smiles on their faces. This was also the first ever cross country race for 3 of the girls from the team: sisters Caragh & Caoilionn Kenny O'Sullivan and Ellie O'Connor. 4th runner on this team, Lilly Nowak was more experienced and managed to move up the field over the 1500m and finished in remarkable 6th place and earned a medal in the process.

After Girls U11 it was turn of Boys U11 and we have one newcomer in cross country running - Jamie O'Sullivan who put a great effort on the day. Aaron Horgan and Zach Walshe stepped up into U11 category and produced another top 10 finish with Aaron placing 5th and Zach in 7th position.

In Girls U13 category we had Daisy Nowak tackling 2500m distance and finishing in a respectable 10th place, getting stronger as the race progressed. Longer distances are definitely more suited to this young athlete.

Our only competitor in Boys U13 was Rian Kenny O'Sullivan also in his first cross country event at the same distance of 2500m. He paced himself very well to finish in comfortable middle of the field position.

Our last juvenile athlete on the day was very experienced (at this stage) Eimear O'Sullivan in Girls U15 category (running a year out of her age which is currently u14). From the very start this was group of 3 runners including Eimear. Girls were running distance of 3500m and our club athlete repeated her result from previous week to finish in 3rd place and a  huge distance ahead of next runner.

Last event of the day was men's Intermediate and Masters race over 7000m.
There were some puzzled faces at the start with Masters age categories changes made in lead up to this competition (O35, O45, O55, O65+).    
This was not made clear before competition started and caused a lot of confusion among participants at the finish line.

St.Brendan's AC welcomed back past member David Kissane from a long break. Together with Pat Sheehy and Artur Nowak, they made up St.Brendan's AC team - another novelty for our club in cross country competition. Both David and Pat stepped up the distance to compete in 7000m race to score for the team - they only had to finish 5000m in they own age category. Not only did they finish the race but managed to finish in medal positions with David getting silver and Pat in bronze medal position, just a few seconds behind in O55 age category. Third team member - Artur Nowak also finished in medal position, finishing 3rd in the debated and confusing O45 age category.

Few pictures from Cross Country competition on our FB page HERE

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