Holmes and Murphy Claim National Novice Titles

ByEmma Porter |

Lucy Holmes (West Waterford AC) and Michael Murphy (Tullamore AC) were crowned national novice champions at the National Novice and Juvenile Uneven Cross Country Championships which took place in Navan (Dec 3rd).

Murphy finished second in the men’s novice but athlete ineligibility saw the Tullamore athlete promoted to first place in what was a thrilling race from the gun. Murphy (Tullamore Harriers), who crossed the 6,000m route in a time of 00:19:37 came into the race buoyed by his run at the national senior cross country in Gowran two weeks previously and the Tullamore athlete evidently thrived on the better surface in Navan today. Murphy was pushed all the way by William Fitzgerald (Craughwell AC) who was promoted to silver, with Dylan Casey of Ennis Track upgraded to bronze.

Fitzgerald would also help Craughwell to the team gold.

The women’s race also lived up to its ultra-competitive billing with the title very much up for grabs coming into the home straight. Lucy Holmes was first to make the decisive move and her track speed coupled with the good underfoot conditions on the home straight meant the West Waterford athlete was not for catching in a winning time of 00:14:43 (4,000m).

Speaking after the race Holmes said, “I’m so happy. Last year I was fourth, so coming back here I was hoping to win. It was an easier race compared to seniors a couple of weeks ago with the shorter distance, but it felt much quicker from the gun. I knew if I could hold on until close to the end that I’d have the speed from my 800m training so I’m delighted that I did that and so happy with the win.”

Roise Roberts (North Belfast Harriers) was part of a group of five who challenged Homes throughout, ultimately crossing in second place in 00:14:50, while Amy Pollman Daamen ran a storming race for An Ríocht AC to claim bronze (00:14:50).

Leevale AC picked up the team honours with three athletes inside the top twenty.

There were a host of notable performances across today’s action including wins in the U19 races for  Sean Lawton (Durras AC) and Lucy Foster (Willowfield Harriers) who was one of the most dominant winners on the day.

Emily Bolton (Donore Harriers) turned her U16 silver medal from Gowran two weeks ago into gold in today’s U17 race with the Donore athlete bouncing off the surface in Navan, while Caolan McFadden (Cranford AC) picked up another impressive national title with gold in the U17 boys race.

Westport’s Freya Renton completed the Girls U14/U15 double with a ‘from-the-gun’ win, while Charlie O’Neill of Donore Harriers looks a huge prospect on the back of his exciting showing in the the U15 race.

Today’s 12-race schedule got underway in splendid sunshine with Moy Valley AC once again picking up an early gold thanks to a brilliant run from Grace Tighe in the U11 race.

All eyes now turn to Brussels next weekend as Irish athletes, including last year’s Novice Champion Fiona Everard, take to competition at the European Cross Country Championships in Belgium on December 10th.

Results Summary:

U11 Girls

  1. Grace TIGHE Moy Valley A.C.
  2. Kate KELLY Kilkenny City Harriers A.C.
  3. Lainey SHERIDAN Rathfarnham W.S.A.F. A.C.

U11 Boys

  1. Riain DUIGNAN St. Cronans A.C.
  2. Ronan GEANEY St. Catherine’s A.C.
  3. Harry MCVEIGH Newcastle and District A.C.

U13 Girls

  1. Nellie BATEMAN Belgooly A.C.
  2. Ruby FARRELLY Templeogue A.C.
  3. Lily WALSH Mullingar Harriers A.C.

U13 Boys

  1. Cillian GALVIN Mullingar Harriers A.C.
  2. Eoghan LOONEY Blarney/Inniscara A.C.
  3. Daniel GALLAGHER Moy Valley A.C.

U15 Girls

  1. Freya RENTON Westport A.C.
  2. Madison WELBY City of Lisburn A.C.
  3. Holly RENTON Westport A.C.

U15 Boys

  1. Charlie O’NEILL Donore Harriers A.C.
  2. Kyrell MTINSI Kilkenny City Harriers A.C.
  3. Rory ARMSTRONG Lagan Valley A.C.

U17 Girls

  1. Emily BOLTON Donore Harriers A.C.
  2. Clara CASEY Foyle Valley A.C.
  3. Ava DIVER Beechmount Harriers A.C.

U17 Boys

  1. Caolan MCFADDEN Cranford A.C.
  2. Noah HARRIS Parnell A.C.
  3. Cillian GLEESON Celbridge A.C.

U19 Girls

  1. Lucy FOSTER Willowfield Harriers
  2. Nicole DINAN Leevale A.C.
  3. Kirsti Charlotte FOSTER Willowfield Harriers

U19 Boys

  1. Sean LAWTON Durrus A.C.
  2. Lughaidh MALLON Lagan Valley A.C.
  3. David WILLIAMS St. Senans A.C.

Novice Women (4,000m)

  1. Lucy HOLMES 00:14:43 West Waterford A.C.
  2. Roise ROBERTS 00:14:50 North Belfast Harriers
  3. Amy POLLMAN DAAMEN 00:14:50 An Ríocht A.C.

Novice Men (6,000m)

  1. Michael Murphy (Tullamore Harriers AC) 19:37
  2. William Fitzgerald (Craughwell AC) 19:39
  3. Dylan Casey (Ennis Track AC) 19:51
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