The highlight of today`s wonderful Clonliffe Harriers club cross country was an impressive win by Colm Rooney in the senior men`s race. Colm was one of the stars of many a Clonliffe cross country team back in the mid to late 2000`s and is a former winner of the national 1500m, he was then out of the sport for a fair few years before returning to the fold a year or so ago. The steady training under coach Peter McDermott has seen him gradually climb back up the ladder racing the odd road race here and there. Today was his first run on the country for maybe seven years and he proved to be a most popular winner.
Club Cross Country Championship day was held in fantastic weather, lovely Autumnal sunshine, not a breeze and perfect underfoot grass in Santry Demesne. The morning`s sport kicked off with the club`s Juvenile Championships. First away were the U/10 girls running 500m where after a thrilling race the judges couldn`t separate the first two so a tie was declared: 1st (tie) Zoe McKenna and Kate Edwards, 2nd Sally Sumola and 3rd Lara Murphy. The U/10 boys battle with equal intensity and rounding the trees a great burst by Johnathan Fitzsimons saw him pull away to win the title from Sam Roley 2nd and James McDonnell 3rd.
Next up over 1,000m were the U/12`s, first off the girls over 1,000m and unbelievably another dead heat! 1st (tie) Aoife Hession and Rachel Fagan, 2nd Ella Browne, 3rd Abbey Sheehy. Things were a lot clearer in the boys race as Killian Forester ran away from the field with 400 to go to take a fine win from Mark Kavanagh and Joaquin Slimbacl.
Lauren Carr was the star of the U/14 girls race over 1500m running very strongly to take the win from a battling Amy warren 2nd and Kathlin Butler 3rd. A clear winner also in the boys race as David Tuite took control early on and drove on to take a clear victory with Jack Horan 2nd and Stephen Cashin 3rd.
The final juvenile championship race was the U/16 boys 2000 with a fine turn out, most of these lads were part of last year`s Clonliffe U/15 All Ireland winning cross country team, as expected some fine performances. Adam O`Brien taking control early on in the proceedings to take the win, but was chased hard by Shane Merrigan, who had once of his best races todate to take 2nd place and Joseph Hession 3rd.
The presentation of medals to the winning athletes on the podium was made by Brian McDonald and Caroline Tuite.
The senior races commenced at high noon with the women`s championship. This was a combined junior, senior and masters event. A fine turn out of athletes for the 2 mile race, two tours of the mile long circuit. The junior squad were very much to the fore in this race with Laura Tuite and Hope Saunders driving on the pace at the front. With 800 to go these two were well clear and running shoulder to shoulder, however, Hope upped the pace even further and was a worthy winner holding off Laura 2nd with Bernadette Kiernan 3rd “on the road” and 1st senior. Another fine run by Bernie Byrne to win the Masters title.
Finally the men`s race. This was one of the best turn outs for a club championship in years with almost 30 starters and some top quality athletes: Colm Rooney, Jayme Rossister, Ian Guiden, Edgar Sumkis, Mounuia Bouzzine, Tudor Micrea, Kris Vaulters plus an exciting crop of juniors, including Cathal Doyle, Brian Flanagan and Josh Stubbs.
From the gun Ian Guiden took the lead taking the pack of Sumkis, Rooney, Rossister and Micrea around the first mile, however, at just over half way Rooney took over and in a flash had made the killer move to open a gap which grew over the final lap and a half. In the battle for 2nd Edgar Sumkis was fastest in the kick for the line from Ian 3rd. A fine run indeed also by young Cathal Doyle looking very capable at this level.
Club Championships Results:
1. Bernadette Kiernan
2. Sinead Hartnett
3. Emma Dunne
1. Hope Saunders
2. Laura Tuite
3. Sally Ahern
1. Bernie Byrne
2. Aine McCann
1. Colm Rooney
2. Edgar Sumkis (Club novice champion)
3. Tudor Micrea
1. Ian Guiden
2. Cathal Doyle
3. Josh Stubbs
1. Mounia Bouzzine
2. Shane Casey
3. Kevin Dowling
Photos from today`s championships: