Laois Athletics Weekly News

Sports Editor


Sports Editor


Laois Athletics Weekly News

The Ballyfin AC athletes receiving their medals last Sunday in Downey's Nissan Showrooms, Portlaoise.

All the news from around the athletics clubs of Co Laois.


Downey Nissan Laois Cross Country Championships
The Downey Nissan Laois Senior Cross Country and Juvenile Relays takes place on the majestic grounds of Stradbally Hall. This event will be hosted by last years mens team winners; St Abban's.
This should prove to be an excellent day of racing with the exciting Cross country Relays starting the day and then the Laois blue ribbon event follows. The ladies race is always an exciting affair and with a few Junior Ladies moving up to the ranks of Senior it'll be one to remember.
The mens race sees Stephen Lawlor being pitted against Colin Maher for the second year in a row. Or we could have a surprise winner in Cormac Kelly or John Fenlon this years Master mens winner. For whoever wins it'll be a well earned prize. Best of luck to all.

Medal Presentation at Downey’s Nissan
The Cross Country Team medal presentation took place on Saturday 12th at the showrooms of Downeys Auto Stop on Dublin Road, Portlaoise. This was for three Cross Country races held by Rosenallis (Day 1), Abbeyleix (Day 2)and last Sunday in Emo. A good crowd gathered for the event and we would like to thank Richard Downey for hosting the event and his continued support throughout the year.

Laois Endurance Squad
The Endurance Squad will return on November 27th after Day 4 of the Laois Cross country Championships. We will be meeting at the earlier time of 9am in Emo since the National Even ages will be on the same day in Abbotstown.
The squad training is open to any Laois athlete and has seen some excellent results so far this year.

Sprint Squad
The Sprints Squad is ongoing in Vicarstown and there are still places available for anyone interested in sprint events.
Athletes need to be old enough to compete in Leinsters, ideally 12 years of age and upwards and should be focused   on competing in the Leinster Championships, both Indoor and outdoor.
This is an excellent opportunity for young sprinters to hone their skills and improve while training with other athletes from different clubs.
The sprint squad is open to athletes from any Laois club and offers a chance for more focused training and still train in a group setting. New participants are always welcome.

Upcoming Races
Local Races
- Ballyroan 10miler and 5k Santa Family fun run. Registration from 10:30am at Ballyroan Community Hall, 10th December.
- Vicarstown Parkrun every Saturday at 9:30am.
If your race does not appear on the calendar please contact us via Facebook or our website.


Leinster Cross Country Championships
Colin Maher and Liam Buggy flew the flag for Ballyfin AC at Day 3 of the Leinster Cross Country Championships for Uneven Juveniles, Juniors and Senior athletes at Tyrrellspass, Co Westmeath on Sunday 13th November last. Colin ran a fine race to come home in fourth place in a time of 32:39 with Liam back in 41st place in a time of 38 minutes. Dearbhail Cuddy also competed in the Leinster U-15 and ran a great race also. Well done, great running!

Roibard Miller represents Ireland
Well done to Roibard Miller who headed to Glasgow to represent Ireland in the Cross Country meet there last weekend. Well done to him and to all the other Laois athletes who travelled. Riobard was on the O-40 Irish team who got the silver medal behind England and in front of Scotland, getting second on a countback. He scored fifth on the Irish team. Well done to all!

Medal Presentation at Downey’s Nissan
The Cross Country Team medal presentation took place on Saturday 12th at the showrooms of Downeys Auto Stop on Dublin Road, Portlaoise for three Cross Country events held i.e. Day 1 in Rosenallis, Day 2 in Abbeyleix and Day 3 last Sunday in Emo. Well done to all the Ballyfin AC Juveniles and Seniors who collected their medals! Great going.

