The Woodies National Even Age Cross Country Championships took place on November 17 in conjunction with the Senior, Junior and U23 Inter County National Championships, in Santry, Dublin. It is worth noting that the competition to qualify for this national event is very hard to achieve and all athletes who qualified should be very proud to achieve such a high standard. Bandon Athletic Club had 15 athletes who qualified across the various ages.
Clare Flynn representing the Cork team was of the club’s first athlete to compete and she ran out of age in the girls U12 race and had a very strong run. Fionn Harrington ran in the boys U12 race and finished strongly; she was the seventh Cork runner over the line.
The girls U14 team of Laura Nicholson, Michelle O’Donovan, Moira Barrett, Grainne Mulcahy and Niamh Calnan were up next and they all had excellent runs to take second club team prize. This is the second year in a row for these girls and they have really shown great determination to retain this silver prize again this year. Laura Nicholson finished eighth, winning herself an individual medal and scoring on the Munster team that won gold. Laura, Moira and Niamh also scored on the Cork team helping the county take silver. Naoise Ni Fhaitheartargh ran for the Cork team in the Boys U14 race and he ran a very competitive race being the fourth Cork runner home, however the county team finished just outside the medals.
The girls U16 team of Fiona Everard, Aoibh Cassidy, Niamh Munday, Bethany Haigue and Alice Symington had a fast 4000m course to run and they all had impressive runs to finish in sixth club place. Fiona Everard won an individual medal by finishing in eighth place and also qualified to represent Ireland in the Celtic Games in January. Fiona and Aoibh scored on the Cork team helping the county win silver medal. Fiona also scored on the Munster team that won gold.
Louisa Keane competed out of age in the women’s Junior (U20) race and had a great run. She was the second Cork runner over the line and the county were unlucky not to medal by finishing in fourth place. Mark O’Sullivan competed in the men’s U23 race, which was run with the senior men’s race. It was a fast and furious race and he ran very well to finish 16th over the line.
All of these athletes qualified for this competion from the Munster Championships. Ciara White won an individual medal finishing in eighth place U9 and she also scored on the Cork team helping the county win silver. The boys U9 team of Eoghan Cassidy, Ciaran Hoey, John Munday, Hugh O’Mahony, Cian Walsh, David O’Donoghue, Joseph Buttimer, Conor Payne, Ronan Crowley, Luke O’Sullivan and Eoin Guinane ran very well to claim the prize of second club team in Munster. Eoghan Cassidy also won an individual medal by finishing ninth and also scored on the Cork team, helping the county win gold.
The girls U11 team of Jane Buckley, Ellen Murphy, Nicola McKeon, Nicola Tuthill, Deirdre Brown, Clare Flynn, Lilly Munday, Orla O’Sullivan, and Amy O’Donoghue all ran very strongly to earn themselves third club team prize. Keelan Crowley, who finished 19th U11 scored on the Cork team helping the county win silver. Grainne Mulcahy finished in 14th place U14 and scored on the gold-winning Cork team.
The girls U15 of Laura Nicholson, Aoibh Cassidy, Niamh Munday, Caoimhe Ni Suilleabhain, Alice Symington and Moira Barrett covered their 3500m course with great courage as conditions worsened and the ground became more challenging. The team ran very well earning themselves a well deserved third club team place. Laura Nicholson competing out of age won an individual medal also by finishing in seventh place. Laura and Moira also scored on the County team helping Cork win gold.
In the girls U17 the team of Fiona Everard, Sinead Caulfield, Lulu Keane and Bethany Haigue all ran very well and were well rewarded with silver medals. Fiona and Bethany also won individual medals finishing fourth and 12th respectively. Fiona, Bethany and Lulu also scored on the Cork team helping the county win silver.
Full results can be found on the Bandon Athletic Club website www.bandonac.org