Juvenile News

Juvenile News, December 3rd 2007

The All Ireland Cross Country Championship was held in the Curragh of Kildare on Sunday 25th Nov.  This is one of the most important days in the athletic calendar and competition was keen in the weeks leading up to it at qualification events in each province.  Only the top twelve individuals and three best clubs and counties in   each age qualify from the provinces to compete in this event.  West Waterford was well represented at these championships as over twenty athletes travelled to compete on provincial, county and club teams. There were large fields in all the races as all the other provinces were also well represented.  A good start was essential in the large fields. Such was the high standard of competition on the day that only one West Waterford athlete got among the medal winners.  Elma Nugent was a scoring member of both the Munster and Waterford teams that finished second in the under 19 event and so came home with two All Ireland silver medals.  Elma has trained consistently for this race since last summer and was this was evident in her performance last Sunday.

We had four boys on the Waterford under 12 team and it was their first trip to compete in the All Ireland Championships.  Three of the four are under 11 so this was a very good experience for them and will give them a good idea of what to expect next year.  Sean Curran and Tholm Reddy were in the middle of the field close together for most of the race but in the latter part Sean put in a great finish and pulled away to finish 53rd, the second Waterford athlete home while Tholm still recovering from a bad flu faded over the latter part of the race to finish 111th but still made it into the scoring six on the Waterford team.  Richard Casey sprinted clear of Shane Nugent as the finish line approached and they 140th and 144th respectively.

In the under 14 races both Kate Veale and David Earley were representing Munster and such was the strength of the teams that all six scorers were home in the first twenty in the boys and first twenty five in the girls.  Kate found herself in the middle of the field after the fast start and worked hard to get up to 33rd place and it was much the same with David who was in the mid fifties for much of the race but a strong finish saw him come through to finish 43rd.

Our under 16 girls had qualified for their first All Ireland as a club team and found themselves up against some tough opposition finishing 12th in the inter club competition. First home was Edel Roche (86th) while Claire Collins (89th) got the better of Rebecca Maher (92nd) on the day. Clodagh Gallagher had a better run this week when finishing 98th and Kate Kennedy 110th and Lisa Houlihan 128th completed the team. The best club team performance of the day came from the under 16 boys who finished in 6th place in both the inter club and inter county contests.  Daniel Mc Carthy who had a good run to finish in 20th place led them home.  He was well supported by Joe Conway 47th and Brian Hallissey 56th and all three were members of the Waterford team.  There was a great sprint to the finish for the fourth scoring spot with Lughaidh O’Mahony 86th just getting the better of Darragh O’Riordan 87th and Tom Curran 90th with Jim Curran completing the team in 114th place.

Waterford had their best result of the day in the under 18 girls finishing 2nd in the team race just two points behind Dublin.  Elma Nugent (24th) was a scoring member of the Waterford team and also on the Munster team which finished 2nd in the inter provincial contest.  Jenny Hurley ran well to finish 37th and was unlucky to finish outside the medals.  Perhaps the unluckiest athlete of all was Mark Shaloe despite suffering a knee injury in the week before he was determined to take part and started his race however it soon became evident that he was running in pain and he did the sensible thing and opted out of the race.

In the junior men’s Rory Maloney showed what great progress he has made this year when he ran a very well judged race making his way steadily through the field to finish 21st .  It was a pity Waterford did not field a full team in this race, as they would surely have won the bronze if not the silver medals.

Easons league will conclude on Wednesday when we will have the final run off followed by the presentation of prizes.  The League has generated a lot of interest over the past few weeks and this is evident each week as the athletes compare their own times looking for that elusive personal best.  Our thanks to Pat White of Easons Dungarvan for his continued sponsorship of this event and we hope the vouchers will give our young athletes hours of reading pleasure over the Christmas holidays.  Wednesday will be the last training day for our under 11,13 and 15 athletes as they take a well-earned break.  We will resume training in March for the track and field season. The under 17 and 19 athletes will continue training in preparation for the All Ireland uneven ages which will be hosted by West Waterford Athletic Club at St. Augustines College.  Preparations are well under way for this event and all in the club are looking forward to a great day of cross-country running.

A email has just arrive from Paris announcing that West Waterfords team of Rebecca Maher, Edel Roche, Claire Collins and Kate Kennedy took first place in the inter club cadettes filles race. They finished with a score of 81pts well clear of Essonne Athletic Club (126pts) and Moissy Athletic Club (135pts). Well done girls on a superb team performance.

The club would like to extend their sympathy to the family of John O’Riordan who died recently. For many years John was the chief starter at the Munster Schools Track and Field Championships.  May he rest in peace.