National Success for Nenagh Olympic in Juvenile Cross Country Championships
Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for in life. The recent flavour of the month has been for continental style cross country courses which are mainly flattish parkland. This year we welcomed a return to more traditional style courses meaning hills, dales, bog, streams and lots of muck.
Well today’s course eclipsed them all. Elaine could hardly get out of the car without her Jimmy Choo red wellies. But in the end it was well she did as Elaine & Andy’s son Cian Hodgins put up a wonderful, tenacious performance when winning a bronze medal in the All Ireland U13 cross country championships. He didn’t get a wonderful start so had to work hard to get back in contention. Never one to panic he gadually eased himself back into a top six position. That’s where he was with 800m to go. With a sticky tough 300m climb in front of him, all his twice weekly hill sessions paid off handsomely. He went past three athletes and showing tremendous finishing speed, almost caught the Dublin athlete in second. So with a first top three all Ireland finish under his belt he will take beating in the schools cross country in the new year which will be on this same course in Waterford.
His teammates Tom & Ben Walshe also had great runs . Tom lost a spike but still finished a very credible 19th and was sixth Munster man home. Munster finished second in the provincial contest . His younger brother Ben finished in 26th after a not so great start. He was back in the forties in the early stage but showed great strength to get back up in the twenties and help Tipperary to a wonderful silver medal in the county championship. Their teammate Micheál Moylan had a tough introduction to national cross country racing but I know he will benefit from the experience and will help us challenge for the club team title next year in which we finished a very solid fifth today.
Ailbhe O’Neill, running in the U15 race, had a very good run to finish in 36th position out of 140 athletes. This track star runs cross country to get strength for her track campaign which starts with the indoors in February. On this showing she is well on course to add to her All Ireland bronze in the 1500m from last year.
So this brings our club's cross country campaign to an end for this year which left most people feeling a little sad as our weekly cross country fix is something we all look forward to. We did manage to finally debut our new flag as seen in the pics.
Thanks Andy it was well worth the wait !
Nenagh Olympic athletes shine at County Schools Cross Country Championships
The county Schools cross country competition took place in Thurles Crokes on Wednesday with Nenagh Olympic well repesented in both the girls and boys races. With so many good performances in club competition this year we were very optimistic before the start and we didn’t have long to wait for our first success with Nenagh CBS taking the minor boys title. It was an emphatic win with -- Cian Hodgins 1st, Seán Hayes 3rd, Tom Walshe 5th & Luke Purcell 6th -- the scoring four and with Aiden Dwyer backing them up in 9th there is high hopes from teacher Gary Scully that they could go all the way to a national title in the new year. Well done to Gary for being able to field five teams in the minor boys alone in this age of falling participation!!
The next race of the day was the junior girls and with Mercy Nenagh the reigning All Ireland champions fielding their strongest team the outcome was inevitable. Ailbhe O’Neill raced straight to the front in a manner that said we mean business. She brought her two teammates Niamh and Ellen Cunneen & Murray of Ballingarry with her and this quartet dominated the race. Niamh came through to win and with Ailbhe third & Ellen fourth the look in a great position to reclaim their All Ireland title.
In the Inter girls our own Lucy Mulcahy showed the progress she is making with a fine second place finish, leading her school, Presentation Thurles, to the team title. Not far behind in the team competition was Mercy Nenagh with Emma Gavin sixth, Emer Touhy ninth and Sarah Madden tenth the scoring trio.
In the intermediate boys Micheál Ryan in fifth led the Nenagh CBS to the bronze medals with Andrew Ferris ninth , André Costa Barros fourteenth and Joe Cunningham sixteenth completing the scoring quartet, again well done to Gary Scully for fielding three teams in this age group.
In the Senior girls St Marys Jill Moynan, making a welcome return to competitive athletics, posted a fine third place finish getting stronger as the race progressed. With her natural endurance and love for running hopefully we can encourage her to do some more club competitions also.
The final race of the day was the senior boys and in this Dane Ryan, Nenagh CBS, ran a fine race eventually finishing fourth which completed a very successful day of Athletics for the local athletes.
The next outing is the East Munster schools cross country on the 8th February in Waterford.