Nolan and Hanna take centre stage in Navan


Nolan and Hanna take centre stage in Navan

Wet and windy conditions didn’t deter a magnificent day of racing in the Irish Life Health National Novice and Uneven Age Cross Country Championships at the Navan Adventure Centre today (December 15).

Cheryl Nolan (St Abban’s) and Zak Hanna (Newcastle) capped the day by winning the novice races but not without drama at the finish.

Nolan won the 4,000m in 14:38 but nearly came a cropper at the finish taking a tumble with energy depletion but had enough in reserve to get herself over the line. Avril Deegan (Ballyroan, Abbeyleix & District) was second in 14:54 with Niamh Allen (Crusaders) third in 15:01. Mullingar Harriers won the team title led by Claire Fagan in 6th.

There were concerns over the weather with warnings but great credit goes to the competition committee and local organising committee in Meath Athletics for going through to host the event.

The challenging course with hills and hairpin turns had good footing throughout the day which was topped off in the men’s 6,000m with Zak Hanna holding off Cormac Dalton (Mullingar Harriers) in an exhilarating finish – Hanna winning in 19:36 from Dalton in 19:38. Mitchell Byrne (Rathfarnham WSAF) bagged the bronze in 19:45. Togher won the team event.

Emily Bolton (MSB) was the first winner of the day in the U11 girls 1500m followed by Matthew Molloy (Mullingar Harriers) in the U11 boys 1500m.

Nicole Dinan (Leevale) won the U13 girls 2,500m with Shane Buckley (Dundrum) winning the U13 boys 2,500m and Tadgh Connolly (St Senan’s) winning the U15 boys 3,500m.

Emma Landers (Youghal) produced a last gasp surge on the uphill finishing straight to usurp Hanna Kehoe (Gowran) in the U15 girls 3,500m. Aimee Hayde (Newport) powered up the hill to win another national title in the U17 girls while Adam Ferris (St Malachy’s) was also a comprehensive victor in the U17 boys 5,000m.

Jodie McCann (Dublin City Harriers) and Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers) were good winners in the U19 girls 4,000m and U19 boys 6,000m.

Full results are HERE

Leading results


U11 1500m

1. Emily Bolton (MSB), 2. Emer McKee (Willowfield), 3. Eabha Nic Chonala (West Muskerry)

U13 2,500m

1. Nicole Dinan (Leevale), 2. Saoirse Fitzgerald (Lucan Harriers), 3. Ava Fitzgerald (Carraig na Bhfear)

U15 3,500m

1. Emma Landers (Youghal), 2. Hannah Kehoe (Gowran), 3. Katie McCleery (City of Lisburn)

U17 4,000m

1. Aimee Hayde (Newport), 2. Lucy Holmes (West Waterford), 3. Cara Laverty (City of Derry Spartans)

U19 4,000m

1. Jodie McCann (Dublin City Harriers), 2. Orla O’Connor (Waterford), 3. Sarah Kelly (Irishowen)

Novice 4,000m

1. Cheryl Nolan (St Abban’s), 2. Avril Deegan (Ballyroan Abbeyleix & District), 3. Niamh Allen (Crusaders)

U11 1500m

1. Matthew Molloy (Mullingar Harriers), 2. James Foot (Bray Runners), 3. Luke Merrigan (Kenmare)

U13 2,500m

1. Shane Buckley (Dundrum), 2. Conor Murphy (St Coca’s), 3. Ryan Jenkins (Mullingar Harriers)

U15 3,500m

1. Tadgh Connolly (St Senan’s), 2. Jack McCausland (City of Lisburn), 3. Pearce McBriarty (Beechmount Harriers)

U17 5,000m

1. Adam Ferris (St Malachy’s), 2. Paul Hartnett (Midleton), 3. Michael Morgan (Sligo)

U19 6,000m

1. Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers), Shay McEvoy (Kilkenny City Harriers), 3. Conall McLean (St Malachy’s)

Novice 6,000m

1. Zak Hanna (Newcastle), 2. Cormac Dalton (Mullingar Harriers), 3. Mitchell Byrne (Rathfarnham WSAF)

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