On Saturday last in St Anne's Park in Raheny in Dublin the National 20 km and 30 km Race Walk Championships were held and Kate Veale West Waterford put up an oustanding show in the 20 km. Completely dominating the event she won with ease and in the process set a personal best time of 1 hr 37 minutes.54 seconds almost five minutes better than her previous best mark. Into the bargain it was well inside the qualifying time for both the World University Championships and the European Cup in 2019. Last year she finished second in the race being beaten narrowly by Veronica Burke from Ballinasloe but on Saturday she had Burke well behind in second place in 1.47.00 with Rachel Lennon from Mullingar third in 1.56.34. The past year has also seen Kate win the All Ireland 5000 metres title on the track outdoors, the All Ireland Indoor 3000 metres title and the Irish Univerities 3000 metres title outdoors and 1500 metres indoors.
European Cross Country Championships
While there were no medals won by Irish athletes in Tilburg in The Netherlands on Sunday last at the European Cross Country Championships over a difficult course with very tight bends and narrow sections there were some very good performances by individual athletes and the junior men's and women's teams. Top performance came from Ryan Forsyth in the under 23 grade who just missed out on a medal finishing a close up fourth.In the junior girls race the best fancied Irish athlete Sarah Healy - still eligible for the race for next two years -took a very heavy fall when well up with the pace but still managed to get back into the race to finish 9th ,a place behind Emma O'Brien in 8 th with the team 6th of the 15 competing countries with 42 points just three points behind the third placed Nation on 39 points.In the Junior boys Ireland were 5th of 17 countries in the team and Miceál Power West
Waterford was on the team,he was 60 th of the 96 finishers. best senior performer was Seán Tobin Clonmel in 10 th place not far off the leaders. Ireland will host these Championships in 2020 in Abbotstown.
National X Country Championships on Saturday
On Saturday next in Navan Adventure Sports next to the Racecourse the Irish Life Health All Ireland Cross Country Championship season continues. On the programme are the Championships for Novice Men and Women,boys and girls under 11,13,15,17 and 19 with the fixture beginning at 11.30 am. Waterford will be well represented in the juvenile events and it is expected a few of our athletes and teams will figure. It was announced last week that Waterford AC junior ladies who recently won the All Ireland Junior Club title will represent Ireland in the European Clubs X Country in Portugal on February 3rd 2019,seven athletes will travel and their management team.