Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Cross Country Season Draws To A Close
Report by Sally Drennan

Last weekend saw the 2016/17 cross country season draw to a close as far as Midleton AC athletes are concerned, so I thought it would be worth taking a quick look back at the successful season that the club has had.

Every year a few brave club members take the plunge and run their first cross country race.  I'm happy to say that the majority of these athletes enjoy it and go on to run many more races, bringing honour and glory to themselves and their club, at the same time reaping huge training benefits themselves.  This year Louise Barry ran her first cross country race and enjoyed it so much that she ran every race she could and encouraged other members to try it too.  Claire Parker had a couple of great runs and did exceptionally well for her for her first season at it, unfortunately picking up an injury towards the end of the season which prevented her from taking part in the last few races.  This was also the case for Karen Davis who had also enjoyed her first cross country season.  Breeda Sheedy and Maire Walsh also took up the challenge this year for the first time. 


We also had a number of men who had their first cross country outings.  Particular congratulations to David Moynihan, Mark O'Reilly,  Edwin Cashman, Ger O'Regan, Brian Cott and Ronan Mc Manus all who were competing for the first time this year.


It was good to see Orlagh Farmer making a strong comeback to running after a few years concentrating on football.  She was second in the East Cork senior and ran strongly in the national novice before football commitments took priority again, but we hope to see Orlagh as part of our teams in the coming years.


The first county event of the season was the novice where Sinead Kevany won first place individually and led the team of Eileen Leahy, Louise Barry and Christine Murphy into second place.


A few weeks later Sinead went on to comfortably win the Munster novice and scored on the Cork team which came second.  One of our younger members, Eileen Leahy scored on the winning Cork team at the Munster under 23's and just missed out on an individual medal.

Then came the county masters.  Once again Sinead won the county masters, taking 1st over 35. In the county masters Louise won her first individual cross country medal with 3rd place over 35. This was a really well deserved win which Louise was thrilled with. We are getting used to expecting good things from our mens over 50's team and we weren't disappointed, as the team of Edmond, John Cashman and Paul Kierans won the bronze medal with Edmond placing 3rd over 50.

The next race was the Munster masters in Dungarvan.  Here, true to form Joan Hough won 1st over 55 and scored on the third placed Cork team. Neilus Aherne won 1st over 60 in the Munster masters and was 1st to score on the Cork team.

Sinead and Orlagh then both represented the club at the national novice in Dundalk.

Neilus started this season on the high that he finished last season.  At the Autumn Open cross country he qualified to run for Ireland in the British and Irish masters cross country in Scotland. There he was the  2nd Irish man over 60 to score on the Irish team which won gold.


In the final race of the season on a bitterly cold day in Waterford IT last Sunday, the club was represented by three teams and two individuals.  The over 35 women's team on the day was made up of Sinead Kevany, Louise Barry, Maire Walsh and Gillian Bransfield.  Sinead had a fantastic run winning a gold medal with the Cork team and just missing out by 1 point on a bronze individual medal.  Particular congratulations and thanks to Maire for bravely running her first ever cross country race at the all-Ireland masters and thereby ensuring that we had a team.  Unfortunately we didn't quite have an over 50 women's team, but Joan ran a great race to score on the Cork gold medal winning team, followed home by Marie Gillman and Sally Drennan.  As usual Neilus led our men's over 50 team which also included John Cashman, Edmond O'Sullivan and Paul Kierans.  They all ran very well on an exceptionally tough course, and John and Edmond did well to get there due to injuries which have hampered their training in recent months.  Once again Neilus won a national individual medal, this time bronze,  as well as scoring on the 3rd placed Cork team. In addition to these teams, we had two individual runners.  Edwin Cashman and Francis Maunsell both ran very strong races and we hope that they too will have a team next year.


If I have left anyone out or failed to mention any achievements, please accept my apologies and let me know so I can update the records.


Well done to one and all.  I  hope that this will inspire even more of you to run cross country for the club next year.