ON THE same day when that the Irish senior women's team won gold in Hungary, a future generation of aspiring young athletes went through their paces at the Woodie's DIY All Ireland Novice and uneven age Juvenile cross country championships.
It was the final venue for this season's Cross Country programme in the sunny South east picturesque village of Adamstown Co Wexford. The weather for mid December was very kind to spectators and athletes alike and the dry underfoot conditions allowed the runners to show their real form.
For a club to have one National champion in a season is an achievement but to have three on the same afternoon is the stuff of dreams. Well St Laurence O'Toole athletes were not dreaming last Sunday as three athletes from the Carlow club left the best athletes in their age groups from all over Ireland in their slipstream as they stormed away to three very impressive victories.
First into action was Corrine Kenny who stayed close to the front for the first half of the girls U-11 before striding away from her rivals for her first All-Ireland victory. Corrine said after the race "The race was fast over the 1500m course and three of us broke away and kept the pace steady. With 400 to go I was struggling to get a lead from the two girls and just held on to the line"
Winning any All Ireland in any discipline is not easy, over this season we have become used to Siobhra O'Flaherty destroying quality fields and she was at it again last Sunday winning the U-15 title with consummate ease. Siobhra took the lead after 200m in the 2,500 m course and was the most impressive winner of the day. She added this title to the U-16 she won two weeks in Meath and she will now turn her attention after Christmas to the Schools races where she will have an opportunity to test her talent against the best in the UK.
The final O'Toole's winners was the very seasoned Danny Lawler in the boys U-19 race who has made steady progress over the years to finally capture an All-Ireland Title last Sunday. In this 6000m race Danny was comfortable from the start with three making a break to keep a steady pace through and Danny took the lead with 800 to go and had the speed to win easy. Danny said he felt great in the race and just found the third lap the most difficult.This should give him the confidence to aim for a place on next year's Junior European team.
A major systems failure meant that juvenile results were not available on the day.
The final placing of other Carlow athletes were not available before going to print. Athletics Ireland apologises to everyone for this failure and is working with our system providers to finalise results as quickly as possible.
We regret the huge inconvenience and disappointment to all concerned, especially the young athletes on this their special day