Laois Masters Cross Country Championships 2016
Sunday 6th November saw us in Emo Court for the Downeys Nissan Laois Masters Cross Country Championships and we couldn’t have had better conditions with the hard edge taken off it by the brilliant sunshine. Ballyfin AC had a team of four for the Over 35 age category and each and everyone ran a great race. Roibard Miller was first home for the team taking bronze in the O-35 age group with Ciaran Keenan next up followed by Tony Cox and Ronan Lynch.
In the U-10 Boys race Ciaran Quinn and Daniel Costello took part with Ciaran taking second place. In the U-12 girls we had Niamh Bland who came home in 6th place and Kian Casey, Sean Corcoran and Sam O’Loughlin took part in the U-12 Boys race. In the U-14 Girls Ciara Casey, Roisin Bland, Catriona Phelan and Mega Adams took part as a team winning the bronze medal and in the U-14 Boys Thomas Casey ran a fine race. In the U-16 Girls Dearbhail Cuddy ran a great race to take the Silver medal with Ciara Phelan in 4th place. In the U-16 Boys Thomas Dunne also took Silver to round off a very successful day for the club in that age group. Well done to all involved in making it a great day.

Ballyfin AC Reunion
Ballyfin Athletic Club staged a fantastic gathering of friends at the Deadman’s Inn on Saturday last. It was the first time in over thirty years that such an event had taken place in the club. People from all over Ireland had travelled to hear plans for the club’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 2019. In attendance was Mrs Lilly Keenan the club President, supported by her extended Keenan family who have a strong heritage in the club.
The event was presided over by Fr Kevin O’Neill, former President of Saint Patrick’s College in Carlow, who is associated with the club since 1960 and is chair of the organising committee for 2019. Fr O’Neill spoke of the long and proud tradition of the club and his introduction to the High Jump to represent the club at county and regional level. He spoke of the early days and the many fine field-eventers the club had at that time.
Cormac Fitzpatrick the club chairman spoke of the present re-building within the club and the level of activities taking place, like the Deadman’s Dash in May each year. He referred to Colin Maher, today’s senior star and the team which is being built around him.
Jimmy Finn reflected the journey, the contribution and the influence of the club. He spoke of a new chapter in the heritage of the club to connect the progress of the past with the ambition of the future. Our plan and proposal is to build a legacy that generations to come can be proud of. So now the club looks forward to 2019 with a renewed vigour and pride in it’s past.

Ballyfin AC Training Schedule
Strength and Conditioning: Wednesday from 8-9pm in the Ballyfin Community Hall.
Senior Men: Tuesday 7.30pm meet at St Fintans Car Park, Portlaoise. Thursday 7.30pm  meet at St Fintans Car Park, Portlaoise. Sunday 10.30am  meet at Emo Court Car Park.
Senior Women: Monday from 6.30-7.30pm, meeting in the Old Dunnes Store Car Park in Portlaoise.
Juvenile Training: Every Monday from 6.30-7.30pm in the Ballyfin Community Hall
Every Friday from 6.30-7.30pm in The Portlaoise Leisure Centre, aimed at kids 10 and over.


Monday night, long run leaving at 7pm from Sue Ryder. Tuesday night training at the GAA field at 7.30pm for all ages. Memberships due for 2017 season. New members welcome. Thursday night training continues for our upcoming 10 mile on December 10th.

Laois Masters & Development Cross Country
We had 20 runners represent the club on Sunday, November 6th in Emo for the masters and development races. In the U-10 girls we had Aoife McKittrick and Ava Kelly both run well placing 12th and 18th. In the U-10 boys we had David Kelly who placed 24th. The U-12 girls we had Ava Churchouse place 15th. The U-14 girls saw Jade Carroll run a great race winning a silver medal. The U-14 boys we had Jack McMahon and Garry Costigan both run well with Jack winning bronze and Garry placing sixth. The U-16 girls we had Sarah McMahon and Isobel Churchouse with Sarah finishing strong to win gold and Isobel place fifth. In the junior women we had Avril Deegan run a strong race winning gold. The masters ladies were up and we had four runners who all ran well to help the team to a silver medal, Jean McEvoy 4th, Sandra Fitzpatrick 8th, Siobhan Burke 9th and Antoinnette Gleeson Mills 19th. The masters and junior men set off together for the last race of the day, we had six in this race with the father and son combination of Martin and Cian McDonald battling throughout the race with Cian just holding Martin off at the end, Cian placed second junior with Martin fifth O-45 and 13th overall, Paul Burke 21st, Seamus Miller 27th, Shaun Maher 30th and Tim Churchouse 34th all ran well on the day.


Training continues every Monday from 6.45pm to 7.45pm and on Friday nights 7.30pm to 8.30pm for our older athletes.


