Report from All Ireland Cross Country Championships

Santry Demesne hosted the All Ireland Cross Country Championships on Sunday on a perfect day for running under clear blue skies in the capital. Qualifiers from the four provinces and also Dublin gathered for the Juvenile Even Ages races on a good firm course following the recent dry spell.

The U12 Girls 2000m started the day’s programme of races and produced the club’s standout performance as Sophia Carey ran superbly for an eight place finish out of 181. Sophia paced it well moving through into the top 10 on the second and final lap. As third finisher from the Connacht team of six, she helped secure a team bronze medal in the provincial competition. A big congratulations to Sophia. Alisha Manning, Keeva Manning and Blaithin Coffey also ran well in a very competitive race.

\It was great to see nine club members in the U12 boys 2000m with strong runs by Rian McCaffrey, Daniel Higgins, Timothy Sheridan, Oisin Dillon, Odhran Crossan, Evan Maher, John Fitzpatrick, Conor Brennan and Ronan Grealy.

Emma Brennan, Rachel Keenan, Robin Og Murphy, Lucy Maher and Ella Duignan gave it their all for good runs in the U14 girls 3000m with Emma the first Connacht finisher. Emma and Rachel have also qualified for the U15 All Irelands in Kilkenny in two weeks.

Well done to all our Juvenile members for performing so well today and for their dedication to training over the past few months. We now look forward to indoor competition in February.

A very strong field assembled for the Junior (U20) men’s race with both National glory and securing a spot on the Irish team for the upcoming Europeans on the line. Cian McPhillips, running in the UCD colours, ran strongly to finish in fifth place. He certainly showed his range, following his summer track exploits over 800 and 1500, in moving up in distance for 6000m of hard running on cross country. Well done to Cian. Athletics Ireland will confirm the Irish team in the coming days for the European Cross Country Championships, to be held in Dublin on 12 December, and hopefully Cian will be selected.

The final race at Santry was the Senior men’s 10,000m taking in six energy-sapping laps as Barry Sheil placed 72nd of 192 finishers.

Connacht Juvenile Club Cross Country 2021

Next Saturday’s school’s cross country in Co. Sligo is the start of a busy few weeks of racing. The following two weekends are then the turn of provincial club competition:

Sunday, 31 October: Connacht Even Ages (U12/U14/U16/U18) – Belleek, Ballina, Co. Mayo.
Sunday, 7 November: Connacht Uneven Ages (U11/U13/U15/U17/U19) – Galway venue.

** Entries can be emailed to pro.longfordac@gmail.com

*** The closing date to submit entries for the Even Ages event in Ballina is this Thursday, 21 October.

The ‘one year up’ entry policy applies meaning a child can run on both days if they are interested. For example, a child in the Under 12 age category (year of birth = 2010) can also run in Under 13. The Under 11 race, in Galway, is open to Under 10’s (children born in 2012). This is the youngest age group permitted in 2021 events.

These Connacht races are also qualifiers for the All Irelands which take place later this year.

Among those pictured is Longford AC’s Emma Brennan during the Under 12 Girls race at Abbottstown in 2019.

Important Changes to Juvenile and Little Athletics Friday Training Sessions

From 15 October until the end of 2021, Friday evening athletics will take place on the astro over two separate one-hour slots: 6.30pm to 7.30pm and 7.30pm to 8.30pm.

This change is required due to reducing daylight hours along with there being no floodlights on the grass pitch on which the older children have been training over recent Fridays.

The groups, in each hour, are already assigned on the following basis:

6.30pm to 7.30pm:

  • Little Athletics – all children in the five Little Athletics groups and
  • Juvenile Athletics – those children in Juvenile Athletics who have a sibling(s) in Little Athletics.

7.30pm to 8.30pm:

  • Juvenile Athletics – all other children. That is, those children with no sibling(s) in Little Athletics.

Apologies for any inconvenience this change may cause. It is however necessary to enable us to safely conduct training under the floodlights of the astro whilst keeping numbers at a manageable level across both hours. The 6.30 – 7.30 slot is now full.


Co. Longford Primary Schools Cross Country Results 2021

3rd/4th Class Girls 1000m Results

3rd/4th Class Boys 1000m Results

5th/6th Class Girls 1200m Results

5th/6th Class Boys 1200m Results

Primary Schools races – Top 3 Teams

Connacht Qualifiers

Post-Primary Results

Please email pro.longfordac@gmail.com with any queries.

