All posts in Schools athletics

Clonliffe lads help St. Aidans to Double Dublin Schools XC win

Alan O`Neill reports on a successful first school`s cross country event of the season. Today saw the 2nd Dublin Schools Cross-Country in the Phoenix Park. Using the “West Leinster” course close to the Papal Cross the athletes “enjoyed” the long straights of this testing loop, on a balmy, windy day.
It was a great start to the year by a couple of young Clonliffe lads as Cian O’ Hare (6th) and Cillian Keegan (12th) helped the First Year St. Aidan’s team to victory.
Making it a fine double for the St. Aidans outfit in the Second Years` race Seán Boyne anchoring the team home in 6th place to secure a 2nd set of golds were coming back to Whitehall.
In total 29 schools and approximately 700 athletes took part. Next up it`s a home game in Santry Demesne for the Brother Schools XC on October 10th.
(Pictured, St. Aidans 1st & 2nd years: Don`t cross this lot!)

Clonliffe athletes give their all at Tailteanns

At another sun drenched day in Morton Stadium the Tailteann Games took place today. It was a hot day making it tough for the distance runners. The athletes competing today were in the U/17 ages were representing their schools in this inter provincial Meet. For the four Clonliffe athletes it was a proud day for them, their families and schools. All four truly gave of their bests and that in truth is the essence of a competitor.

Alex Murray was the first of the four to race in the 1500 SC and a great effort he put in saw him take superb silver. Next in was Sarah Bateson, who has come such a long way in a year, from 2017 not making it out of North Leinster to now representing the Leinster Schools, give it her best shot in a difficult race to battle all the way to 8th. Next up in the 1500 where Aaron Cullen recorded a new pb (4.06 TBC) in taking an excellent bronze medal for Leinster and finally Daniel Stone who was with the lead group in the 3000 until the final tour of Morton Stadium to place 4th.

Fantastic achievements by the four of them.

Clonliffe boys and girls top of the class!

The Schools season came to a conclusion today in Tullamore for the Irish Life All Ireland Track & Field Championships on a warm humid day.

From the Clonliffe group first into action and taking an excellent silver was Jonas Norvaisas in the minor boys shot with a best of 14.28m. Next up our two inter girls 3000 athletes, both putting in great efforts with Jena Cid turning the tables on Sarah Bateson today as Jena took 5th place in a pb of 10.50.80 with Sarah 6th (11.05.75). This is also where Clonliffe unfortunately says “Adios” to Jana who after a great 10 months with us heads home to Barcelona tomorrow.

In the inter boys 3000 there was bronze for Daniel Stone (9.11.80) with Alex Murray also bagging bronze in the inter 1500 SC (4.40.15).

Super Sally Somula went one better taking a great silver in the minor girls 100 (12.57) and later in the long jump was just out of the medals in 4th after a 4.93m best.. Jack Woods will have gained great experience from his All Ireland venture as he placed 9th in the minor 800 (2.22.57).

In a hot inter boys 1500 Aaron Cullen put in another great performance to 6th place in a tactical race in 4.20.53 .

Finally then the senior 5000 where Efrem Gidey joined a distinguished list of Clonliffe winners to add the title to his All Ireland Schools Cross Country title. Efrem winning in 15.22.03 to complete an excellent campaign.

So schools out! Fantastic stuff from all our athletes throughout the school year and now we have Dublin Clubs and Nationals coming quickly down the tracks. So onwards and upwards.


Efrem a class apart at Leinster Schools

Efrem Gidey was the star of the day at another sun drenched Leinster Schools Track & Field at Morton Stadium today. In the senior boys 5000 from the gun Efrem hit the front and with the pack well aware of the folly of trying to keep pace with the Clonliffe man by lap 4 he lead by half a lap eventually lapping the entire field to win in 15.24.43. Stephen Cashin had a fine run to a 4th place finish in 17.06.65 and had there been another 100 might well have snatch 3rd.

Other notable Clonliffe runs today came in the inter girls 3000 which featured a Clonliffe trio of Sarah Bateson, Abbie Sheehy and Jana Cida . After a number of slow opening laps the pace picked up with the Clonliffe girls well in contention, with 400 to go Jana held 3rd but Sarah let loose with a superb final 250 to go from 4th to 2nd (11.03.67) with Jana holding 3rd (11.05.07) and Abbie putting in a fine run to 6th place.