Club Training
Mountmellick AC hold their training every Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 8pm at the running track in Smiths Field. As the winter is fast approaching we will be training under flood lights and we are reminding all juvenile Athletes and their parents to make sure that they are dressed and kitted out in the right attire for winter training sessions and also as the flood lights are on a timer it is imperative that all parents arrive on time to pick their children up at the end of training. It is club policy that juvenile athletes under the age of ten must have a parent/Guardian present during training.

Membership of the club is open to adults and children over the age of seven years.

Contact Details
For information on membership or anything else you can visit our Facebook Page. Leave a comment or private message. Or you can contact us directly on the club phone at 087-3493503.


Run Into Winter/Remembrance Run
The weekend saw club members out in force at two annual events that were important on a reflective side along with the running aspect of the event. As most runners will agree there is a great link between the physical and mental aspects of running and these two events were perfect example of this. The first was the local "Run into Winter" run in Stradbally, where in the 10km we had Anna Duggan, Trish Naughton, Catherine Flanagan, Martina Delaney, Elaine Moore, Lucy Dalton, Nuala Arrigan and Rosie Dalton in action, while in the 5km we had great performances from Joanne Carroll, Ailbhe Culleton, John Lambe, Brian Howard, Olive Maher, Aoife O’Malley, Ursula O’Malley, Margaret-Mary Grant, Michelle Howard, Amanda McDonald, Claire Dunne and Martina Gardiner.
Star of the day however was young Eoghan Lambe who can be mighty proud of his time of 27.05, one to watch for the future no doubt.
On Sunday then we had a good representation at the Remembrance Run in the Phoenix Park, with Ursula and Aoife O'Malley, Amanda McDonald, Michelle Howard, Niamh Kavanagh, Martina Gardiner and Claire Cosgrave all put in fine runs.

Louise Shines In Tyrellspass
Louise Stack was again in fine form at the weekend, this time in the Leinster Cross-Country in Westmeath. Louise came through with a well calculated run to take 6th place, thus qualifying for the All-Ireland's in December.

Laois Junior & Juvenile Development Cross Country
Once again Portlaoise Athletic Club were well represented by our Juveniles in the Laois Masters, Junior & Juvenile Development Cross Country in Emo Court on   6th November.
We had representation in all age categories from U-10 to U-16. Special mention to the following athletes who had a great days racing: Grace Meade winning the Girls U-12 race; Davin Dunne, second place in the Boys U-12 in his first Cross Country race; Daniel Downey, third place in the Boys U-10.
The following athletes also won medals on the day: Ollie McCaulay, Caoimhe Cuddy, Siofra Marum, Niall Kirby, Tiarnan Marum.
Below is a list of all our Athletes who took part on the day: Girls U-10: Diana Alastal; Boys U-10: Daniel Downey, Ollie McCaulay, Tom Delaney, Eoghan Lambe, Daragh Brady, Jack Fennell, Eoin McGrath, Harrison Marshall, Tom McCaulay, Daniel Murrell, Mark Downey and Jack Delaney. Girls U-12: Grace Meade, Caoimhe Cuddy, Kara Naughton, Medb Conroy, Alice Conroy, Tara Ring, Rebecca Marshall, Norah Alastal, Maeve McGrath and Sarah Murrell. Boys U-12: Davin Dunne, Jack Murrell, Sean Kirby, Conor Brady and Luke Gilligan. Girls U-14: Siofra Marum, Kate Delaney. Boys U-14: Niall Kirby, Jack Delaney and David Delaney. Boys U-16: Tiarnan Marum. Amy Wash - Junior Ladies. Fionn Marum - Junior Male.
Well done to each and every one of our Juveniles who competed with thanks also to the coaches and parents.

