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.