Mar 13, 2011 [Noel Guiden] The Aviva All Ireland Schools and Versities Cross Country took place at a brand new venue yesterday. The National Aquatics Centre in Abbotstown proved to be an impressive venue for these championships with an excellent course cut out of the some 500 acres of land surrounding the centre. The result was a fast mud free hill less circuit with perfect underfoot conditions, and for spectators ample car parking and good viewing of the action.
From a club perspective the championships were a little disappointing with medals as rear as hens teeth save for Becky Woods taking bronze in the Versities race for Trinity. The first Clonliffe athlete in action was Ashling Aherne (Holt Faith) in the senior girls 2,500m race where Ashling ran well to finish 32nd. The senior boys race over 6,100m held most interest for Clonliffe with most of the club`s junior men`s squad in the race. This race as expected proved super fast with National Junior Champion Shane Quinn dominating to take a fine win from Kevin Dooney. The fast pace clearly took it`s toll on the Clonliffe lads as Ian Guiden(St. Aidans) fell off the pace early on and struggled somewhat to finish 19th, Fintan Doherty (Castleknock College) was next in 28th, Liam Ashton (St. Aidans) ran well in 42nd, Mark McKenzie (St. Aidans) also found it a tough day finishing well down in 48th, Eoin McCullogh (Belveder) was 53rd with Johnny Bradley Ward (St. Aidans) 65th. The St. Aidans lads, silver medalist last year, who were fancied to medal again ended the day a disappointing 7th.
Becky Woods (Trinity) ran very well in the women`s Inter Versity Championships always in the top 4 and finished strong to take bronze. A good run also by Laurna Begley (Trinity) in this race. The last Clonliffe athlete in action was Eric McCann (DCU) in the men`s race with Eric showing a welcome return to form running very well and finishing top 25.
Well done to all our athletes as a long and tiring cross country season comes to an end. Well done also to the merry band of Clonliffe men who helped out all day yesterday.