Downey's Nissan Laois Masters Cross Country
The magnificent setting of Emo Court hosted this years Laois Masters and Junior Cross Country once again, and a beautiful crisp morning set the scene for some excellent running. After the excitement of the juveniles the junior's and masters were next up, and again we had plenty of members in action, with plenty of more medals collected. In the ladies junior Louise Stack and Amy Walsh had super runs, with Louise taking the silver medal and Amy posting a fine fourth place finish. In the master ladies Joanne Carroll continued her excellent form in her first cross country season by taking the bronze medal, while Anna Duggan had a brilliant run to take gold in her category. Great credit to both girls for rising to the challenge of cross country running and medalling in the process. The girls were joined by Maria Cuddy, Amanda McDonald, Catherine Ryan and Niamh Kavanagh, taking bronze in the team event.
Next up was the men, where Tony O'Reilly returned to action in fine style by finishing third overall, taking first in the O-45 section, followed by Aengus Burke in sixth spot, taking bronze O-45. Noel Marum and Joe Walsh joined them on the team as they took the gold medals in the O-45s. The O-35 team of Colm Fitzgerald, Richie Reid, Patrick Marshall and Trevor McCormack packed well to secure the bronze medals in the category. Fionn Marum was our sole runner in the junior section, and placed fifth overall with a battling performance.

Female: Tuesday and Thursday, 6pm to 7pm, Track, Portlaoise College.
Male: Tuesday and Thursday, 7pm to 8pm, College Track.
Juveniles: Tuesday and Thursday, 7pm to 8pm, Portlaoise College Track.
Please check our Facebook page for updates.


Leinster Uneven Ages
Well done to Aaron Lawlor who competed in Leinster Uneven ages in Tyrrellspass last weekend in U-11 boys, Amy Hyalnd competed in U-13 girls and Ronan Hyland finished in 15th position in U-15 boys. Jayne Hyland ran in the U-9 open race on the day receiving a medal. Well done to all four athletes for representing both their club and county a this event.

Schools Cross Country Relay
Well done to club members Eimear Comerford, Leah Tarpey, Grainne Lalor, Ronan Hyland and Odhran Davis all represented Mountmellick Community School in Carlow at the schools cross country relay last Wednesday.

Laois Day 3 Cross Country
Rosenallis-Kilcavan AC had 14 athletes representing the club in Emo last Sunday at Laois Cross Country Day 3. Once again everyone performed outstanding and provided their supporters with a great morning of running. Well done to Niamh Peake who finished in second place in U-10 girls supported by Aoibhin McEvoy, and sisters Lilly and Hanna Conroy. In U-10 boys Luke Molloy medaled in fourth and Darragh Hughes running his first cross country took sixth place medal followed Eoghan Lalor, Tadgh Hughes, Jack Hyland and Paidi Peake. In U-12 boys Rory Lalor finished in first place followed by his brother Niall and cousin Cathal McEvoy. Odhran Dunphy ran a great race in U-14 boys 1500m. Well done again to all the athletes and their families for their support. We now look forward to Day 4 relays in Stradbally on Sunday 20th November.

Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 6.30pm at Kilcavan GAA field.


Ruby Secures Place on the Irish Team
In the GLOHEALTH All-Ireland Schools combined events held in Athlone last Saturday Ruby Millet put in a magnificent performance spread over five events to finish in second place and secure her place on the schools team for the indoor International in Athlone on the 10th December. Distributing her effort nicely, she ran the hurdles in 8.96 seconds, recorded 5.38m in the long jump, cleared 1.67m in the high jump, threw 9.29m in the shot and ran the 800m in 2:34.89 for a points total of 3,515. A very good score so early in the season. Best wishes in the International Ruby.

Colm Comes Good
Only getting over the flu Colm Burke decided to travel to Scotland for the home countries Masters Cross Country and duly turned in an excellent performance to finish seventh in his category, O-50 and second Irish man home, while they finished second team. Laois had a magnificent turnout of seven athletes making the grade. Dick Mullins was a late addition to the team and had a fine run in the O-70 being third scorer on the Irish team that finished fourth. Stephen Hunter entered in the open 8K event held in conjunction with the masters event and gave a great account of himself to finish second across the line. The masters going well.