In the boys inter 3000 there was another Clonliffe 2nd and 3rd, with the bell ringing a lap too soon the entire field raced to the line only to get the word that there was another lap to go, Daniel Stone suffered the most as his effort to strike for gold basically put paid to his winning chances and he finished 2nd (9.11.58) with Aaron Cullen 3rd . Aaron`s day was not done as he made a last minute surprise decision to line up in the inter 1500 where he claimed his 2nd bronze of the afternoon (4.32.47) with Thomas Baltzar 6th.

In the 800s Ella Brown found the going pretty hard in the inter race and finished 8th. Likewise in a hot senior boys 800 both Craig Giles and Cian Bolger found it tough going placing 6th (1.59.71) and 8th. Craig made another attempted at qualifying for the All Ireland Schools by lining up in the 1500 but with 400 to go his legs had had enough and he finished in 6th place (4.22.96).

Rebecca Fitzsimons had a very good run indeed to 3rd place in the inter girls 300 (42.26), with a strong finish down the home straight.


Gold and silver for Sally at Leinster Schools

At a sun drenched Morton Stadium today the Leinster Schools track and field finals took place. All of the athletes who had qualified for the Leinsters had battled through the Leinster regions and can be justifiably proud of their achievements in making these finals.  For those who successfully negotiated the Leinsters they now look forward to Tullamore and the All Ireland Schools track and field championships at the start of June.

There were two exceptional performances from Clonliffe athletes today, firstly Sally Somola who won the minor girls 100 and was 2nd in the long jump and secondly Jonas Norvaisas who broke the minor shot putt 40 year old record in taking the Leinster Schools Junior title with a throw of in of 14.45 metres.

Also in the sprints Alex Twomey took silver in the U/16 200 whilst Emma McDonnell was just out of the medals finishing 4th in the Junior 200.

In the 800s Jack Woods battled hard to hold 3rd place in the Junior race.  Naoise Cullen was really up against it in the Junior girls race but battled bravely to finish 8th.  Orla O’Sullivan was 6th in the minor girls 800.

In the girls U/16 mile there were good runs from the two Clonliffe girls with Aoife Hession placing 6th and Alana Fitzsimons 9th.

Over the barriers in the steeplechase Alex Murray was 3rd in the inter boys 2000 and Jordan Byrne 8th in a loaded field in the Senior boys steeplechase.

Nicola Lapiy was 6th in the junior javelin.

Finally in the U/16 girls 4 x 300 relay the Dominican team which was packed with Clonliffe athletes finished just out of the medals finishing 4th.

The championships continue on Saturday morning in Morton Stadium.

Naoise takes Leinster Community Schools

The School`s track & field season continued in Morton stadium yesterday where Naoise Cullen won the junior girls 800 title.

Next week is a big week with the Leinster finals. The meet is split over two days with the minor, junior and U/16s on Wednesday and the inters and seniors then on Saturday. It`ll be a great week for these young athletes with many of Clonliffe`s future stars in action. The would very much appreciate the club members support so if possible, and what better way to spend a Saturday, get yourself to Morton Stadium for some top athletics. You will be most impressed by what you see!

School`s track & field latest (updated to Friday)

After a week`s break the Leinster regions resumed at a sunny Morton Stadium on Monday with the East Leinster`s day 1. There was a small smattering of Clonliffe athletes in action. A good battle took place in the inter boys 1500 where Thomas Baltzar took 2nd in 4.35 with Ian McAlweeney 4th (4.39). In the junior 1500 young Ronan Donohoe had a solid run in a very big field.

Wednesday the 2nd May saw Day 1 of the North Leinsters at a windy cold Santry. Starting off with the sprinters Sally Somula was 2nd in the minor girls 80m. In the junior girls 100 Paula was 3rd and Alex Twomey was 3rd in the inter girls 100m with Rapha Diamond Ebbs 5th. Kristian Bosnjak was 3rd in his 100 heat and then 7th in the inter final.

