Eugenia Bateson: It was a day to remember in Tullamore yesterday at the National Juvenile Championships for Clonliffe athletes. Lorcan Benjacar and Tom Breslin both competed in the U18 3000m S/C. Lorcan was convincing from the start with Tom by his side to set the tone of the event. The first couple of jumps where almost in perfect sync, showing that the lads were determined and had a plan. Lorcan made a stretch early on. It was clear, he was determined to get his first, over-due and well-deserved National Title in a time of 10:02.88. Never under threat, he ran a strong race and left no doubt as to who was the National Steeplechase U19 Champion for 2023. Tom ran an astute race and kept himself in a comfortable position for a medal, swapping the colour a couple of times to tease out the competition, but when he had tired his competitor out, he made his move and had a strong finish, as always, taking the silver in 10:12.13
In the U17 2000 S/C, Jack Quinn was our sole competitor. For much of the race Jack sat back in 4th position in what was a well stretched out race. Jack stuck to his plan, knowing what his splits could and would deliver and knowing that the race was not over, till it was over. Slowly closing the gap edging his way to bronze position he had closed the gap with around 200 to go. On the water jump, he made his point!!! jumped clear off the water jump and just took off, ensuring that the National bronze was his. A very impressive calm and controlled performance, sticking to his plan, paid off.
U19 3000m S/C was the turn of Cillian Keegan. Cillian also found himself in 4th position for most of the race but again, belief and the ability to stay in control of his own race, he too did not settle. Cillian’s experience and determination paid off, allowing him to push on and securing a well-deserved bronze.
The Steeplechase group are certainly making their mark for Clonliffe. This is an exciting development for the Juvenile section of the club under the keen eye of Jayme Rossiter in collaboration with the middle-distance juvenile coaches.
In the 800m events. Rory Quill took 4th position in the U17 boys. U19 800 JD finished in 3rd .
In the High Jump, Christopher Lynch finished out of the medals with a jump of 1.65m
Sunday brought more success in the relays as Clonliffe Girls U17 4 x400m team Emily Jancha, Ava Usanova, Sarah McDonnell, Rebecca Walsh took bronze home.