The Kelly family name has been synonymous with Laois athletics over the years but there was a little bit of history made today when Cian Kelly from the St Abban’s club claimed the Downey’s Autostop men’s senior Laois cross country title in Stradbally Hall.
The extended Kelly family have made a massive contribution in a variety of roles over the years to St Abban’s and Laois athletics but a senior county individual gold medal eluded them until Cian was first past the finish line today.
And in another significant achievement he joins a short but prestigious list of men to have won both the junior and senior races in the same season.
Kelly was tracked all the way by last year’s runner-up Tom Lupton from Portlaoise who finished in second again with Kelly’s St Abban’s team-mate Sean (Proctor) Geoghegan in third.
And St Abban’s also won the team gold with Kelly, Geoghegan, Brian Kelly (5th), John Fenlon (7th), Michael Kelly (11th) and Naoise Kettle (12th).
Portlaoise took the team silver with Ballyroan-Abbeyleix bronze and Ballyfin in fourth.
It was a busy day of action for Laois athletics in Stradbally with Mary Mulhare from Portlaoise winning her eighth ladies senior title a week out from representing Ireland in the European championships in Portugal while Ballyroan-Abbeyleix put in a strong showing to win their second team gold in four years.
There was also a full schedule of underage races with the U-7, U-9 and U-11 relays taking place as well as the U-15, U-17 and U-19 races in boys and girls.
A full set of results will follow.