ALL ROADS lead to Adamstown this weekend with the national Novice and uneven age Juvenile cross-country championships taking place in the village, hosted by the local athletic club in co-operation with Athletics Wexford. The event will take place on the lands of Gavin and Stuart Rothwell, with registration in Berry Sports Medicine.
In the Juvenile section the Model county will be represented by the Under-11 county champion, Adamstown A.C's Luke Byrne, in the boys' 1,500m, and by Michael Carroll from D.M.P. A.C. in the boys' Under-13 2,500m.
Both Luke and Michael earned their places on the Leinster team at the provincial championships held in Dunboyne, Co. Meath, last month. Luke's race will be the second of the day, with the championship starting at 11.30 a.m. Michael will race at approximately midday.
County Junior and Under-18 champion, Stephen Gorman, also from Adamstown A.C., will compete for his club on home ground in the boys' Under-19 6,000m, which is the last Juvenile race of the day.
The Novice ladies' team are probably Wexford's best chance of a medal. The majority of the team that ran so well recently, finishing in fourth position in the national inter-counties in Tattersalls, Co. Meath, will again line out in the Wexford colours.
Ciara Wilson from D.M.P. A.C. is having her best season ever and capped this with a fine bronze medal at the Under-23 All-Ireland crosscountry in Tattersalls last month. She also helped D.C.U. to gold in the inter-varsity relays the previous week. She will be hoping to add to her medal tally on Sunday.
Fiona Kehoe finished sixth in this event last year and will be hoping to improve on that on home ground. Fiona is one of the country's top 800m runners, having previously won national Senior medals at that distance on the track.
Catherine Murphy is relatively new to the sport and won the Leinster Masters cross-country in Rathdrum earlier this season. She has been running very well over the past year.
Elaine Cardiff is the current county Intermediate champion and has shown a good return to form this year. Lillian Lawless is the current county Novice champion and has made a comeback to the sport in the last year. Catherine Walsh originally was a race walker, but is now turning in some fine performances in cross-country.
While the final line-up for the county men's team is not fully confirmed yet, definite competitors in the Novice race are David Barron, Ger Maloney and Jason O'Connor. All three have been consistent performers in the Wexford colours for several seasons now. Wexford native Andrew Connick, if running, will be a contender for overall honours in the men's race among an expected field of over 400 runners.
We are sure to witness some excellent races in the national championships, and anyone travelling to Adamstown is advised to arrive early, as certain traffic restrictions and one-way systems will apply in the area. Pat O'Leary from Bree A.C. is the official starter for the event and will ensure that the first race starts at 11.30 a.m. sharp and that the schedule is strictly adhered to.
On site catering is available with all proceeds going to local Juvenile athlete development, with the entire community in Adamstown joining in to make sure the championships run smoothly.
More information is available from the county website on www.wexfordathletics.com and on the Athletics Association of Ireland website - www.athleticsireland.ie.