Medals Hard to come by in Tyrrellpass
It was the turn of the uneven Leinster age groups and the seniors to contest the cross country championships. Held in the same venue as the even ages a couple of weeks ago, the weather made the course that bit more difficult. Stephen Lawlor was our sole senior on display and he finished a fine second. In the ladies equivalent the defending champion Mary Ann O’Sullivan turned in a fine performance (returning from injury) to finish fifth. In the juvenile events boys U-11 Evan English 46th, Jack Milton 77th, Harry Gordon 88th and Timmy Byrne 108th. The U-13 saw Jack Fenlon 21st, Lee Murray 41st, Adam Buggy 54th and Eoin Cawley 57th for seventh team. TJ Burke was 21st U-15 while Cain Kelly was 2nd in the U-17 and led Laois to the silver medals. Cillian Mulhall was 40th in the junior men’s event. In the girls U-11 it was 12th team with a brand new team making their first entry at this level – Ciara Malone 54th, Moya Brennan 59th, Jessica Murray 81st, Katie McGrath 103rd and Katie Baldwin 110th. U-13 we were 12th team also with Seoighe English 17th, Audrey Byrne 91st, and Aoibhin McDonald 107th Holly Brennan 110th. Rebecca Fenlon was 15th U-15, with Caragh Maher 35th and Meabh Maher 20th in the U-17 and U-19 respectively.

Defence Forces 10K
Brian Kelly had a fine run in his new surroundings when tackling An Cosantoir championship’s recently. Finishing a fine fifth when running 34:58 for the event. The second members draw will take place in Behans on Sunday 20th November. Best wishes to all those who have qualified for the first (Even ages) of the all-Ireland’s in Abbottstown Dublin on Sunday 27th November.

2016 National Athletics Awards
Congratulations to Saragh Buggy who has been nominated in the U-23 category for the 2016 Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards. The awards will take place on Wednesday 30th of November in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Northwood. Saragh captured the National senior, U-23 and the Universities indoor and outdoor titles for 2016 and set a new National U-23 record and moved to second place on the all time Irish list in the triple jump.

Stephen & John Battle it Out
Emo Court was the beautiful setting for the Downey’s Auto Laois masters and juvenile development cross country on Sunday last. While our juvenile numbers were scarce we made up for it in the masters. In the juveniles Laoi Cullen was 12th U-10, Ella Conway 16th and Holly Byrne 19th U-12 while the boys we had Jack Milton 4th, Reece O’Hallornan 6th, Daragh Farrell 10th, Riann Cullen 17th and Cian Houlihan 18th. Zoe Hancock was 8th and Emma Dermody 10th in the girls U-14 with Jamie Conway 9th in the boys. Sarah Graham having a fine run for 3rd in the girls U-16, while her sister Laura took the bronze also in the junior ladies, while Cian Kelly was a convincing winner of the junior men’s event. The master ladies saw Colette English set the pace from the off and succeeded in dropping all her rivals until the last 100 meters where she had to give way to St Michael's Monica Corcoran. Never the less she had the satisfaction of leading her team to victory with Margo Dowling 5th and Caitriona McDonald 6th with excellent support from Josceline Ayres 7th, Sharon Buggy 11th and Deirdre Brennan 16th. Mairead Moore was 2nd in the O-45 with Ann Nicholl 3rd and Colette Brennan R/M 4th and these combined for first team. The men’s race saw several interesting battles among club members none more interesting than the battle for first place in the O-35. Stephen Hunter set a hectic pace from the off and opened up a sizeable gap on the rest of the field. Just before the halfway point John Fenlon set off in pursuit and closed the gap little by little. Going out on the last lap it was shoulder to shoulder with John coming out on top. No doubt we will see some more great battles from these two. With Dermot Ayres 7th and Colin Coyne 9th the team title was secured, providing support we had Conor Barry 20th, Niall English 24th and Francis Fleming (Junior) 25th. Colm Burke led the O-45 team to 2nd place when he finished 4th overall and 2nd individual. With Liam Byrne 19th Francis Fleming (Senior) 26th and Matt Moore 32nd completing the team. Support came from Paddy Harding 35th and Dinny Whelan 36th to complete a fine morning’s action.

Members Draw
The second draw will take place in Behans on Sunday 20th November. Still some tickets available, your support appreciated.


Gingerbread Run
Best of luck to all those preparing for this weekends Gingerbread Run both runners and  organisers alike. Great to have such an anticipated and established event in our local community. There are plenty of St Michael's AC members running and helping out on the day in what has always proved a great event. Good luck to everyone with final preparations which are well underway - see you on the road.

Leinster Cross Country
We had four runners at Leinster cross country. First up was Kate Connolly who had a great run followed by Grainne Cotter who did so well out of her age category. Well done also to Liam Butler and Cathal Grennan who both  had strong runs -  well done to all on a very hard course.