The U/16 girls mile saw a very positive run by Aoife Hession getting out into the lead trio from the off and being rewarded with bronze (5.36), Alana Fitzsimons found the conditions testing and placed 5th (5.59). In the boys mile again good Clonliffe representation with Daragh Carter placing just out of the medals in 4th (4.50), Dermot Buckley was 6th and Calum Simpson 8th. The 1500s again had good representation Jenna Cida was 3rd in the inter girls race (5.10) after a good battling run, Sarah Bateson was 5th (5.21) and will look to go better in her preferred 3000 on Friday, Vicky McDonnell was 10th and Aimee Warren 12th. In the inter boys 1500 Aaron Cullen battled like mad to come back from the dead with 200 to go and thundered from 4th to 2nd on the line. Craig Giles was a comfortable qualifier in 2nd place in the senior 1500 with an excellent run in this from Stephen Cashin in 4th place and Seamus Farrell 6th.

Cian Bolger, warming up for his 800 on Friday was 3rd in the senior 400. Aaron Nnadi was 5th in the inter 400. Rebecca Fitzsimons took gold in the inter 300 with Kristin Mc Grady Hogan 4th in a tight finish. In the U/16 4 x 300 relay the DCGA team including Emma McDonnell, Alana Fitzsimons and Aoife Hession took gold.

Finally gold and silver over the barriers: senior boys 2000 SC Jordan Byrne was 1st and Alex Murray 2nd in the inter 1500 SC. Jonas won the junior shot and was 4th in the javelin.

Thursday, May 3rd and a showery cold day in this ever lasting winter for the East Leinsters Day 2 where in an early start Abbie Sheehy ran a superb 3000, in her first over the distance, to take inter gold (11.12). Ella Brown had a satisfying run in the inter 800 grabbing 3rd place and qualifying for Leinster finals. In the inter boys 3000 Thomas Baltzar was 2nd with Ian McAlweeney a good 6th.

Friday the 4th North Leinsters Day 2 in warm and pleasant conditions with out breaks of  sunshine. Early starters included a fantastic one two in the inter girls 3000 from Sarah Bateson and Jenna Cida. In The 800s Orla O’Sullivan took minor girls bronze Jack Woods silver in the minor boys race. In the junior girls Naoise Cullen also claimed silver. The senior boys 800 saw Cian Bolger take 2nd with Craig Giles 3rd. Cliona Cooley was 6th in the senior girls. Great run by Stephen Cashin to win the senior 5000. In the sprints Emma Mcdonnell took junior 200 gold and was 4th in the high jump where Natalia Burtenshaw took a fine silver with a 1.48m jump. Gold also for Alex Twomey in the girls U/16 200 Rebecca Fitzsimons was 3rd in the inter 200 closely followed by Jessica Dedeku in 4th and in the inter boys 200 Eoin O’Donnell was 5th with Aaron Nnadi 6th.


Fantastic stuff by all our athletes. Many congratulations to all who have qualified for the Leinster finals in a couple of weeks time.

Leinster Schools T & F regions underway

The West Leinster schools got the qualifiers for the Leinster finals under way at an extremely blustery Morton Stadium on Tuesday. Efrem Gidey was a comfortable enough winner of the senior 1500 with Ben Guiden just missing out in 4th place. In the inter 1500 Daniel Stone was 2nd. Lauren Carr also missed out on Leinster qualification by a fraction placing 3rd in the senior 400.

Thursday day 2 of the Wests and a much better day all round, indeed it seems like Spring! An early start for the senior 5000 guys (9.30am) where Efrem made it a double as he lapped the field in an impressive solo 15.20. Ben Guiden had a solid run placing 3rd (17.45). Daniel Stone also qualified for Leinster finals finishing 2nd in the inter 3400, race officials getting the lap count wrong for the 3000. (Daniel ran a 3400 pb of 11.07!)


Efrem`s winning of All Ireland Schools XC recognised by Fingal

Press release from Fingal County Council (Monday 9th, April) : The remarkable achievements of a Tyrrelstown student have been recognised by the members of Fingal County Council in a special ceremony in the Council Chamber at County Hall, Swords.

Efrem Gidey, a fifth year student at Le Chéile Secondary School, Tyrellstown, won the All-Ireland Senior Schools Cross-County title last month in Waterford, just

months after arriving in Ireland from Eritrea having spent several years in a refugee camp in Calais.

