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In Pictures: Huge crowd at Laois Masters, Junior and Juvenile Development Cross Country

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The picturesque setting of Emo Court was the venue for the Laois Masters, Junior and Development Races on Sunday.

Despite the consistent rain in recent weeks, the underfoot conditions were very good which made for excellent running.

The programme got underway with the Development races which are aimed at athletes who have not been individual medallists in the County Championships held earlier in the year.

All present wished to thank St Michael’s AC and Portlaois AC who jointly hosted the successful event in Emo.

The final day of the Laois Cross Country calendar will take place on December 17 with St Abban’s AC hosting the Laois Senior Cross Country.

Below, we have reports from St Abban’s and Oughaval AC plus some pictures from St Michael’s AC:


St Abban’s had a good showing in these races, with the club to the fore in the Boys U-10. The team of Isaac Fitzgerald, Rian Bolton, Brenin Haughney, Reuben Kelly (3rd), Sean McDonald, Ben Farrell, Aaron O’Connor, Sean O’Doherty (1st) and Mason O’Doherty Moore claimed all three team medals.

In the Girls U-10, the team of Amelia Flanagan, Lily Knowles and Grace Conway finished in 2nd place. Lily also claimed an individual medal when finishing in 2nd place.

Similarly in the Boys and Girls U-12 the club had athletes battling all the way to the line.

Harry Brennan led the field home, followed closely by Cathal English which helped the team to first place. Cathal and Harry were joined by Oran McCarthy, Charlie Conway, Dara Murphy, Rory O Doherty and Kyle O’Brien.

The Girls U-14 race was next with the team of Zoe Dunne, Leah Dunphy and Hannah Dagg combining to take bronze team medals.

Numbers dwindled for the club across the older age groups with many of the athletes ineligible for these races. Eoghan Mitchell did take bronze in the Boys U-16 race after a tough battle around the 2500m course.

After the Juvenile programme had been completed it was the turn of the Masters Women and O-65 Men.

The St Abban’s team of Siobhan Burke, Claire Phelan, Karen Kavanagh, Caitriona McDonald, Collette English, Margo Dowling, Sinead Kelly and Carmel Byrne all gave their best effort to help the team effort.

Siobhan led the team home and took the victory in her own category. Club veterans, Dick Mullins and Paddy Harding finished 2nd and 3rd in the O-65 category in the same race.

David McEvoy was the winner of the men’s race pulling away from Colin Coyne in the latter stages of the 6k event.

The team of David, Colin, Conor Barry, Patrick Dunn and PJ Leonard should be in the running for the overall team competition.


Oughaval AC, the Vicarstown based athletic club in the yellow singlets, combined a big splash of colour and some fine running at todays Laois Athletics Masters and Juvenile B Cross Country Championships.

Were it not for the damp conditions and autumn leaves, the numerous yellow tops would remind one of the daffodils in spring.

With runners in all juvenile races, from U-10 to U-16, along with the Junior and Masters grades, the club had one of it’s best days in recent times.

Sean Gleeson, Michael Dunne and Jacob Thomas made up the Boys U-10 Team, with Ailbhe Ryan the only representative in Girls U-10.

Oisin Maguire and Blake Thomas were in the Boys U-12, with Oisin finishing a brilliant 4th

Girls U-12 were well represented by Niamh Gleeson, Ella Deegan, Laoise Dunne and Emily Browne, finishing 3rd team.

Auryn Ryan was the club’s only runner in Boys U-14.

Girls U-14 was Oughaval’s best showing of the day – with Olivia O’Flanagan literally running away with the race, closely followed by her sister Lauren and the most improved athlete in the club, Leah Foley.

In winning the team category, they were well supported by the second team of Heidi Browne, Cliodhna O’Flanagan, Aine Goulding and Roisin Gleeson.

In Boys U-16, Cormac Foley and Conor Byrne finished really strongly.

The junior girls race runs along with the Masters Women, and Della McLoughlin led the field to win the Junior Race.

The Over 35 team of Paula Guinan, Martin Dunne and Hilary Tracey worked their socks off on this hilly and damp 3500m course, with Paula winning the O35 category and the team winning bronze in the O35 team.

The over 45 team of Frances Lalor, Catherine Stapleton and Suzanne Scully had plenty of tough competition, where Cathering finished second in the O55 individual category.

In the 6,000m junior mens race, Richard and Daniel McLoughlin were 2nd and 3rd respectively, with Richard, Daniel, Ruairi Jago and Cillian Whearty the run-away winner of the team category.

Oughaval have never had so many runners in Masters Men, with James Ryan, Darragh Mulhall, Finian Guinan, Tom O’Connell and Damien Behan on the O35 team, and Paddy McLoughlin, John Boland, Sean McEvoy, Tom Byrne and Jimmy McLoughlin on the O45 team.


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