Connacht Cross- Country Championships
Sligo Feb 23 2016
Despite annexing the Senior Team championship for the first time in 6 years it was a disappointing day out at the Connacht finals for the majority of our teams. The senior team of Eoghan Kelly(9th), Diarmuid Mulkerrins (11th), Landau Ndombasi (17th), Tommy Molloy (22nd), Kelvin Samson and Enzo Rodrigues did come up trumps, and were our only bright light on a dim day. They were engaged in a very close battle with Sligo Grammar and every runner had to dig deep to finally come away with the coveted team trophy, eventually winning by 2 points (61 – 63).
Our highly fancied Intermediate team came into the race as South Connacht Champions but, for the second year in a row, failed to fire on the day. Ryan Traynor-O’Toole led them home in a creditable 16th position. However, he did not receive the backing from his teammates who found the going very tough on the day.
The junior team tried hard but again poor performances on the day let us down as we finished in fourth place, just outside the medals. Team captain Robert Fleming ran well to come home in 16th place, and he received support from Blake Cummins (23) and Tresor Sangi (27). However, our fourth and fifth runners were too far off the pace to give sufficient support.
Dylan Traynor-Canavan rane a good race to finish 11th in the minor boys. Eanna Davoren ran strongly as next runner home, however, the more fancied runners were tailed off at the back of the field early on and made very little progress as we finished a disappointing 7th place.
Standards in Connacht Cross Country have been improving of late, as was shown when Rice College Westport went on the add the All-Ireland titles to their Minor and Intermediate Connacht titles, showing that we have quite a bit of catching up to do.
South Connacht Cross Country Championships
St. Mary’s College, January 28th 2016
The South Connacht’s returned to Mary’s after a break of four years, and we could not have picked a worse day upon which to return. A torrential downpour soon after the start of competition led to the course cutting up very badly and athletes having to labour through a quagmire. Coupled with the biting east wind the temperature levels dropped dramatically and the local ambulance service had to deal with more than a couple of cases of exhaustion and hypothermia..it certainly is a sport for the toughest!
Eventually the weather took it’s toll, and both senior races had to be cancelled in the interests of athlete safety…a first time that this has ever happened. However, up to that point there were some fine races and the Mary’s teams all successfully booked their way to the Connacht finals. First into action were the minor boys. 164 athletes started the race and a strong run by Dylan Traynor-Canavan saw him lead the team home in 7th place. Szymon Kryla was the next finisher in 25th place and he was followed home by Kallum Tobin and the fast improving Vincent Idemudia, finishing 39th and 43rd. This completed the scoring for the team and the 114 points total was enough to secure third place on the day. Cian Mulrooney (47), Eanna Davoren (56), Cathal Forde, Mark O’Boyle, Dylan McDonagh, Darragh Kyne, Adam Molloy and Prince Idemudia completed the team. On the day many of the more fancied runners did not perform well in the tough conditions so there is a lot of room for improvement and hopefully we can succeed in getting a medal at the provincial finals.
The Junior Boys team is a fine bunch with great prospects. However, on the day they came up against a very strong Seamount Kinvara team who remarkably filled three of the first four finishing positions, and so had to settle for second place team. Blake Cummins ran a very brave race to take fifth place, out of the 132 finishers, and he was followed home by team captain, the much improved Robert Fleming in 9th place. Dessie Costello Hynes found the going tough but still finished in 19th place, while Tresor Sangi completed the scoring in 23rd. Enoch Abiodun is struggling for form this year and was next home in 32nd while Rylemy Rodrigues, Emmanuel Awoponle, Jordan O’Connell, Nathan Ward and Éamonn MacDonnachá made up the rest of the team.
