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Munster gold for Clare athletes

The Munster Senior and Junior Cross Country Championships plus the juvenile inter-county relays U-10, U-12 and U-14 were held in Kilnaboy on Sunday.

Clare athletes started the 2011 season in fine style with Jean Clancy and Jake O’Regan, both St John’s, winning the junior ladies and junior men’s titles and also winning the inter-club awards.
Sean Hehir won the senior men’s title to add to his Leinster title that he captured in January.
Clare won the junior men’s inter-county award and finished second in the junior ladies, senior men’s and ladies.
In the inter-county relays Clare were magnificent with all six teams winning medals.
In the first race, the girls U-10 4x250m of Ellie Rochford, St Cronan’s; Keisha Attwell, St Mary’s; Rachel Hartigan, Marian; Dainla Svensson, Kilmurry Ibrickane/North Clare and substitute Áine Garry, Fergus, came from fourth position in the final 20m to snatch the bronze medal.
In the boys U-10 five teams were battling for gold coming down the home straight with Kerry taking the title and Clare taking the silver medals with Conor Blake, St John’s; Darragh Miniter, St Mary’s; Shane Meehan, Marian; Padraig Cahill, Ennis Track and Fionn O’Brien, Ennis Track, making up the team.
In the girls U-12 4x500m, All-Ireland champions Clare were right on form with Alex O’Neill, St Cronan’s, taking the team into gold medal position where she ran a blistering last lap helped by big performances from Sharon Egan, Kilmihil; Caoimhie Harvey, St John’s; Kate Taylor, St Cronan’s, and Elaine Shannon, Kilmurry Ibrickane/North Clare.
The boys U-12 4x500m are also All-Ireland champions and they won the gold medals in fine style. Paul Martin, Jamie Roche, Cathal O’Brien, Ennis Track; Patrick O’Rourke, Kilmurry Ibrickane/North Clare, and Eoin Looney, Kilmurry Ibrickane/North Clare, made up the team.
The girls U-14 4x500m, finished fourth in Dublin but made up for that disappointment when taking the silver medals in Kilnaboy, with Rachel Clancy and Cliodhna Blake, St John’s; Niamh O’Brien, Ennis Track and Áine Looney, Kilmihil, making up the team.
The final relay was the boys U-14 500m and here the gold medals went to Clare with Colm Devine Ennis Track; Ronan Barry, Marian; Padraig Malone and Jack Devitt, Kilmurry Ibrickane/North Clare in the team.
In the junior ladies (4,000m) Clare was well represented with St John’s and Ennis Track making up a very good Clare team. From the start Jean Clancy, St John’s, raced into an early lead. Her twin sister, Niamh, was leading the chasing pack along with Niamh Markham and Alyson Courtney, Ennis Track; Shauna Harvey and Collette Keniry, St John’s.
In the final lap Jean Clancy was well in control from Grace Lynch, Kerry, and she came home a very impressive winner to capture the Munster junior ladies title with the bronze medal going to her twin sister Niamh Clancy.
The Clare athletes packed well with Shauna Harvey 7th; Alyson Courtney finished strong over the final 500m in 8th place followed by Niamh Markham in 9th, Collette Keniry in 12th, Meabh Hogan, Ennis Track, in 13th and Ciara Mulcaire, Ennis Track in 14th.
St John’s won the inter-club title with 23 points from Ennis Track on 45 points.
In the inter-county section, Kerry were the winners on 17 points from Clare on 19 points and Cork on 52 points.
In the junior men’s 6,000m Clare were again well represented with four clubs represented, Ennis Track, St John’s, Kilmihil and St Mary’s.
All 15 Clare athletes settled in well over this three lap course and Jake O’Regan, St John’s, set a lively pace from the start with Shane Maher, Ferrybank, right on his shoulder for the first lap.
Ian Slobody, Kilmihil, was in the next chasing group that included Darragh Lynch, Aidan Kearney, Kevin Chesser, all-Ennis Track; Declan Keniry, Noel Garry, Conor Madigan and Shane Keane all St John’s.
When the race settled at the start of the second lap, O’Regan broke away and opened up a very big lead on the rest of the field with Ian Slobody working his way to second spot.
O’Regan crossed the finish line a comfortable winner, with Ian Slobody producing a powerful last lap to finish second and Declan Keniry, the North Munster Schools Cross Country champion 4th. Aidan Kearney was 6th, Kevin Chesser 7th, Noel Garry 8th and Conor Madigan 9th with St John’s taking the Inter club title on 22 points and Clare taking the inter-county on 28 points.
In the senior ladies race Sharon Rynne, Kilmurry Ibrickane/North Clare; Claire Madigan, St John’s; Patricia O’Brien, Ennis Track were all in the top 20 after the first two laps.
Claire Madigan worked her way through the field to finish 8th with Patricia O’Brien 9th; Marian Burke St Mary’s 11th; Siobhán Lennon Ennis Track 12th; Sharon Rynne 13th; Ita Hanrahan Ennis Track 14th; Caroline Darcy Kilmurry Ibrickane/North Clare 15th; Aoifa Nash Ennis Track 16th; Rosemary O’Brien Ennis Track 17th; Siobhan Gallagher Ennis Track 18th; Lorna O’Neill 19th; Noreen Mackey 20th; and Carmel McDomhnaill, West Limerick and Clare 21st.
In the inter-club Ennis Track were second on 51 points with Kilmurry Ibrickane/North Clare third on 67 points. Clare won the silver medals on 40 points with the gold going to Cork on 15 points.
The senior men’s 10,000m was run over five laps and as the athletes made their way out over the first lap Sean Hehir from O’Callaghan’s Mills and Clare who runs with Rathfarnham AC in Dublin set the pace.
Seán McGrath along James McCarthy, both East Cork, were tracking the Clare man for the first lap.
With two laps complete Hehir had a small lead from Sean McGrath but Hehir upped the tempo with over one lap remaining and he cruised to a very easy win to add to the Leinster title that he captured in January with last year’s runner up Sean McGrath again second and his clubmate James McCarthy third.
Kenny Rodgers and Michael Shannon ran shoulder to shoulder for the last lap and crossed the finishing line 5th and 6th followed by Brian Murphy, Ennis Track, 10th; Micheal Keane, Ennis Track, 22nd; Danny Folan, Ennis Track, 26th and Willie Devitt, Kilmurry Ibrickane/North Clare, 32nd.

