Home Sport Athletics In Pictures: Wonderful performances from Laois athletes at All-Ireland Cross Country Championships

In Pictures: Wonderful performances from Laois athletes at All-Ireland Cross Country Championships

St Catherine’s AC were the hosts of Day 2 of the National Cross Country Championships which were held in Aghern Garryann, Cork last weekend.

There were some fantastic performances from Laois athletes on the day as they navigated the testing cross country course well.

In the opening race of the programme, Sinéad Fitzpatrick set the tone for the day with a fantastic run to finish in 3rd place in the U-11 race.

The St Abban’s athlete got out early with the leaders and continued to push the pace the whole way around the 1500m course.

When the breaks came towards the end she battled hard to take 3rd position.

St Abban’s led the way in the U-11 boys race with their athletes combining to finish 12th in the club competition.

They were led home by Eoin Dowling in 57th, Cathal English 72nd, Daire o Sullivan 72nd, John Conway 110th, Joseph Lawlor 115th and Harry Brennan 127th.

There was strong Laois representation in the U-13 girls race with St Abban’s finishing 9th and Laois coming 8th.

Ciara Milton was first home for St Abban’s  in 34th, Chelsey Dooley was just behind her in 38th, Zoe Dunne was next in 66th and Katie Hartnett rounded out the team in 107th.

The Laois team was completed by Oughaval’s Eliza McLoughlin, Aoileann O’Comhraidhe of Emo/Rath in 103rd and Heidi Browne of Oughaval in 145th.

There was no Laois involvement in the boys U-13 race but Katie McLoughlin of Oughaval finished 19th in the girls U-15 event.

Laois finished ninth in the boys U-15 race where Dan Downey of Portlaoise AC was first home in 73rd while Shane Maher of St Michael’s was 79th.

Kalem Buggy was St Abban’s sole competitor in the 3,500m event where he finished in 87th place – just after Tadhg O’Comhraidhe of Emo-Rath who came 83rd.

St Michael’s trio Will Craig (94th), Sean McAuliffe (101st) and Daniel Yarrow (121st) completed the team.

In the girls -17 4000m, Rachel Ayers really enjoyed the tough conditions.

She moved through the field, picking off athletes on each lap. She finished in 7th place and third scorer on the Leinster team who finished in 1st place.

Rebecca Marshall of Portlaoise AC was 59th – a fine performance in a big field.

In the girls U-19 race, Orla Looney of Portlaoise AC finished in 36th place while Jack McMahon of Ballyroan, Abbeyleix and District came 15th in the boys equivalent.

Richard McLoughlin was 43rd while his Oughaval clubmate Daniel McLoughlin was 47th.

In the Novice ladies, Kate McDonald was the star of the show as the Ballyroan, Abbeyleix and District athlete claimed a silver medal.

Lucy Deegan and Caitlin McDonald were representing St Abban’s. Lucy finished in 22nd place with Caitlin coming home in 48th place after the 4000m course.

In the Novice mens, Conal Whelan of Ballyroan, Abbeyleix and District came in 25th.

Cian McDonald was just behind him in 29th while fellow clubman Matthew McConnell was 65th. Patrick Marshall of Portlaoise AC was the final Laois man home in 155th.

Check out some pictures below:

SEE ALSO – O’Moore Park shortlisted among the best six pitches in Ireland for 2022

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.