The Inter boys showed their unity as a team with some fine warming up singing and then backed it up with a great performance to take the South Connacht title. Team captain Ryan Traynor-O’Toole led by example, finishing in 10th place. He was backed up by Gabriel Dossen (16th), a great run by Hakeem Ryan in 21st and the ever-improving Kevin Hourigan in 22nd place. Kelvin Samson was one place further back, Gadzi Malaba finished 27th and the remainder of our runners were Diego Brule (31st), Dennis Onuoha, Husley Tereza, Francely Lomboto, Joshua Brodricks, Brian Martin, Sealtial Toko and Raoof Bazzazadegan.
The senior team did not have to run so have qualified automatically for the finals despite the protestations of the brave lads who wanted to give it a lash anyhow!
The College held a very successful 7th annual invitational over the blustery Mary’s grounds on December 16th. With an entry from 11 schools this was our biggest event yet as it continues to grow in popularity around the province. Over 300 boys took part and spectators were treated to a good afternoon’s Cross Country entertainment.
First into action were the First Year boys, and our first chance to see the talent of our new young athletes. And, we were not disappointed as Dylan Traynor-Canavan romped home to a successful victory.
He was supported by his teammates and their performances were good enough to ensure them third place behind a strong Claregalway team and Ballinrobe Community School
The Second Year race proved successful for our team as we grouped strongly through the efforts of Des Costello-Hynes, Enoch Abiodun, Robert Fleming, Blake Cummins and Ryan and just beat Seamount College Kinvara into second place. Both teams in fact had the same score of 29 points but our better fourth place finisher sealed the victory.
The Intermediate race was a grueling affair over three laps of cut up course but the Mary’s lads proved up to the task, finishing in second place behind the Bish. Kelvin Samson was the first runner home in 6th place, and he was closely followed by Gabriel Dossen, Gadzi Malaba and Henok Dems.
The Senior team saw strong runs from Diarmuid Mulkerrins and Eoghan Kelly spearhead their march to the team title. Landau Ndombasi also ran well and Tommy Molloy finished off the scoring as they came home ahead of the Bish and Seamount Kinvara
Connacht Combined Events
The athletics year kicked off in fine style at the fantastic Athlone IT indoor arena in October. We sent down a small but very talented team of athletes, all of whom performed brilliantly on the day. 64 athletes were entered in the minor boys event, and after some great individual efforts Enoch Abiodun emerged in 6th place overrall. Close behind him were two first years making their debuts in the red and black of the College, and both of whom had brothers competing in the older age groups. Dylan Traynor-Canavan and Aaron Dossen both enjoyed their first taste of action, running two of the fstest 800m times of the day, and both will be back at the same age group next year.
At Junior level Francely Lomboto found himself just out of the medals when he finished in fourth place out of the 32 athletes entered. Indeed, only 40 points seperated the first four athletes in this event. Dennis Onuoha unfortunately failed to record a Long Jump and consequently was unable to feature in the end, although he did finish in the top half of the field.
At Intermediate level there were 19 competitors and we had our best performers as Kelvin Samson took his brother’s title to emerge as Connacht Champion, narrowly edging his team mate Shane Traynor-Canavan into second place. The scores were a very close 2765 to 2725. Ryan Traynor -O’Toole would almost certainly have completed a clean sweep for Mary’s had he not had three fouls with the Shot Putt, and thus failed to score. He eventually finished 6th, with Gabriel Dossen a place further back.
At Senior level Kamil Szymaszek was very unlucky not to win as he finished a close second, ahead of another Mary’s man Dylan Neary in third place.
Shane, Kelvin, Francely, and Dylan later went on to represent Connacht and Mary’s at the All-Ireland’s, also in Athlone in November. Although there were no medals this time each athlete improved greatly on their Connacht performances and did the College proud.
Shane reversed the Connacht positions when he finished in 8th place from the 16 athletes entered, scoring 2865 points, 45 ahead of Kelvin who finished 10th. Francely also improved his Connacht score significantly, and finished as the second Connacht athlete in 9th place. Dylan, although running and jumping well finished in a very creditable fifth place in the Senior event.