Juvenile Cross-Country Competition 2021

The County Longford Primary Schools Cross Country Championships at Moyne CS on 10 October kicks off the cross-country season. This event also serves as a qualifier to the Connacht schools finals in Sligo on 23 October.

Provincial club cross-country races will then take place on the subsequent two weekends:

Sunday, 31 October – Connacht Even Ages (U12/U14/U16/U18), Ballina

Sunday, 7 November – Connacht Uneven Ages (U11/U13/U15/U17/U19), Galway

Below is the breakdown of age categories and the distances ran in each.

The ‘one year up’ entry policy applies meaning a child can run on both days if they are interested. For example, a child in the Under 12 age category can also run in Under 13.

Furthermore, the Under 11 category is also open to Under 10’s (children born in 2012). This is the youngest age group permitted in 2021 events.

The Connacht races are qualifiers for the Nationals which take place in late-Nov / early-Dec.

Sunday Training

A new Sunday morning training session at the Mall will begin on 3 October at 10am to help with preparation ahead of the these cross-country competitions.

Sunday morning is of course when Junior parkrun takes place and we encourage members, aged 14 and under, to do Junior parkrun as it is in itself very good preparation for the distances ran in cross country. The 10am session can merely be a short supplementary run on grass for those children that do Junior parkrun. For those not doing Junior parkrun, they can run a little longer!

The Sunday morning session will take place on October 3, 17 and 24.

Entries for both Connacht club events – October 31 and November 7 – will be finalised at training on October 17 so attendance on that morning is required.

Juvenile Age Categories – 2021
Category / Year of Birth

Cross Country Distances for each Category

The wearing of spikes is recommended, although not essential, for children who are interested in cross-country races. Spikes can be purchased online and can cost in the region of €30 with no major difference in quality among the usual brands.
Some shops, such as the Sports Outlet in Mullingar, may have them in stock. They should come with 9mm spike pins/studs which is the preferred length for cross country.

Co. Longford Primary Schools Cross Country Championships

Next month sees the return of the schools cross-country which will take place at Moyne Community School on Sunday, 10 October.

Registration will begin at 3pm with the first race starting at 4pm. There are four races which all serve as qualifiers to the Connacht Championships:

  • 3rd & 4th Class Girls: 1000 metres
  • 3rd & 4th Class Boys: 1000 metres
  • 5th & 6th Class Girls: 1200 metres
  • 5th & 6th Class Boys: 1200 metres

The top finishers and the three best teams in each race qualify for the Connachts.

Entry on the day is €3 per child. There is no limit on the number of athletes entered from a school in each race. Children can run as individuals and, if there are enough from the same school in each race, they can also form a team. A team consists of at most 6 athletes with the first 4 finishers counting towards the team score.

It would be great to see all schools from around the county represented.

There will also be races for Secondary School students which will be good preparation for those athletes ahead of Connacht club competition.

Report from Irish Life Health National Juvenile Track & Field Championships and Children’s Team Games

Longford AC had seven young athletes lined up to participate at the Irish Life Health National Juvenile Track & Field Championships and Children’s Team Games in Tullamore on Saturday Aug 21st. Weather-wise it was a day of two halves with competitors competing in the morning having to endure very wet conditions. Thankfully for athletes and spectators the sun made an appearance in the afternoon.

Jack O’Farrell was first up for the club, competing in the u13 60m hurdles. Jack ran a great heat, finishing second in a time of 10.64 seconds. In the final, Jack improved on his time (10.48) and was just off the medals.

Sophia Carey ran in the u12 600m. The race was hard and fast from the outset, and Sophia did very well to hold her own in a very strong field.

Oisín Dillon competed in the u12 60m & 600m. In his sprint heat, Oisin ran 8.96 ensuring qualification for the final. The final was very competitive and he didn’t manage to medal. Oisín was on the track again for the 600m. He was well in contention with 100m to go, but was unfortunate not to be in the mix in the sprint for the line.

Oisin competed in the 60m and the 600m

John Fitzpatrick & Setanta Smith participated in two events. In the u11 pairs turbo javelin both boys threw well, and were unlucky not to medal. Next up for the boys was the pairs 600m. They gave their all in these very competitive races.

John and Setanta performed well in the pairs turbo javelin and 600m.

