noonans

Sean, Patrick and Catherine Noonan
representing the Pres Athenry in the Minor Boys and Minor Girls 1500m Races
where they each performed heroically to place 8th, 2nd and 8th

A large number of athletes from the club took to the hills in Bushfield last Wednesday for the South Connacht Schools Cross Country Championships, representing a number of schools including Athenry VS, Calasanctius Oranmore, Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, Loughrea VS, Bower Athlone, Pres Athenry, Seamount Kinvara and St Raphael’s Loughrea.

There were some fine individual performances with 3 of the 4 boys titles going to members of the club with Sean Connaughton (St Raphael’s) taking the victory in the Minor Boys 1500m, Oisin Lyons (Calasanctius) in the Junior Boys 2500m and Jamie Fallon (Calasanctius) in the Senior 5000m. Damien O’Boyle (Calasanctius) made it a 1-2 for his school and the club in the senior 5000m when taking the silver medal ahead of Athenry VS’s Conor Gillen in 5th place. Sean Crowley (Calasanctius) placed 40th as part of a strong Calasanctius team who almost certainly took the team title.

Patrick Noonan (Pres Athenry) took the silver medal in the Minor Boys 1500m to also complete a 1-2 for the club. Patrick’s brother Sean took a fine 8th place in the same race, the exact position that their sister Catherine held onto in the Minor Girls 1500m to complete a strong triple for the Noonan triplets! Such was the coldness of the day, Patrick ended up with hypothermia after the race and had to be attended to by first aid. Thankfully he recovered fully - but something for us all to bear in mind on these wintery days that perhaps underarmour wouldn't go astray on such a day.

Ciara Greene (The Bower) battled hard to take the bronze medal in the Senior Girls 1500m while sprinters Sinead Treacy (St Raphael’s) and Tara McNally (Loughrea VS) tossed away their sprint spikes for the day to place remarkably high in 4th and 5th place as did the Pres Athenry’s Andrea Tobin better known for her soccer and camogie skills when placing 9th in the senior girls race.Caron Ryan (St Raphael’s) who is returning from a recent injury had a fine performance to place 6th in the Intermediate Girls 2500m. Caron was followed closely by the Pres Athenry’s Grainne McDaid in 8th and Ciara O’Boyle in 11th, while Aoife Greene (The Bower) made a strong return to cross country with a 22nd place finish just ahead of Emma Waters (Loughrea VS) in 24th with Alice Whiriskey (Loughrea VS) 50th.

Rachael Hughes (Coláiste Bhaile Chláir) had a fine run in the Junior Girls 1500m to place 7th in spite of carrying an injury, while the Pres Athenry duo Shauna Tobin (14th) and Fiona Commins (15th) also had excellent runs amongst the 100-strong field, as did Sinead Kennedy (Loughrea VS) in 27th and schoolmate Siona Lawless in 60th whose forte is sprint and long jump but gamely battled around Bushfield with her team. In the Minor Girls 1500m, Tara Kealy (Seamount) placed 14th with Craughwell fit4youth’s and Pres Athenry’s Aisling Carr in 28th place followed by champion jumpers Eva Kelly and Leanagh Gilligan in 35th and 43rd (both Loughrea VS).

Switching back to the boys, Cathal Walshe led a strong Seamount team in the Minor 1500m when placing 12th. He was followed in by a fine run from Finbar McFadden (Pres Athenry) in 16th place – a strong performance amongst the 170-strong field. In the Junior Boys, Luke Finn (Calasanctius) excelled with a very strong finish to take 23rd place, gaining almost 10 places over the last 150m. Luke was followed closely by Gavin Forde in 35th (Pres Athenry) with Louis and Paul Molloy (Calasanctius) in 70th and 88th. In the Intermediate Boys 4000m, Tiernan Burke (Athenry VS) was the highest placed finisher from the club in 15th with Jack Miskella (Pres Athenry) close behind in 19th, Ben Vahey (Calasanctius) 23rd and Brian Loughnane (Loughrea VS) 31st. Brian Gillen (Athenry VS) resumed his athletics career with a strong 72nd place finish with Peter Martin (Loughrea VS) in 74th.

The official results are not yet available in order to confirm the team placings but there were very strong performances from the Pres Athenry in the girls events which should yield team medals and qualification for the Connacht finals, as should the Calasanctius performances in the senior grade and junior grade.

Friday the 20th. .