Venue - Santry
The All Ireland Uneven Age Cross Country Championships were held in Santry and there was further success for Nenagh athletes with three medals won and some good performances from our younger runners which bodes well for the future. Despite a beautiful blue sky there was a very cold wind and as the races continued throughout the day the course became muddier leading it to be a very exacting test for all 2000 athletes on show. Unfazed by the conditions, our ten athletes went up against the best in the country in races from 1500m to 5000m where the pace in each event from start to finish had to be seen to be believed.
Ciara Cummins was our stand out athlete of the day as her brilliant performance over 4000m saw her finish 2nd in a star studded field. Ciara sat in behind the leaders from the start and gradually picked off her opposition one at a time before making a decisive move into 2nd place on the energy sapping hill about 500m from the finish. It was an advantage she wouldn't relinquish as she stormed up to the finish line to secure a well deserved silver medal. With her finishing place, Ciara also helped Munster to Provincial gold and more importantly secured a place on the Irish Junior team for the Celtic International Cross Country event on Sunday January 18th in Dunboyne. We congratulate Ciara and wish her well when she dons the green singlet in 2015.
Alannah Deering was our other medal winner when she put in an excellent performance to finish 15th in a field of 141 athletes and in doing so helped Munster to a bronze Provincial medal. This was by far Alannah's best race at an All Ireland cross country event and she was rewarded with her first national cross country medal. Alannah, after a solid start made her way through the field and looked very strong as she sprinted to the line at the end of the 3500m race.
Our boys team travelled with hopes of a club team medal but unfortunately it was not to be. The sheer pace right from the start of this 1500m race meant that it was very hard to move up the field and try as they might, it proved to be just beyond them to get amongst the medals. This will have been a good learning experience for all five lads and they have great days ahead of them. Cian Hodgins who is a year out of age, was our first athlete home finishing in a fine 51st place with another trademark determined run. Luke Purcell who also ran very well finished in 64th place just ahead of Tom Walsh in 69th, who also performed well in the conditions. Eoin Moloney gave his all coming home in 110th place, while Alex Reynolds in 168th will know he'll have better days ahead of him. When the points were added up the lads were 9th club team.
In the race over 2500m we had two representatives, Ted Collins and Josh Egan. Ted was disappointed with his 48th place finish but this talented athlete will know that with some hard work he will get back into the business end of these races. Josh, who is a sprinter by nature had a fine steady run to finish in 97th place out of 153 athletes and proved that all athletes can enjoy a cross country run.
Richard O Donoghue, who had his training curtailed by illness recently, finished in 83rd place in the boys u17 5000m race. Richie never gave up in this high tempo race and can look back on his cross country season with satisfaction.
Nenagh Olympic's boys u11 team at the All Ireland cross country Championships in Santry, Alex Reynolds, Tom Walsh, Cian Hodgins, Luke Purcell and Eoin Moloney.
Medal winners Alannah Deering and Ciara Cummins pictured with their coach Sean Finn at the All Ireland Uneven Age Cross Country Championships in Santry.