Team Success for Carraig Na bhFear AC in County Championships!

May 21, 2024

A very successful day at the county relay and limited field event championships last Sunday was had by our small band of travelling athletes. Travel they did, as due to the continued lack of a single track capable of holding a competition in the County of Cork, Castleisland in North Kerry was the location for this year’s championships. Under-10 Ivy Forde was our youngest competitor on the day and she had a very creditable 4th place in turbo javelin and placed in the upper half of the results sheet in her long-jump. Ivys’ brother John also threw Turbo and was competitive with a top half finish in his under-12 category also. There was a good contingent of long jumpers in action and paid dividends with Aoibhe Dunlea taking a bronze medal in under-14 girls’ competition. Others who long-jumped were under-12 John Forde, under 13s Amelia O’Donovan, Laoighse Nott and Travis DeSouza who finished 4th in his first ever long-jump competition. Under-14 girls competing were Emma Johnson, Mary Kate Dawson, Hannah Coffey & Lily O’Keeffe. Two of our under 14s took on the high jump also with Hannah Coffey just outside the medals in 4th position and Mary Kate Dawson in 5th.

The big success of the day was our four relay teams that travelled with all 4 coming away with medals and the qualification for National Finals that comes with a podium finish at counties. Our under-14 girls team won their heat and had another great performance in the final to take a silver medal. Mary Kate Dawson, Aoibhe Dunlea, Emma Johnson and Lily O’Keeffe lined out in both heat and final. Our under-15 girls Lucy Davis & Liala Olotu were joined by Lily O’Keeffe & Aoibhe Dunlea from the 14’s to take bronze in their straight final competition. The two 15’s Lucy & Liala then stepped up with under-16s’ Jess Akinkoulie & Jennifer Murphy to win another bronze medal in that competition. Thank you to all the parents who travelled to Castleisland to get our young people there and back safely with the bonus of some great medals and memories. Our Under-19 Boys team of Michael Mullins, Aidan Maher, Ruaidhri Boyle and Bobby O’Riordan won gold in the final race of the day, a fitting end to the days competition as this team had claimed our most recent county relay victory before this promising group of girls took up the mantle.

Ciaran Nugent got his 400m hurdles season underway with a 5 th place in the May Senior Open in Morton Stadium, Dublin with a solid opener in 55:44 in what was an exceptionally high-standard race. An exciting season ahead in this event with the impressive Dewhirst brothers joining the Senior ranks, Fintan Dewhirst running 51:19 to move to 5th on the Irish Senior all-time and achieving the U20 A-standard. No doubt the competition will drive Ciaran on as he builds towards the National Senior Championships.

The Munster schools Track & Field Championships took place in Templemore on Saturday 18th , a number of our athletes representing their schools were hopeful of a place in the National Finals in Tullamore in two weeks’ time. In early competition our Junior Racewalkers Robyn Maher (Loreto, Fermoy) and Anna Mullins (St.Angelas) faced stiff competition but finished in 3rd and 4th places respectively with good performances. In the Inter girls race over 2km, Aoife Martin (Colaiste an Chroi Naofa) had a comfortable win in 9:51:56 and will head to the finals full of confidence. Our two Senior athletes had an impressive day winning two medals apiece. Ruaidhri Boyle (Colaiste an Phiarsaigh) won gold in the 400m hurdles and silver in the 400m flat in fast times of 58:21and 51:38 respectively. Aidan Maher claimed silver in the 2000m Steeplechase and bronze in the 1500m in times of 6:31 and 4:17 respectively. Caoimhe Gray-Walsh (Loreto, Fermoy) held off a challenge to finish 4 th in the girls Inter 800m in a time of 2:32:32, not an automatic qualifying position but giving herself a chance of a finals slot as the first 3 girls had doubled up in both 800m and 1500m. Lucy Lynch 4th in the Inter Girls 300m in a tight final, the distance short of Lucy’s favoured 400m but a great effort nonetheless and Lucy also led her St. Aloysius, Carrigtwohill team to victory in the 4 x 300m relay. Congratulations to everyone competing on super performances!

The Fota 5k and Juvenile 1-mile race hosted by Eagle AC is always popular with our members, fortunately the promised thundery downpour preceded the races and the weather was ideal for both races. Our three athletes in the 1-mile race negotiated the hectic start well to pace the race nicely and running very impressive times. Well done to Allie Phillips (17 th , 6:10), Cathal Walsh (21st , 6:14) and Emma Johnson (29th , 6:25). In the 5k race Brian Hawkins was 2nd Junior in 17:54 with Peter Hawkins 3rd Junior, breaking the 19-minute barrier for the first time with a pb of 18:58. Darragh O’Keefe was a well-placed 22nd overall in 18:25 with Richard Hawkins finishing next in 20:50 and great to see Aidan Cooney back racing and finishing in 33:37. Siobhan Walsh and Orla Gorman worked together to finish on 23:58, well up the field of runners. Well done to all competing.

Congratulations to Conor Kelly who was the winner of the Poulmucka 5k in Tipperary with a time of 18:31. Conor also coming back from injury but showing great progression in recent weeks, well deserved!

Look Ahead: Carraig Na BhFear AC have a strong entry for the Munster Junior, Senior, Masters and Juvenile combined events Track and Field competitions next weekend in Templemore. Best of luck to all competing.

Report by Richard Hawkins

Featured Image: Carraig AC's U19 4 x 400m relay team of Aidan Maher, Ruaidhri Boyle, Bobby O'Riordan, and Michael Mullins who won County Gold. by Tony Johnson

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