Huge Success for Our Lady’s Students at Cross Country Championships



Success for Our Lady’s at Cross Country event



IMG_3024 (1)Our Lady’s Secondary School enjoyed sunshine and success at Antrim Forum , last Thursday the 12th May.  Among the 19 athletes who took part in the competition and they took home 10 medals. Medal winners included Emma Glynn , who won gold in the Junior Girls 800m, Jayne Drury who won gold and silver in the Junior Girls 200m and 75m hurdles, Emily Madden who won silver in the Senior Girls 1500m, Celine Nally who won gold and silver in the Senior Girls 200m and 400m and Megan Glynn, Niamh Fealy, Celine Nally and Emily Madden who won gold for the Senior Girls relay team. Congratulations to all those who took part, you did yourselves and the school proud


Congrats to Jane Drury who won a bronze medal at the All Ireland Schools Athletics in Tullamore

Antrim Forum , 12th May








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Big congratulations to Daragh Drury, Our Lady’s Secondary School, who qualified for the All Ireland stage with a top10 finish at the Ulster Schools Cross Country Championships last week. This will be Daragh’s 3rd successive All Ireland appearance.









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Intermediate Girls: Pictured at the Ulster Schools Cross Country Championships are the Intermediate Girls team of Emily Madden, Niamh Fealy, Emma Kerr and Ella McArdle.








first year boys

1st Year Boys: Pictured are the 1st Year Boys team who put in a very strong performance, Pauric Christie, Rory McGlynn,  Jason Carragher, Jason Duffy, Cian McEneaney and Conor Finnegan

Congratulations to a big bunch of athletes from Our Lady’s Secondary School who competed in the Ulster Schools Cross Country Championships in Mallusk on Tuesday, last with many of them excelling in their categories but all of them enjoying the challenge. Top news on the day was for Daragh Drury who qualified for the All Ireland stage with a top 10 finish, making this his 3rd successive All Ireland. Daragh had previously won the Armagh/Monaghan division in the highly competitive Intermediate boy’s category.  The standard of competition at schools’ cross country level is exceptionally high making Daragh’s success all the more remarkable.

In the minor girl’s race, Jayne Drury and Megan Glynn both put in strong performances finishing 31st and 19th respectively in a field of well over 100. Jennifer Duffy ran a very accomplished race finishing   30th in the Junior race. Meanwhile, in the senior races, Saoirse Boyd and Ronan Merrick put in strong runs to qualify from the Armagh/Monaghan division and both finished well up the field in their respective races at the Ulsters in Mallusk.

The other finalist on the day was Emily Madden. Emily ran well finishing in the top third of a large field. This capped a fine few weeks for Emily who has been selected by Triathlon Ireland for a place in its prestigious Youth Academy. This will mean Emily will be exposed to training with some of the country’s best young athletes and coaches and is a fitting acknowledgement of her hard work. Emily represents the school at athletics, swimming and triathlon. She looks set to develop into one of the best triathlete prospects in the region.

A number of teams and individuals put in very strong performances but did not make it through to the Ulster finals, with the junior boy’s team and junior girl’s team being very unlucky at the divisional qualifiers. The first year girls team including Mia Daly, Megan Kelly,  Katie Carragher and Ailbhe Brohan lost out by 1 place. Meanwhile, the boys team of Jason Carragher, Jason Duffy, Cian McEneaney, Pauric Christie, Rory McGlynn and Conor Finnegan were similarly unfortunate. The very talented Jason Duffy was especially unlucky being just pipped at the line for a final place.

Although it is great to see students achieving such high standards in their chosen sport, there have been large numbers of students competing in athletics for their first time this year within the school. Many of these students have exceeded their own expectations in terms of personal fitness and this augurs well for both them individually and sport within the school. The emphasis in the school is on encouraging participation at all levels while supporting and recognising excellence. In this regard, the support of Castleblayney Faughs for use of the running track is greatly appreciated. Likewise, the progress of athletics in the school, more generally, would not be possible without the exceptional support it receives from parents.  With Daragh’s cross country All Ireland to look forward to, as well as track competitions in May and a junior triathlon in April, the omens are good for athletics in the school.

Our Lady’s perform very well in Monaghan Schools Triathlon


OLSS Triathlon


Pictured at the inaugural Monaghan Schools Triathlon are 38 students from Our Lady’s who enjoyed the challenges of the Triathlon, many of whom were doing so for the first time. While there were very strong performances on the day with several athletes securing placings, all were delighted to have completed the course and are already talking about their next outing.

Our Lady’s recorded another first in their sporting records when 38 students participated in the first ever Monaghan Schools Triathlon on Monday 23rd March.  With representatives from each year group entered into both the Senior and Junior categories, the majority of the students were participating in a triathlon for the first time and they all arrived on the morning of the event excited to take on a fresh, fun and interesting challenge.

Over 300 students from 10 schools across County Monaghan converged on Coral Leisure Centre for the inaugural Monaghan Schools Triathlon in beautiful and unseasonal sunshine.  The second level students would navigate the challenge of a 250 meter pool swim, a 10 kilometer cycle and a 2.5 kilometer run.  Students were given the option of completing all three disciplines individually or tackling the unique challenge as part of a relay team.