Andrew Fitzpatrick & Dáire Grealy were to participate in the u9 pairs turbo javelin. The boys had taken gold in the event at the Connacht qualifiers so expectations were high. Despite being in the stadium for the event, Daire was unfortunately unable to compete, so Andrew competed on his own and proceeded to throw 15.65m – the furthest of all competitors. Well done Andrew.

turbo javelin u9 champions

Andrew and Dáire – paired in the turbo javelin

Well done to all athletes – it was a great achievement to qualify from the Connachts and represent the province and your club so well.

Irish Life Health National Juvenile Track & Field Championships update

We had another day of competition at the national championships in Tullamore last Saturday. Well done to Caitlin Maher who competed in the u17 1500m. Caitlin ran well in a competitive field and improved on her time in the Connachts.

The club has another batch of young athletes competing at the championships this coming weekend.  Jack O’Farrell competes in the u13 60m hurdles, Sophia Carey in the u12 600m, Oisin Dillon in the u12 60m & 600m, John Fitzpatrick & Setanta Smith in the u11 pairs turbo javelin and pairs 600m, and Andrew Fitzpatrick & Dáire Grealy in the u9 pairs turbo javelin. We wish the best of luck to the boys and girls – just do your best!

The following are the projected start times for tomorrow’s events. Please note that these can be subject to change.

You can view all the action on Saturday on the Athletics Ireland YouTube channel where there will be a live stream:


Athletics Ireland Guidelines

  • Only one adult only can accompany each athlete at the venue.
  • Covid questionnaire must be completed by everyone attending on the day of the event
  • A face mask must be worn at all times except during warm up and competition for athletes

For full guidelines visit https://www.athleticsireland.ie/news/childrens-games-u12-u13-championships-and-youth-ce

2021 Outdoor Track and Field Championships

We hope that your child is enjoying the weekly Friday evening athletics. With the continued easing of restrictions, it is expected that juvenile club competition will take place this summer.

The Connacht Athletics Board has tentatively set the following dates for holding the 2021 outdoor Track and Field Championships at Athlone IT:

Saturday, July 10th: Under 11 two-event ‘Team Games’ (for children born in 2011)

Saturday, July 17th: Under 14 – Under 19 (children born in or before 2008)

Sunday, July 18th: Under 12 & Under 13 (children born in 2010 or 2009)

If your child is in the under 11 – 13 age categories, and is interested in competing, please complete the form below which contains the list of events (maximum 2 events for children born in 2011). We request that it be submitted by Saturday, June 12th.


There are a greater number of events in the under 14 – 19 age categories and more information regarding these will be communicated to those members at Friday evening training.

Additional Training Session Every Sunday

In advance of the above dates, an additional weekly training session will take place for all age groups of under 11-19 on Sunday mornings at 10am at the Mall commencing on June 13th. For children intending on competing at the Championships, attendance at the Sunday session is essential to help better prepare for competition. The Connacht event also serves as a qualifier to the Nationals which will take place in August.

Paddy’s Sprints Group (group JA7) – Athlone Training

For this coming Friday, June 11th, Paddy’s sprints group (group JA7) will hold their training session on the track at Athlone IT at 6.30pm. If your child is in this group and wishes to attend the session at AIT on Friday, please email pro.longfordac@gmail.com to confirm.

Weekly Notes – 7th June 2021

Connacht Track & Field

The Connacht Junior, Senior and Masters Track & Field championships took place on Bank Holiday Monday in Dangan, Galway. Five club members competed in what was for most their return to competition for the first time in over a year and all five recorded podium finishes.

Yemi Talabi was first in the junior womens 100m having earlier placed second in the long jump. Gospel Idahor set the fastest time in the senior womens 200m and was second in the 100m. Also doubling up in the sprint events was Aaron Kelly with second fastest in the senior mens 100m and third in the 200m.

New member Mitko Kozhuharov took on two field events finishing second in both the senior mens javelin and shot put.

Barry Sheil was first in the masters 3000m.

Well done all. Thanks to the organisers and event officials, including our own Paddy McPhillips, for the staging of the meet.

Juvenile T&F:

The Connacht Juvenile T&F Outdoor Championships have been tentatively set for July at Athlone IT. July 10 is the opening day which is for the under 11 age group two-event ‘Team Games’ (for children born in 2011). The under 14 – 19 age category events (children born in or before 2008) will be held on July 17. On the following day, July 18, competition for under 12 / 13 events will be staged for children born in 2010 or 2009. An expression of interest email has been sent to parents to confirm if their child wishes to participate.

For children intending on competing, an additional weekly training session will take place on Sundays at 10am at the Mall from June 13 for the weeks leading up to the Connachts. Attendance at this session is essential to help better prepare for competition.