Clonliffe man Aaron Hanlon (St. Mary`s Drogheda) was a convincing winner of this afternoon`s Leinster Schools Senior Cross Country hosted by Clonliffe Harriers at sunny but cold Santry Demesne. With Aaron and Ian Guiden (St. Aidans) the favourites to take the title both men hit the front from the gun running shoulder to shoulder, however, Aaron`s current form is excellent and he made the telling move during the course of lap 2 of 4 to open a substancial lead over his training partner of 80/100m to add the Leinster title to his North Leinster one of two weeks back. Ian Guiden comfortably held 2nd place for the remainder of the 6,000m race. Liam Ashton now on the mend after an injury sustained in the North Leinsters was 18th, with fellow St. Aidans man Ross Kearny an excellent 40th place making up huge ground over the second half of the race and Niall Norman 56th. There was heartbreak for the St. Aidans foursome, however, having been announced as 3rd place team only to hear the result changed 5 minutes later to 4th meaning an end to their quest for an All Ireland senior schools medal. Eoin McCullough ran a solid race for Belvedere, after stopping to put his spike back on on lap 1 he worked his way through strongly to place 30th.
In the inter boys race Cathal Doyle was in a battle royal throughout but ran strongly to place 9th, and he along with Adam O`Brien 16th, Brian Flanagan 27th, Anto McMahon 50th and David O`Hanlon 51st was safely through to the All Ireland Final as the St. Aidans team placed 2nd. Mario running for Mount Temple was a good 56th.
The St. Aidans Juniors ran very well as a team with strong runs from Joseph Hession 7th, Sean Carrigg 8th, Kevin McKenna 14th, Shane Merrigan 56th, Greg Hosseny 73rd and thomas Ward 79th taking the Whitehall outfit to Leinster team gold and top billing for the all Irelands. A great run also from Kevin Loftus who placed 57th for Belvedere.
In the minor boys race Fintan McManus was 32nd, Sean O`Leary 48th, after an heroic run carrying an injury Joey Hutchinson was 90th with David Preston a few places behind him.
Of the girls Laura Tuite ran very well in the inter girls race to place 19th, Hope Saunders was 27th and the ever improving Ali Deeley 35th. In the juniors Alanah Cooley was 30th and Aimee McGrath 65th. Lauren Carr was 33rd in the minor race, Ruth Bergin was forced out after the start with an injury problem. Finally a good run in the senior race by Greta Greimikyte finishing around 40th place.
Well done to all our athletes today and a big thank you to the Clonliffe crew for another excellent cross country course. The All Ireland Schools is on March 9th in Jordanstown.