Day 2 of the Downey’s Suzuki Laois Cross Country Championships was held in Blackhill, Abbeyleix recently and hosted by Ballyroan, Abbeyleix and District Athletics Club on the Cass family grounds.
All club members were there on hand to make sure it was a very successful event. The Black Shamrock was the task of the day and the challenge didn’t disappoint.
Fortunately it was nice even ground despite the previous night’s rainfall and the hills were ideally located around the shamrock trail for great spectator viewing of the many battles throughout the event.
The U9s girls were the first race of the day with the top 10 getting medals. First past the post was Laura Ayres from St Abban’s AC who had a really strong race, leading for most of it, in second place was Aoileann O’Comhraidhe From Emo Rath AC and third was Kate Dooley from St Abban’s AC.
Heidi Buggy, St Abban’s AC had a great race in 4th position, followed by Clara Flemming St Abban’s AC, Emma Nolan Oughaval, Aoife O’Sullivan St Abban’s AC, Caoimhe O’Sullivan St. Michael’s AC, Grace Cuddy Portlaoise AC and in 10th place was Mollie Kelly St. Abban’s AC.
First in the boys race was James O’ Mara St. Abban’s AC, Johnny McGrath St Abban’s AC, 3rd was Sean Slattery from Oughaval, 4th was Cameron O’Callaghan with team mate Cian Twomey in 5th from St. Michael’s AC and 6th was John Phelan from St. Abban’s AC, 7th was Oisin Maguire from Oughaval, 8th Conall Dooley, Ballyfin AC 9th Ryan Poole , Oughaval and 10th was Oisin Maguire, Emo Rath AC.
The U-11 girls race was super competitive with the top 4 positions constantly changing.
The eventual winner was Ciara Milton, St. Abban’s AC, Hannah Cox Ballyroan Abbeyleix AC was 2nd and 3rd was Eliza McLoughlin from Oughaval.
St Abban’s AC won the team gold with Ciara, Cara English, Rachel Dooley and Elanna Kelly.
In 2nd place was Ballyfin AC (Orla Carroll, Cara Dooley, Muireann Thompson and Aimee Conroy) and in third team were Oughaval AC (Eliza, Heidi Browne, Sophie Poole and Lucy Hartigan).
In the U-11 boys race Daniel Downey from Portlaoise AC was the convincing winner, in 2nd place was Will Craig, St Michael’s AC and in 3rd place was Kalem Buggy St. Abban’s AC.
The winning boys team were St Michael’s (Will Craig, Ronan Maher, Mikey O’Hanlon and Mark McAuliffe), in second place was St. Abban’s AC (Kalem Buggy, Cian O’Sullivan, Adam Kelly and Archie McDonald) and in 3rd was Ballyfin AC (Eoin O’Loughlin, Mathew Lynch, Ryan Lanham and Barry O’Loughlin).
The U-13 girls was a great battle between sisters Della and McLoughlin, from Oughaval AC.
Kate was first with younger sister Della in second place. In 3rd place was Rachel Ayres from St Abban’s AC.
The winning girls team were St Abban’s AC (Rachel Ayres, Jessica Murray, Katie McGrath and Aisling Cawley). The girls 2nd team were Oughaval AC (Della and Kate McLaughlin, Lucy Browne and Anna Maguire).
The girls bronze winners were Ballyfin AC (Grace McEvoy, Aoibheann O’Rourke, Laura Parnell and Jessica Downey).
In the U-13 boys race Shane Maher from St Michael’s AC had a great win with teammate Sean McAuliffe pushing him all the way.
In 3rd place was Michael Lacey from Ballyroan Abbeyleix & District AC.
The boys gold team were Eolann Maguire, Patrick Hartigan, James Doyle and Andy Keane from Oughaval AC.
In the girls U-15 race Faye McEvoy made it look easy powering up the hills a great distance ahead of 2nd place winner Caoimhe Cuddy, Portlaoise AC. In 3rd place was Niamh Tunny Ballyroan Abbeyleix AC.
Ballyroan Abbeyleix AC won the team gold with Faye, Niamh, Ciara Bowe and Emma Fitzpatrick. Team silver were Portlaoise with Caoimhe, Rebecca Marshall, Leah Smullen and Grace Meade. Team Bronze were St. Abban’s AC girls Audrey Byrne, Kate O’ Neill, Aoibhín McDonald and Katie Baldwin.
It was a St. Abban’s AC with a 1, 23 in the boys U-15 race, Jack Fenlon taking 1st place, Mackenzie McIvor in 2nd place and Adam Buggy in 3rd place.
St. Abban’s AC boys U-15 won the team gold (Jack, Mackenzie, Adam Buggy and Eoin Cawley) and bronze (Sean O’Sullivan, Lee Murray, Evan English and Niall Carpenter). The second team were Oughaval’s Richard McLoughlin, Ruairi Jago, Aaron Foley and Cillian Wheartly.
Niamh McDonald, had a great run in the U-17 girls 3500m finishing well ahead of her teammate Caoimhe Moore in 2nd place and 3rd was St Abban’s Athlete Christine Craven.
William Fox St. Abban’s AC was the convincing winner of the Boys U-17 4500m race, second behind him was Oisin Jago and 3rd was Evan Hogg Ballyroan Abbeyleix AC.
Oughaval won the team gold with Oisin, Billy Ramsbottom, Daniel McLoughlin and Mathew Buggy.
The U-19 Girls and Boys ran with the Intermediate Women and Men, so they had plenty of competition during the race.
The winner of the U-19 Girls 4000m race was Sarah Delaney, Ballyroan Abbeyleix AC.
In 2nd place was Emily O’Neill from Emo Rath. In 3rd was Inez Looney from Ballyfin and in 4th position was Mairead Sinnott from Ballyroan Abbeyleix AC.
1st home in the women’s Intermediate race was Trinity Student, Lucy Deegan from St. Abban’s AC. Lucy had a great race, staying with the pack for the first kilometre and then breaking away with Portlaoise athlete Aisling Boham.
By the 3rd lap of the 4k course she took it up a gear again and had a comfortable win. Aisling was in second place and in 3rd was Novice Champion from two weeks ago Sandra Fitzpatrick, Portlaoise AC who had another great race.
The Portlaoise ladies won the 1st team with Aisling, Sandra, Gillian Cunnigham and Maria Cuddy. St Abban’s AC won the team silver with Caitriona McDonald, Sharon Buggy and Ann Nichol Waugh. Ballyroan Abbeyleix AC won the bronze team medals with Liz McWey, Elaine Mahoney, Áine McDonald and Liz O’Reilly.
Cian McDonald impressed again and is now intermediate as well as Novice Champion for 2019. Cian was convincing winner with a well-paced race.
All eyes were on the battle between team mates Liam Buggy and Tony Cox of Ballyfin, who didn’t disappoint, both gave everything, with Liam being the eventual 2nd place winner and Tony in 3rd.
The Men’s teams were 5 to score. Ballyroan Abbeyleix AC won the team gold with Cian, Noel Burke, Paul Burke, Jimmy Nerney and John Kirwan. Ballyfin AC were 2nd team with Liam Buggy, Tony Cox, Paul Williamson, Andrew Kehoe and Tommy Looney.