The Leinster Junior & Senior Cross Country Championships hosted by St. Senan’s AC in Kilmacow, Co. Kilkenny last Sunday saw the Meath womens team retain the senior cross country title. The womens race over 5k consisted of one small lap and two large laps over a generally flat course, which was broken by one short steep decline and on the opposite side of the field a short sharp climb.
From the gun Aoife Talty (Raheny Shamrocks) went into the lead closely followed by Meath athlete Fiona Mahon (Donore Harriers). With the first lap completed Talty had opened up a slight lead on Mahon with Aoife Brady back in 6th or 7th place. A few places further back were Sharon Monaghan (Fr. Murphy AC) and Crona Brady (Sportsworld AC). Aoife Brady (Sportsworld AC) made great headway through the second lap and as the athletes embarked on their last lap Talty had consolidated her lead but it looked that Aoife would challenge Fiona Mahon for the silver medal. While at one stage Aoife had cut Fiona’s lead to 10m the Donore Harrier’s girl dug deep and over the final kilometre she again pulled away from Aoife and made sure of the silver medal. Meanwhile Crona Brady finished 11th and with Sharon Monaghan coming home in 18th place the team had a total of 34pts to take the title from Offaly with 70pts and Kilkenny losing on count-back also with 70pts in third place.
The junior ladies race over 3k also had a Meath interest with Dunshaughlin athlete Shauna Moore having a great race when taking the silver medal. The race was won by Mary Ann O’Sullivan (Tinryland AC) with Shauna well clear of Megan Morrissey (Thomastown AC) in third place. Next weekend sees Shauna leading out the Meath U19 girl’s team in the All Ireland U19 Cross Country Championships and she was very happy to have got a good 3k race in preparation for next weeks longer 5k event in Tullamore.