Dublin City Marathon 2016
Huge congratulations to Olivia Sheerin who took home no less than two medals from one race! Well done to Olivia who won bronze in the National Marathon and also won gold for the Leinster marathon also, both of these were a result of her excellent run at the recent Dublin City marathon, which incorporated both of these races. Well done Olivia Sheerin from all in St Michael's AC.

Laois Masters and Development Cross Country
We had a large number of athletes out for the Laois Masters and Development Cross Country Championships. This event took place in the fantastic Emo House grounds and was co-hosted between St Michael's AC and Mountmellick AC.
In total we had 26 athletes competing on the day, many of them for the first time.
In the U-10 Girls we had Freya O'Donoghue, Heidi Hackett, Ruby Phelan, Kirsten Murphy, and Abby Chadwick. Freya came third overall after holding the position for most of the race with both Heidi and Ruby who were working hard behind to catch her. All three girls got medals on the day. Kirsten was unlucky to miss out on medals in seventh position after being sick for most of the week. Abby had a superb run also making a massive improvement on her last outing.
The U-10 boys saw Tom Corcoran take gold with a really strong performance, Daithi Kehoe on his first outing with the club came an agonizing seventh just outside the medals. Jonathon Fardy had a very strong performance also on only his second ever race with the club.
In the U-12 girls we had Kate Connolly win an excellent silver medal and just missing out on gold in an exciting sprint finish. 
We had a good crew in the U-12 boys Andy Murphy won a medal in fifth place and like his sister Kirsten he was sick for most of last week. Jack Murphy was another seventh position for us again just outside the medals but a great performance. Shane Mulpeter and Ryan Phelan also ran in the race and both had strong performances. This could be the makings of a good relay team for the next day.
Grainne Cotter ran a really brave race to take gold in the U-14 Girls. Grainne who is out of age for this race, took the lead almost immediately and didn’t falter throughout well done Grainne. Jade Coogan also ran in this race and took a well deserved bronze. Jade out sprinted a resilient Siofra Marum (Portlaoise) over the 100m and showed great character.
Charlie Hackett similarly to Grainne took the race from the gun and won a fantastic Gold. This is a well deserved medal after a season of tough cross country. Joshua Murphy had a great run in his first outing of the year and looked comfortable throughout.
Liam Butler continued to make great improvement in his first season of running and took an excellent third place. Cathal Grennan had a good run in a very strong Junior race and also won bronze with a very steady run.
Monica Corcoran and Pippa Hackett were our competitors in the Ladies race and compete is exactly what they did. Monica held second place for most of the race and then on the last bend about 150m from the finish she took the lead and won an excellent gold. Pippa unfortunately  had to retire from the race with illness and we wish her have a speedy recovery.
We had six men out in the mens race, Mark Hackett, Aindriu O Comhraidhe, Owen Connolly, Dean Coss, Kevin Mulpeter and John Corcoran. This motley crew ran really well as a team and won a great silver medal in a very strong field. Great running lads. Well done also to former St Michael's runner John Fenlon who showed real class in winning the Mens Master Race.
Thanks also to everyone that helped on the day we appreciate everyone is very busy and the effort is greatly appreciated. It was a good showing for the club on all fronts and everyone should be proud of their achievements on the day.  Well done from all in St Michael's AC.

Senior Training
Senior training takes place twice each week from 7pm to 8pm. Tuesday training takes place at Heritage Hotel – meeting at 7pm. Thursday Training for the next few weeks will take place in Corrig. New members are always welcome at any time, just turn up at one of our training sessions, and give it a go!
Senior members still meet each Saturday morning at 9am in the Lidl car park (beside Odlums) for a long steady run. Distance range from 5K to 20K, and anyone is welcome to join in for an easy run and a friendly chat on the scenic country roads and forest trails around Portarlington, Emo and Killenard.

Juvenile Training
Juvenile training will continue each Monday and Thursday in 2016 from 6pm to 7pm recommencing in September at McCann Park in Portarlington. We would ask that all who take part in the sessions are fully registered with Michael’s Athletics Club, registration forms are available at each session. For more information, contact Jean on 087-2125870.

Contact Us
Find us on Facebook (Michaels AC) and send a friend request to keep up to date with all that’s happening, or check out our club website on Any questions and comments are welcome by e-mailing