As the event got underway, Leon Campbell produced a fantastic swim to record the 3rd fastest swim of the day. He led the Our Lady’s contingent out of the water, followed quickly by Emily Madden and Ronan Merrick. Both experienced athletes, Ronan and Emily demonstrated their power on the bike and run to record excellent results. Ronan recorded the 7th fastest run split of the day to secure his place as the first Our Lady’s athlete home in an outstanding time of 37.39, managing to take 6th place overall in an extremely competitive field. Emily Madden was hot on his heels however, finishing in 8th place overall and easily securing the Senior Girls title in an extremely dominant display.

These two performances were highlights on an otherwise extremely positive day for Our Lady’s, with all students demonstrating great ability, character and determination to succeed.  Other notable results on the day included Leon Campbell taking 5th place in the Junior race, Noelle Duffy finishing 6th in the Senior Girls race while Saoirse Boyd and Nastia Kovalenko secured 2nd place in the Senior Girls relay.

For the majority of those competing however, the goal and challenge of the event was getting to the finish line and breaking the tape. As each subsequent Our Lady’s athlete crossed the line,  the smiles grew wider as they basked in the terrific sense of achievement that accompanies finishing your first triathlon. Such was the positive feedback from students, plans are already afoot to ensure the event becomes an annual occasion in what would be a very welcome addition to the already thriving extracurricular programme at Our Lady’s.

The inaugural Monaghan Schools Triathlon was a fantastic success which again highlighted the fantastic sporting potential of our young athletes, many of whom have extremely bright futures in multisport.



 County Cross Country races 2014


Our Lady’s students ran very well in  their recent race in Scotstown, with Daragh Drury takingfirst and his sister Jane taking a second with everyone performing very well on the day.

Well done to those who took part in Monaghan County Cross Country races on Wednesday November 12th.Jayne Drury 2nd in Junior Girls, Emma Glynn 4th. Darragh Drury 1st Intermediate race, Emily Madden 4th, Saoirse Boyd 3rd senior girls. Senior boys 3rd team.

Our Lady’s pupil in All Ireland action


 For the second year running, Daragh Drury represented Our Lady’s Secondary school in the All Ireland cross country championships. The journey to the All Ireland’s began in January when Daragh won the Armagh/Monaghan divisional race in style. Next up for Daragh was a tough race in the Ulster Finals in Mallusk. Once again facing a strong field of over one hundred runners Daragh was to the fore throughout, comfortably qualifying for the All Ireland in 12th position.

Then Daragh made the long trip to Cork for the All Irelands. On a tough 5000m course that traversed grass, gravel and path, Daragh put in another big performance. With a field of over one hundred of the best runners in the country, Daragh was 36th overall putting in a super run on the day. Daragh’s result is all the more remarkable given that he is underage again in the event next year. Daragh’s success has not gone unnoticed among his peers at Our Lady’s. A number of students have joined running and triathlon clubs with Daragh’s success integral to encouraging other athletes. Daragh’s mother Marie accompanied Daragh to Cork and her great contribution to athletics in the school is appreciated by all involved in sport at Our Lady’s.



Our Lady’s pupils shine in Lurgan

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A team of 15 students from Our Lady’s, Castleblayney competed in the Armagh/Monaghan division of the Ulster Cross Country championship on Thursday January 30thin Lurgan Park.  All in all it was a very successful day. All athletes were very competitive with the ever reliable Daragh Drury securing silverware for the school. Just as importantly, however, several runners secured places in the Ulster Finals later in February with others only inches away.

Daragh Drury was a convincing winner of the highly competitive Under 17 intermediate race with Ronan Merrick finishing a very credible 19th. In the minor boy’s race, Ethan O’Gorman finished very strongly in fourth spot and he now also proceeds to the Ulster finals. In the same race Leon Campbell featured as well putting in a strong performance. In the junior boy’s race, David Hanley and Logan McQuillan represented the school giving their all in tough conditions. Logan finished 16th just one place outside the automatic qualification spot for the Ulster finals. This was a remarkable performance from Logan who has only started running in recent months and he finished well ahead of many strong club athletes. In the junior girls race, Ceara Finnegan was similarly pipped at the post in a sprint finish for the coveted 15th spot. Not far behind was Roise O’Brien who finished 22nd out of huge field of almost 80 runners. The Intermediate girls were not to be outdone, however, with Emily Madden and the Boyd sisters, Saoirse and Sarah, coming joint 3rd overall in the team competition. Unfortunately, this was not enough to secure a place in the Ulster Final as the girls lost out on count back. However, Emily did secure an automatic qualification spot for herself by finishing comfortably inside the top 15. Emily is underage in this category next year making her achievement all the more substantial. The strong performance by the girls’ teams this year is very encouraging and a lot of credit goes to Ms Johnson for fostering the girls’ interest.

The last athletes on display were the senior boy’s team of Callum Southall, Senan McCague, Ryan Maguire and Ryan McMahon. Callum finished inside the top fifteen with ease while Ryan McMahon became the third athlete of the day to finish within one spot of the top 15. As a team, the senior boys finished fourth.

The ongoing success of cross country in the school is in large part due to the great support from parents of athletes and this was again evident on the day when Pat Merrick was on hand assisting teachers on the day. Next up for the young athletes is the Ulster cross country championships on February 12th.

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