Tullamore Harriers Club Report 22nd Nov 2021

Superb Performance by Donegan at All Ireland Cross Country 

Two years ago Danielle Donegan came second in the U20 race at the All Ireland Cross Country in a tough race in Abbotstown. With no championships having taken place in 2020 due to covid restrictions Danielle only got the opportunity to step up to the U23 and Senior competition at the weekend. The U23 race is held as part of the Senior race and the quality of the field can be seen from the half dozen or so Olympians and European medalists at the front of the field. Danielle got out strong and after the first kilometre was in the top 30 or so athletes. Over the 8000m distance of the race she steadily moved her way through the field and finished 18th in the senior race. She was a clear third in the U23 race, which shows how well she has made the step up to the senior grade. Claire Rafter was also in action and her 54th place finish a good run on her training this autumn. Claire was also qualified for the U23 competition and was placed 11th in that grade. 

In the Senior Men’s race James Dunne led the Tullamore challenge. Sitting off the lead pack for the opening two laps of the race, James was in and around thirtieth position and looked comfortable. Over the next four laps he steadily moved up through the pack and was in the 17th at one point. In the last lap the 10000m distance proved too much for an athlete who usually races 800m and 1500m and he slipped back to 25th. Still this is a great result for 20 year old Dunne racing in his first national senior Cross Country. In the U23 competition James was 10th. Barry Mooney and Peter Bennett were also racing and with 200 runners on the start line both Barry and Peter did well against tough competition. 

The U18 and U20 races were combined for both men and women as they act as a trial for the European Cross Country team. Over 180 young women started in the U18/U20 race and the four Tullamore girls in action performed well against tough competition. Ruby Stueven led the way and finished 19th with Imelda Lambe next home in 33rd. With the two young women aged 17 and 16 respectively they did great against the older competition and can expect big improvements in the years ahead! With Dearbhail Cuddy and Emily Cunningham both racing well the team finished 7th out of the 16 competing. A great result especially when you consider that both Laura Mooney and Ava O’Connor would have been eligible to compete on this team had they not been racing in the USA. 

In the U18/U20 men’s race the Tullamore team has been seriously hit by injury and sickness in the last few weeks. Still the quartet that lined up gave it their all and with over 180 starting the race there was stiff competition for places all the way to the finish line. Cian Law was first home in 52nd with Luke Duffy not far behind in 67th. Darragh Carroll and Rafael Gonzalez both raced hard to finish the 6000m distance. 

 

Andrea Ryan led the way in the the Girls U16 race and her efforts saw her cross the line in 13th place. Next home was Sinead Walsh in 25th and with Jane Maher, Polly Duffy, Rachael Donegan and Meave Rouse racing well the girls were not far from the medals as they finished in 5th place. 

In the Boys U16 Luke Mahon was the only man in action and competing out of his age Luke raced well to come home 28th. 

 

The Clubs U14 Girls team really showed their class on Sunday as they raced to bronze team medals. The team was led home by Niamh Garvey and Eabhadh Multaney Kelly who were among the leaders from the start. They finished 5th and 8th respectively and with Aoibhe Moore, Saoirse Murtagh, Kara Daly and Sarah Minnock all competing well the team were rewarded with their All Ireland medals. 

In the Under 12 race Adelyn Walsh, Maeve Duffy, Mia Gallagher, Clodagh Shaw, Ailish Walsh and Elise Cusack combined for a 10th place team finish. It was a big step up for these young runners but they all seemed happy and competed well at this new level of competition.

 

Mooney and O’Connor Shine in Florida 

Laura Mooney and Ava O’Connor were in action in Florida last weekend in culmination of their cross country seasons. 

Laura was part of the Providence College women’s cross country team that finished 26th overall at the 2021 NCAA Women’s Cross Country Championship last Saturday, November 20th at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida. A long time Tullamore Harriers member, Laura placed 60th overall in a time of 20:13.1 over the 6K course. Considering that the race had over 250 on the start line and the depth of competition this was a fantastic result for young Mooney. 

“I am very happy with the way Laura and Maria ran,” Providence College Head Coach Ray Treacy said.  “For the younger members of the team, it was a great experience for them that they will learn from and bring to the Championship next year.”

Ava O’Connor was also competing in the Sunshine State. She was part of the Adams State women’s squad who captured their 19th National Championship at the Abbey Course in St. Leo, Florida, last Saturday morning.

Despite the 67-degree weather that felt even warmer with 79 percent humidity, Ava was out hard from the start and tackled the loop and a half on the flat Abbey Course aggressively. The course started with a near 800 meter straight sprint before some zigzags, making the the early pace really fast. 

Ava passed the 3000m mark in 10.16 and then dug in to finish in 46th place in a time of 21.33. 

Both Ava and Laura are looking forward to more races in the weeks ahead but are delighted with their autumn of cross country.

SPAR European Cross Country Championships

Congratulations to Danielle Donegan and Laura Mooney who have been selected on the U-23 and U-20 Ireland teams for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships set for the sport Ireland Campus in Fingal-Dublin on December 12th 2021. 

Juveniles

Unfortunately the club is at full capacity in our juvenile section, in both the Middle Distance and Track & Field groups. Due to the added Covid restrictions and our large membership Tullamore Harriers simply cannot facilitate any new juvenile members at this time. Thank you for your understanding and we hope to open our juvenile membership again shortly.

 

Fixtures

Sunday 5th Dec -Irish Life Health national Novice & Juvenile Uneven XC Championships

Tuesday 14th Dec – Grand National Club Race

Saturday 25th Dec – Hospice Mile

Friday 31st Dec – Around The Houses Club Race

Training 

Senior Training

Senior training continues Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6.40pm to 8.30pm and cross country on Sunday mornings at 8:30am. All members have received the Covid Return to Training directive via email and are asked to adhere to the club policies on same. For any enquiries contact club captains Sean 0851742418 or Anna 0868248928