SKIBBEREEN AC athletes Caoimhe Flannery and Ciara Delaney were on the Cork team that won county team bronze medals at the All-Ireland U12A cross-country finals in Abbotstown, Dublin.
On a mild and sunny morning, 171 athletes, all of whom had to pre-qualify through the provinces, completed a firm and fast 2000m course.
Caoimhe was in the leading bunch from the offset and challenged for one of the coveted 12 individual medals right to the end, just falling short with a superb 19th place finish. Caoimhe was the first Cork girl to finish. Thanks to strong performances from Gemma O’Mahony of Doheny’s AC (39th), Vivienne Mellerick of Youghal AC (44th), Katie O’Neill of West Muskerry (51st), Ciara Delaney of Skibbereen AC (52nd) and Faye O’Riordan of Carraig na bhFear) (56th), the Cork girls finished third of the 13 qualifying teams.
Meanwhile, Skibbereen AC athletes Matthew Ashe and Gavin Sweetnam both came away with silver medals at the Cork B championships at Conna recently.
Competing in the boys’ U9 race, Matthew had his best-ever finish as he came second while Gavin matched that achievement in the U13 race, just ahead of clubmate Ferdia Dennis McAleavey.
Ferdia’s sister Emer finished just outside the medals in the U13 race, coming seventh, while brother Ultan came 19th in the boys’ U11 race. Sarah Ashe also ran very well in her first county competition.
There were some strong showing by Skibb athletes at the Munster Uneven-Age Cross-Country finals, held near Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
In the boys’ U9 race, Conor O’Brien ran superbly, finishing in 15th place and just outside the individual medals. Matthew Ashe also ran very well in his first Munsters to finish 30th overall.
Holly O’Flynn continued her very impressive form by finishing ninth, claiming an individual medal and a gold team medal with Cork. Holly has now qualified to represent Cork and Munster in the All-Ireland at Navan Racecourse in Meath in December.
In the boys’ U13, Gavin Sweetnam’s strong finish in 21st place was just one place short for automatic selection for the Cork team to run in Meath but he is first substitute, should any of the Cork team be unavailable.
In the girls’ U13 race, Caoimhe Flannery, running out of her age group, finished a very impressive 17th, just two places short of a place on the Cork U13 team for the All-Irelands.