Kenmare AC collect eighth cross-country title in a row


Tessa Dennison

Kenmare AC left nothing to chance in pursuit of their eighth consecutive juvenile cross-country title when they turned out in force for the first day of the Kerry Cross-country Championships in the Killarney Demesne last Sunday. As well as taking three individual titles and with a host of top 10 finishers, the club won gold team medals in every age category from U-10 through to U-16, and some silver team medals too.

The bad weather of the previous few days didn't materialise and although the course was muddy in parts at least the day was dry, making for perfect cross-country running conditions.

Luke Merrigan won Kenmare's first individual title of the day in the U-10 boy's 1,000m race. Second was Oisin O'Leary (Gneeveguilla) and Seamus O'Donoghue (Kenmare) was third. Maeve O'Connor from An Riocht took the U-10 girls title ahead of Muireann Teahan (Iveragh) and Jessie Lynch (Farranfore Maine Valley).

Adam Quigley picked up gold in the U-12 boys race. Finishing the 2,000m course just ahead of Kenmare athletes Zack O'Shea and Ben Merrigan.

Sisters Kathryn and Hannah Ryan (Killarney Valley) were first and second in the U-12 girls race just ahead of Marina Eager (Star of the Laune).

Moving up to a distance of 3,000m for the U-14 races, Oisin Spillane (Farranfore Maine Valley) took the boy's title with Robert Stack (Lios Tuathail) in second place ahead of Timothy O'Donghue (Kenmare) in third.

There was another championship title for Farranfore Maine Valley when Shauna McCarthy crossed the line in first place with in the girl's race, with Deirdre Kelly (Iveragh) second and Grace Cahill (An Riocht) third.

The U-16 boys 4,000m race was hotly contested with Owen Healy from Tralee Harriers just easing ahead of Michael O'Reilly from Kenmare in the final few metres. Third was Ben Murphy from Gneeveguilla.

There was no such worry for Rhona Randles (Kenmare) when she won the U-16 girls title, storming home with a massive lead over Kerry Eager (Star of the Laune) and Eimear O'Sullivan (St Brendan's).

It was Tralee Harriers gold and silver in the U-18 boys 6000m race with Oisin Spillane crossing the line just ahead of Louis Byrne. The U-18 girls title, running over 4,000m went Alyce O'Connor (Kenmare) with Emily Pierce (Lios Tuathail) in second place.

The winner of the men's U-23 title was Conor O'Mahoney (An Riocht) with the women's U-23 title going to Aoife Mahony (Lios Tuthail).

The Novice Men's title was won by Darragh Browne (Lios Tuathail) and he was presented with the Freddie Murphy Perpetual Cup by his dauther Maura.

An Riocht won the team gold and silver medals with Patrick O'Connor, Martin Dineen, Kevin McCarthy,Trevor Dunne, Tim Long and Trevor Leen making up the teams. Farranfore Maine Valley won the bronze team medals.

Team gold went to the Farranfore Maine Valley Novice ladies team with Mary Daly winning overall and with Marie McKenna in silver medal position and Grainne Tierney finishing in fourth place overall. Silver team medals went to the An Riocht team of Catherine O'Sullivan, Liz Heaslip and Majella Diskin. Bronze team medals were presented to Farranfore Maine Valley.

Full results will be available on The action moves to Currow on Sunday, October 8 for the Intermediate, Masters and Juvenile Uneven Age Championships.