Co Tipperary Athletics: Dermot Hayes and Willie O'Donoghue are Munster Champions

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Dundrum AC

Dundrum AC's Men at the Munster Masters Cross Country Championship in Riverstick, Cork. Left to right: Michael Moore, James Ryan, Dermot Hayes and Gareth McGlinchey.

The Munster Masters Cross Country Championships took place in Riverstick last Sunday where athletes had to contend with soft under foot conditions in mild weather and we had two very competitive races.

In the Ladies race Maire O'Shea of Mooreabbey Milers ran very well when finishing 23rd and we also had good performances from Mary Pyke Mooreabbey Milers 57th, Mandy Parlsow Mooreabbey Milers 59th, Catherine Horgan Mooreabbey Milers 60th and Trish Blackburn Mooreabbey Milers 61st.

In the Men’s race we had Dermot Hayes Dundrum AC running a brilliant race when finishing 7th overall to win the Men’s over 50 Munster title. Then we had Kieran Lees of Mooreabbey Milers also putting in a great performance when finishing 12th and he was closely followed across the finishing line by Gareth McGlinchey of Dundrum AC in 15th place. Patrick Roche of Carrick on Suir also ran very well when finishing 19th. Then we had Tom Blackburn of Mooreabbey Milers running very well to win the Men’s over 50 Silver medal when finishing 27th. Willie O'Donoghue of Mooreabbey Milers also put in a brilliant performance when winning the Men’s over 55 title impressively when finishing 30th overall. John Fogarty of Moycarkey Coolcroo AC making his debut in these Championships ran very well when finishing 35th. Then we had James Ryan of Dundrum AC running well to finish 39th with Kevin Lenihan of Mooreabbey Milers closely following him across the finishing line in 44th place. Michael Moore of Dundrum AC also ran well when finishing 79th.

In the Inter County competition the Tipperary over 50 Men’s team of Dermot Hayes, Tom Blackburn, Willie O'Donoghue and James Ryan combining very well to capture the Gold medals impressively and the way these athletes ran last Sunday they would have a great opportunity of a podium position at the All Ireland Masters Cross Country Championships. At Inter Club level the Dundrum AC over 50 team of Dermot Hayes, James Ryan and Michael Moore won the Gold medals, great performances all round.

Phenomenal performance by Sean Tobin at the NCAA

The NCAA All American College Cross Country Championships took place in Louisville, Kentucky. Here we had the cream of Cross Country talent competing in a very competitive race.

The pace was fast and relentless from the gun as the field of 250 plus athletes went for it. After the initial charge the leading group was down to a group of approx. 70 athletes which included Sean Tobin, the leaders going through 2k in 5 mins 39 secs with 4 secs separating the top 26 athletes, with Sean in 62nd place 9 seconds off the pace, such was the talent. The pace continued at a relentless pace with the leaders going through 4k in 11 mins 37 secs and at this stage Sean was running well and moving up through the field and at this stage was 49th in 11 mins 49.6 secs, having moved up 13 places in that lap. Sean kept this strong running going and as they reached 8k, with a 2k lap to go Sean had moved up 35 places to move into 14th place, reaching 8k in 23 mins 40 secs. The pace up front never relented but still Sean was running the race of his life and over the closing stages moved up two more places to finish a fantastic 12th place in a time of 29 mins 39.39 secs, fantastic running and by far his best performance in Cross Country for many a year. To put Sean’s performance of 29 mins 39.39 secs into perspective, last weekend he ran a PB for the 10,000m when running 30 mins 15.7 secs, a massive improvement of over 45 seconds. Sean Tobin was running at 4 mins 46.5 secs per mile for the 6.2 miles race, some pace. Going into this Championship the Ole Miss Men’s team was ranked 25th, but with Sean leading the way with this fantastic performance they finished 18th. This was Sean’s last Cross-Country event for Ole Miss and he went out with the performance of his life. This performance by Sean earned him his first All American Honour and to put this 12th place performance into perspective, it was the 3rd highest finish of any Cross-Country athlete in the Ole Miss History and a phenomenal improvement on his 2015 performance when he finished 68th and on last year’s run where he finished 62nd.