All Ireland XC, Conna, December 4th 2022
Fresh off the great success of Donegal 2 weeks ago, we made the short trip to Conna for the final event of 2022 (uneven age XC). We had 6 qualifiers - Ruby Devereux, Boys U13. Aine Collins, Girls U15. Avril Cashman, Alex Cashman, Emma Landers & Avril Millerick, Girls U19.
The course was very wet in places with lots of hills and corners, so it presented a much different challenge to the dry underfoot conditions at Donegal; however, our athletes were not daunted by the conditions and performed heroically. Ruby finished a great 62nd and Aine finished also in 62nd running up an age so this marked a big improvement for her from Donegal.
We are running out of superlatives to describe the achievements of our group of older Girls. Robyn Buckley unfortunately was unable to start due to illness but was there to shout home her colleagues to the most comprehensive team victory they have ever achieved. This group have been winning gold team titles since they were U11. The group was larger back then and incl. other very good performers, Eva Murphy, Erin Joyce, Rion Walsh, Grace Rooney and Natasha Kilgannon. All these girls are still involved in various other sports, which is great to see.
The winning team score of 26 points is 1 of the lowest achieved by any club for many a year.
Avril Millerick 1st, Emma Landers 6th, Avril Cashman 8th, Alex Cashman 11th, there are 12 individual medals awarded at this level so all 4 were in the winner’s enclosure. Avril Millerick now joins an exclusive club of Youghal athletes to have won an all Ireland Cross Country. Recent winners include Emma Landers 2019, 2018, Fearghal Curtin 2008 – 2012, Aoife Cooke 2016, going back over the years we would have had Martin Drake & Stephen Hennessy.
After a short break, the girls will begin training for the European club championships in Spain on Feb 5th. Avril Millerick will represent Ireland in an International U20 meet in Belgium at the end of January.