The Waterford AC Ladies All-Ireland Junior Cross Country team Champions. L to R: Emma Caulfield, Órla O’Connor, Ruth Heery, Hannah Burke, Carla Fanning and Anna Duffin.
The National Sports Campus in Abbotstown was the venue on Sunday last for the Irish Life Health All-Ireland Cross Country Championships. On the programme were the Senior, under 23, junior and Juvenile Even age group championships and Waterford was very well represented there, with huge fields the order of the day from all over the country. There were a number of notable efforts by Waterford athletes with pride of place going to the Waterford AC junior ladies team who had a famous inter club team victory against stiff opposition from clubs all over the 32 counties.
Great Boost for Club
The team was led home in sixth place by a young lady Órla O’Connor who mixes running with race walking very successfully and she was ably assisted by Ruth Heery, Emma Caulfield and Anna Duffin the scoring four as well as Carla Fanning and Hannah Burke, very well done to the girls and their mentors. The win should give a great boost to our oldest club which has had some lean years and hopefully the girls will stick with the sport and go on to become good seniors in due course. For the club it’s been a very good cross country season in all ages up to junior the next hope is that seniors will follow suit in the years ahead, the nucleus is there. Also in the junior Inter County team section Waterford were second the scorers being Órla O’Connor, Waterford, Lucy Holmes West Waterford, Ruth Heery Waterford and Isobelle Cummins Ferrybank.
Lucy Holmes’ great effort
The fine results by the above girls weren’t the only Waterford runs of note at the meeting. Best individual performance came from Lucy Holmes West Waterford a most consistent and promising runner who in a huge field in the under 18 race ran a blinder to finish third and is also eligible for this age group next year. Waterford took the silver inter County team medals here the other scorers being Isobelle Cummins Ferrybank, Emma Caulfield Waterford, Anna Duffin do, Aoife Casey Ferrybank, Mary Kate Prendergast West Waterford.. Other top individual performances came from Miceál Power West Waterford 6th in the junior race,Órla O’Connor already mentioned above also 6 th at junior level, Lucy Holmes 8 th in the junior and David Mc Glynn Waterford AC had a very good 11 th placing in the junior grade. Waterford athletes also got placed Inter Provincial team medals with Munster while a few others would not have been happy with their performances.
The winner of the under 12 race Saoirse Fitzgerald Lucan Harriers has strong Waterford connections. She is a daughter of Eoin Fitzgerald Butlerstown fromer athlete and niece of Elaine Fitzgerald Waterford AC former International Cross country athlete. Last year in Carriganore she was second in the All-Ireland 11 race.
Waterford AC Half Marathon
Starting at the WIIT Arena in Carriganore at 10am on Saturday next and finishing there also will be the Annual Waterford AC Half Marathon now one of the biggest races locally on the calendar, the entry this year is in excess of 2,500. The runners will come in the Old Kilmeaden Road and then turn into the Industrial Estate and head over to the exit the estate by McCornell’s up to the right and then down left into the Witches Lane over Balybeg, onto the Lacken Road out onto the Tramore Road then turn right over the Green Road to Six Cross Roads in to Kilbarry Roundabout up left as far as the Roundabout at Bolands out as far as the Holy Cross turn right over to Killotteran and back in to finish at WIT. There will be traffic delays around the route so avoid them. Finally please do not transfer your number to someone else if you cannot run yourself. Please obey Gardai and stewards.