ATHLETICS: Leinster schools cross-country Championships

by Gazette Reporter
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By Lindie Naughton

Cormac Dixon (HFCS Rathcoole ) ran a canny race  to win  the senior boys title at the Leinster Schools Cross-Championshisp held at the 15 Acres, Phoenix Park, Dublin on Wednesday (February 7).

In perfect conditions for running,  a group of about five had forced the pace from the start of the three-lap, 6km race. With half a lap to go, that group was down to three – Dixon,  Billy Coogan (Kilkenny CBS) and Noah Harris (ETSS Wicklow).

Dixon pulled away in the chase for the line winning in 18 mins 35 secs, Harris was second in 18:39 with Coogan third in 18:46. Old rival Colaiste Mhuire Mullingar and St Aidan’s CBS from Whitehall, Dublin, finished first and second in the team competition, with Kilkenny CBS third.

A healthy turn-out in the girls’ senior race saw Julie Cleary  (Loreto St Stephen’s Green) pulling away in the later stages of the race for victory.  Grace Byrne (Loreto Mullingar) was second and Meabh Eakin (Ballymakenny College). Loreto Mullingar won the team category with Sacred Heart Tullamore second and Loreto Kilkenny third.

At inter level, Emily Bolton (Mount Sackville School) proved the class of the field in the girls’ race, winning by over half a minute from Rachel Ayres (St Leo’s Carlow, 681), with Sholah Lawrence (Our Lady’s College, Greenhills, Drogheda) third. St Dominic’s Cabra packed well to win the team award ahead of Mount Sackville and Presentation Kilkenny.

Daire Mathews (St Mary’s Dundalk) won the battle upfront in the boys’ inter race, beating Lorcan Forde Dunne (St Mary’s Drogheda) and Bobby More (Woodbrook College) into the minor placings.  

Dunne, in second place, was leading St Mary’s Drogheda to team victory, with Belvedere second and St Finian’s Mullingar third.  

Rachel Kearney (Newbridge College) won the junior girls race, closely followed by Lily Flood (Ratoath College) and Saoirse Flanagan (Presentation Wexford). Presentation  Kilkenny was first team ahead of Mount Anville and St Joseph’s Lucan.

Charlie O’Neill (Belvedere College) was a clear winner of the junior boys’ race, with Kyrell Mtisi (St Kieran’s Kilkenny) ) second and Adam Noone (Templeogue College) third.

Belvedere proved best of the teams ahead of Patrician Newbridge and St Kieran’s Kilkenny.

In the minor age group, Laura Ayres (St Leo’s Carlow) won the girls’ race, with St Vincent’s Dundalk  taking the team medals, while  in the boys’ race, Ethan Bramhill (Greystones CC, 133)  was first home and Willow Park the winning team.

*The top fifteen individuals and top three teams in each age group will compete at the All Ireland Schools Cross-Country Championships in Tymon Park, Tallaght, on Saturday, March 9 (from 12 noon).

Julie Cleary (44) of Loreto St Stephen’s Green leads them home in the Leinster Cross-Country.

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