by Jimmy Rhatigan

ON THE first day of the Kilkenny County Championships in Ballycurran,  Castlecomer AC had three representatives in the juvenile section. 

Catherine Scully was on her first cross country outing in the girls’ U14 races. She put in a good performance placing in the middle of a big turnout. 

John Kennedy won his first cross country race and gold medal in the U16 race. He will be leading the county team at the Leinster Championships. 

Emma Lawlor was third U18, again securing her place on the county team for the Leinsters. 

Castlecomer had three athletes contesting the senior races. 

James Kelly battled hard to secure a fourth place finish in the men’s race but had to be content with fifth in a sprint finish.

James Morrissey finished ninth.  Lauren Dermody lined out in the very competitive ladies race. 

She went into the race in fine form having achieved five personal bests during the year. 

In a very competitive and fast paced race Lauren won silver to add to her 2019 gold.

On October 9, Castlecomer AC hosted the second stage of the county cross-country. The day was wet and windy making conditions difficult. 

A big thank you went to the course constructors on the site at Dysart which the Kilkenny athletics community has become accustomed to after many years enjoying racing there.  

Marty Connolly once again put his years of experience to good use in preparing the course and an army of club volunteers and coaches ensured the day was organised to the usual high standards. 

Club participation was somewhat lower than previous years but this did not diminish the quality of the performances in harsh weather. 

Some were seasoned athletes while others were first time competitors. First off were the girls’ U9, Lauren Malone and Grace Dormer, two new club members who ran very well. 

The boys’ U9 were represented by Shane Buggy, Cillian Maher and Charlie Dunne. Orla Maher and Aoibhinn Malone, both eligible for U10, ran U11 on this occasion and put in fine performances on their first day out. 

Sean Dormer and James Bourne competed at U11 level. Aisling Phelan running at U13 had 2km to complete. She was joined by newcomer Sarah O’Gorman who had a great race on her first cross country experience. 

Conor Holohan and Daniel Bourne had the same distance U13 to complete. Emma Lawlor was the clubs sole competitor in girls’ U19. 

Emma did the double winning the U19 race and also the Ladies Novice. There will be two more events before Christmas and hopefully more athletes will tog out.

Photos are of Castlecomer AC junior athletes at day two of the county championships.

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