National Success for Carraig na bhFear AC Girls!

February 13, 2024

The Carraig na bhFear U13 girls team made the long journey to Dundalk for the National Juvenile ‘B’ Championships on Sunday 11 th February. It was probably fair to say with a sizeable entry of 10 club teams and 123 athletes on the start line, the girls would have been considered dark horses for a medal but an absolutely outstanding team performance on the day exceeded all expectations as they secured a bronze team medal with every athlete playing their part. Emma Johnson put a year in which she was frustrated with injury firmly behind her as she led the team home, securing an individual bronze medal in 12th place overall and also led the Cork team to a silver team medal. Brilliant performances from Allie Philips, Hannah Coffey, Lily O’Keeffe, Amelia O’Donovan, Mary-Kate Dawson, Rebecca McCarthy and Aoibhe Dunlea. Congratulations from the Club on their National success and thanks to the parents and travelling coach Eileen O’Riordan who backed the girls by making the trip which will surely be the foundation for more success in the future, they are a dedicated bunch and can go far!

The South Munster schools cross-country was held on a very muddy Tramore Valley Course on Friday 9th February. Following a break in cross-country since the Club Nationals in December, it can be a shock to the system to go straight into a competitive school’s competition but credit to the coaches for having the Carraig na bhFear AC athletes race- ready and figuring prominently in the results. Aoileann Boyle was first in action in the minor girls’ race having a good run to finish in 32nd place overall. In the Junior Girls 2k, Robyn Maher was 29th overall and was a scoring member of the gold medal-winning Loretta Fermoy
team. As usual, Robyn and Anna Mullins weren’t far apart with Anna finishing in 31st place for St. Angela’s. Faye O’Riordan has been flying on the trails and it showed as she won individual bronze in 5th place overall in the Intermediate girls race and also led St. Angelas to team gold. Caoimhe Gray-Walsh and Laura Moore placed 12th and 14th respectively scoring for the silver medallists Loreto Fermoy. All 3 girls were already qualified as individuals finishing in the top 15 and will do battle again in the Munster Championships in Tramore Valley Park on 27th February. Orlaith Merrit (Colaiste an Chraobhin) was 25th in the Senior girls race over 3k. In the Senior Boys 5k race, Aidan Maher came through to take the Bronze medal in 3rd place and also led a strong St.Colmans Fermoy team to 1st place. Timmy Hawkins (Bruce College) qualified for the Munster finals in 7th place with brother Brian Hawkins (St. Francis College Rochestown) just outside the qualifying places in 16th . A good
run for Brian who has 2 more years at Senior level. Cian Ryan who is a 1st year Intermediate stepped up to senior level to help form a team for Glanmire CC and was 3rd scorer for the team who finished 6th overall. Congratulations to everyone who ran in tough conditions representing their schools.

There was a record entry for the Inter-Varsity indoor Championships in Abbotstown on Saturday 10th . We had 4 members of our Women’s National league team in action with some impressive results. Orla Coffey (UCC) and Lily O’Riordan (MTU) showed their range of track & field skills with 3rd and 6th places respectively in the multi-events. The highlight of Orla’s series en-route to the bronze medal was a win in the 800m in a time of 2:25. Emma Coffey secured silver in the Women’s Pole-Vault with a best height of 2.50m. Blessing Alamu (SETU) placed 7th in the shot-put with a best of 10.51m and 9th in Weight-For-Distance with a best throw of 6.47m.

Orla Coffey representing UCC
Orla Coffey representing UCC leads the field in the Pentathlon 800m event at the Irish Universities Indoor Track & Field Championships

Other News: Some fine performances in the Saturday park-runs on a blustery and wet morning. In TVP, Cathal and Siobhan Walsh worked well together to finish in 11th an 12 th places running 21:20 and 21:21 respectively. Club PRO Tadhg Crowley opted for the challenging Glen River parkrun and was first over the line in 18:44, super running from Tadhg. There was considerably better weather for the BHAA Janssen 5k race in Little Island on Sunday morning with a bumper crowd of 360 runners. Brian Hawkins shaved almost a minute off his PB to finish 18th overall in 17:12, well done Brian! Michael Mulcahy ran a fast
18:26 to score for Dell who were 2 nd team overall. Darragh O’Keeffe and Richard Hawkins, both running for Janssen ran 19:01 and 19:03 respectively as they prepare for upcoming Marathons.

Big congratulations to Lucy Lynch and Aidan Maher who were presented with bursaries by the Cork County Board as Aspiring Young Athletes in recognition of their success at National Championships in 2023.

Look Ahead: The Cubs AGM takes place on Sunday 18 th February in the Arches Bar at 7pm, all adult members are welcome to attend.

Report by Richard Hawkins.

Featured Image: Carraig na bhFear AC's u13s team who won bronze at the National Juvenile 'B' Cross Country Championships.

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