Results
Inter-county Relays
Girls U-10 4x250m: 1. Kerry; 2. Limerick; 3. Clare (Ellie Rochford, Keisha Attwell, Rachel Hartigan, Daniela Svensson, Aine Garry).
Boys U-10 4x250m: 1. Kerry; 2. Clare (Conor Blake, Darragh Miniter, Shane Meehan, Padraigh Cahill, Fionn O’Brien).
Girls U-12 4x500m: 1. Clare (Sharon Egan, Caoimhie Harvey, Kate Taylor, Alex O’Neill, Elaine Shannon); 2. Kerry; 3. Tipperary.
Boys U-12 4x500m: 1. Clare (Jamie Roche, Paul Martin, Cathal O’Brien, Patrick O’Rourke, Eoin Looney); 2. Kerry; 3. Tipperary.
Girls U-14 4x500m: 1. Kerry; 2. Clare (Rachel Clancy, Cliodhna Blake, Aine Looney, Niamh O’Brien); 3. Tipperary.
Boys U-14 4x500m: 1. Clare (Colm Devine, Ronan Barry, Padraigh Malone, Jack Devitt); 2. Kerry; 3. Tipperary.
Junior ladies (4,000m): 1. Jean Clancy St John’s; 2. Grace Lynch, Iveragh; 3. Niamh Clancy, St John’s; 7. Shauna Harvey, St John’s; 8. Alyson Courtney, Ennis Track; 9. Niamh Markham, Ennis Track; 12. Collette Keniry, St John’s.
Inter-county: 1. Kerry = 17pts; 2. Clare = 19pts; 3. Cork = 52pts.
Inter-club: 1. St John’s (1, 3, 7, 12) = 23pts; 2. Ennis Track = 45pts; 3. Blarney Iniscarra = 59pts.
Senior Ladies (5,000m): 1. Carmel Crowley, Bandon; 2. Niamh O’Sullivan, Riocht; 3. Niamh Roe Eagle; 8. Claire Madigan, St John’s; 9. Patricia O’Brien, Ennis Track; 11. Marian Burke, St Mary’s; 12. Siobhan Lennon, Ennis Track.
Inter-county: 1. Cork = 15pts; 2. Clare = 40pts.
Inter-club: 1. Eagle = 26pts; 2. Ennis Track = 67pts.
Junior men (6,000m): 1. Jake O’Regan, St John’s; 2. Ian Slobody, Kilmihil; 3. Shane Maher, Ferrybank; 4. Declan Keniry, St John’s; 6. Aidan Kearney, Ennis Track; 7. Kevin Chesser, Ennis Track; 8. Noel Garry, St John’s; 9. Conor Madigan, St John’s; 10. Shane Keane, St John’s; 11. Eoin Brew, St John’s; 12. Vincent Considine, St John’s.
Inter-county: 1. Clare = 28pts
Inter-club: 1. St John’s = 22pts
Senior men (10,000m): 1. Sean Hehir, Clare; 2. Sean McGrath, East Cork; 3. James McCarthy, East Cork; 5. Kenneth Rodgers, St John’s; 6. Michael Shannon, Kilnaboy; 10. Brian Murphy, Ennis Track; 22. Micheal Keane, Ennis Track; 26. Danny Folan, Ennis Track; 32. Willie Devitt, Kilmurry Ibrickane/North Clare.
Inter-county: 1. Cork = 53pts; 2. Clare = 70pts; 3. Kerry = 98pts

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