Councillors agreed at the March meeting of the County Council to recognise his achievement and, after the April meeting, there was a special ceremony where the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mary McCamley, made a special presentation and paid tribute to Efrem along with Cllr Eugene Coppinger, Cllr Matthew Waine, Cllr Paul Donnelly, Cllr Anne Devitt and Cllr Mags Murray. The councillors recalled Efrem’s journey from Eritrea to Ireland and praised his courage and dedication before describing him as a great role model for young people within the community. They added that his achievement highlighted the role that sport can play in integrating communities.

Other councillors in attendance at the presentation were Sandra Kavanagh, Tania Doyle, Roderic O’Gorman, Lorna Nolan, Darragh Butler, Paul Mulville and Philip Lynam.

The Principal of Le Cheile Secondary School, Tyrellstown, Dr Áine Moran, said they were proud of Efrem and his friends who had come to Ireland last year and enrolled in the school. “We are tremendously proud of his sporting achievements but also his courage and tenacity. His friends also deserve to be part of this because they are his family now.”

The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid, also added his congratulations saying it was a fantastic achievement and that it was important to recognise and celebrate Efrem’s achievement.



Efrem wins All Ireland Schools title!

An extraordinary Clonliffe one two in the senior boys School`s All Ireland Cross country today at AIT Waterford. Efrem Gidey, an Eritrean who arrived in Ireland at the beginning of last Summer, was the first ever representative of Le Cheile Secondary Schools Tyrrelstown in an All Ireland Cross Country and on Monday morning he will walk through the school gates wearing the gold winners medal around his neck! Efrem was a worthy winner of the senior title today but was chased all the way by club mate Sean O`Leary in the St. Aidans`red and white.

The athletes who had raced at this venue in November for the Nationals had a pretty good idea of how tough a course this was going to be, however, with the terrible weather of late few could have realised that November was a doddle in comparison. An absolute mud fest.

The senior boys race was the last of the day, meaning that the ground had been well and truly churned up for the 4 x 1500 laps making up the 6000 race distance. Both Sean and Efrem got great starts and were at the head of the field for the full distance. At the start of lap two Sean put in a “tester” opening a gap of a few meters, but it was short lived. Soon after this Efrem hit the front and was relentless as he drove on the pace and blew the pack apart. On the last lap he was 30m clear, Sean O`Leary lost 2nd place and for a time his hopes of a medal looked in jeopardy as 4th place closed in, however, the big man battled superbly and took back 2nd place, just as a smiling Efrem Gidey raised his arms in victory as he crossed the line.

It was Clonliffe joy to see the guys embrace at the finish, and likewise to see the tears of pride in the eyes of their coach Joe Cooper.

Further back in the field Ben Guiden had a baptism of fire in his first senior All Ireland. It was the hardest day at the office endured by Ben in the colours of Belvedere, indeed the sole representative of his school in the race, placing around 51st, but no doubt will see the benefits of that experience in the future.

In the inter boys race over 5000, Aaron Cullen ran an excellent race to a 10th place finish, just missing out on winning International Schools honours. An outstanding run for an athlete who only 4 weeks ago was side lined  on the injured list. An outstanding run also by Daniel Stone (Belvedere) to 16th place, and 2nd scorer for Belvedere who won their first ever All Ireland Cross Country title. Daragh Carter was hampered by a back injury from the 2nd lap onwards but bravely completed the race in 36th place.

Finally our sole girl in action had a great run in the inter race. Sarah Bateson, a first year inter, and nervous as a kitten, ran like a well seasoned veteran, working her way into the race and finishing with a storming final lap, making up possibly a dozen places to finish around 36h.

Meanwhile back in Santry, at the Trinity Grounds the Irish Universities Cross Country took place today. Cathal Doyle ran very well indeed to place 5th for DCU. With Adam O`Brien 19th Joseph Keane 53rd and Alex Gibbons 60th as DCU took the team win by a single point!. Eoin Taggart (UCD) also had a quality run finishing 24th. In the women`s race Greta Streimikyte was 23rd Alannah Cooley (both DCU) was 37th.

That, boys and girls, brings the cross country season to a close. So clean those muddly spikes and stick in 5mm, `cos track is next!!




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