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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!!



O’ Leary shines in Leinster Senior School’s XC at Sunny Santry

Clonliffe Sean O’ Leary was a majestic winner of the senior boys 6,000m race at today’s Leinster Schools xc hosted by Clonliffe in Santry Demesne. On a beautiful Spring day Santry looked just brilliant with a great course laid out by the crew. Recent good weather had the desired effect turning what was looking, a week ago,  like a grim prospect into a superb looking Santry Demesne. The going was soft to firm, with lovely sunshine and little or no wind. It simply doesn’t get any better for cross country.

The course builders reported for duty at 8.00 am sharp and just like the well oiled machine they are swung into action. Two hours later, job done and ready for action.

First of the Clonliffe athletes in action was Orla O’Sullivan who put in a very good run in the minor race over 1,500m with a top 30 finish. Next in were Jack Woods and Ronan Donohue both of whom ran very well in the minor boys 2,000m race. The junior girls race saw Naoise Cullen put in a brave run after a few weeks sidelined through injury.

The inter girls ran over 3,500m 2 small loops and then the dredded walled garden 1500 lap. In this race Sarah Bateson was just outstanding with a stunning last lap propelling herself from 22nd to 12th and booking a precious place in the All Ireland final, and as a first year inter. Great runs also in this race by Alana Fitzsimons in 23rd, Aoife Hession 32nd, Ella Brown 39th and Vicky McDonnell in 51st. Likewise there was good Clonliffe representations in the inter boys 4,500m race and great runs from the lads. Daniel Stone was 5th, Aaron Cullen 7th and Daragh Carter 8th all now heading to the hills of Waterford IT in a couple of weeks time. A good run also in this race by Ian McAlweney placing 31st.

Then at the end of the day the senior boys race saved the best to last. Sean O’ Leary took the race by the scruff of the neck from the gun and opened a lead of 10m however was chased hard and caught with a lap to go. Playing it cool he sat in and held his sprint until the turn into the final straight to take a very fine win and the Leinster title. Efron Gidey never really recovered from a bad start that left him 30m behind the lead pair but was still a comfortable 3rd place. Ben Guiden, a first year senior, put in a great effort and battled gamely to hold onto 15th place and the final All Ireland qualify place. Stephen Cashin was a solid 21st, Jordan Byrne was 27th, Alex Murray 31st and Cian Bolger 40th.

It was a great days cross country with all of our athletes running really well. Congratulations to those who have qualified for the All Ireland finals it is indeed a great achievement.

Also the event was another superb Clonliffe production so thanks and well done to all team who as always give freely and generously of their time. Nil desperandum.



Your Club Needs YOU! Leinster Schools XC

For the fourth successive year Clonliffe Harriers will play host to the Leinster Schools Cross Country Championships which will take place in Santry Demesne on Wednesday next February 21st. As always there is the usual hard core group of volunteers who will be out course building from 8 a.m. and then will assist with the running of the event.

The club, however, is appealing to club members or indeed the parents of club members who may be in a position to lend a few hours to assist on the day. Anyone available will be required from 11 a.m. until approximately 3 p.m.

The tasks which will be assigned will be general on course stewarding and also to assist with the finish area and to assist athletes in getting through the finishing chute so their finishing places can be recorded by the officials.

Whilst wellies be a requirement – as it is pretty muddy in Santry – despite this it is a fun and rewarding experience.

If available please text Noel Guiden at 087 9599 888 asap.

Leinster Regions School`s Cross Country done and dusted (updated)

  1. The qualifying for the Leinster School`s Cross Country finals, to be held in Santry on February 21st got underway on Thursday the 25th. In the Phoenix Park the West Leinsters took place on a dry course but, as always a very strong head on wind to be faced for half of the 2k loop. Ben Guiden continued his good form in the senior boys race with a 3rd place finish. A good run also by Daniel Stone placing 4th in the inter boys race.

In Rathnew, County Wicklow the East Leinsters took place. Ian McAlweeney was a fighting 5th place in the inter race. Thomas Baltzar was also running well placing 7th in this race. A solid run also in the inter girls race by Ella Brown in 8th place, to also qualify for the Leinsters, well inside the required top 15. Tess Loftus found the going tough in the senior girls race placing 22nd and with her team outside the top 3, will be looking to indoors rather than the mud of Santry (bet she can`t keep the smile off her face!)

Today the North Leinsters took place, also in the Phoenix Park with ALSAA “unplayable”. Some excellent performances once again from the club`s athletes with sean O`Leary`s win in the senior boys being the stand out. A great run in one of his best races todate by Stephen Cashin in a battling 7th place. Daniel Lacey after a period of inaction due to injury was comfortable in 10th, cian Bolger 13th, Jordan Byrne 14th and Alex Murray 16th.

In the inter boys race Daragh Carter was a very good 4th, Callum simpson 19th, Dermot Buckley 20th, Evan Foster 30th, Aaron Nnadi 37th and Alex Nuroth 39th.

In the inter girls race there were again quality runs from the Harriers: 6th Sarah Bateson, 7th Jena Cida, 8th Aoife Hession, 15th Alana Fitzsimons, 22nd Vicky McDonnell. Likewise the girls battled away gamely in the junior girls race where Naoise Cullen was 14th and Ella Cooley, after a fine run, was 17th. In the first race of the day Orla O’Sullivan was an excellent 10th place.

Next up the Leinsters in Santry on February 21st, hosted by Clonliffe and yes help needed. (to sign up e mail

Clonliffe athletes show good form at DCU Schools XC

The 2018 School`s Cross Country season got off to a great start for Clonliffe athletes at The DCU Invitational held in St. Claires, Glasnevin this afternoon. It was, not unexpectedly, pretty soft and muddy on a cold but rain/snow free day.

Top Clonliffe performer was Ben Guiden placing a fine 3rd in the senior boys, 4,400m race. In the 3000 Inter race Daragh Carter was also in very good form with a very solid run to 8th place. Good runs also in this race by Callum Simpson 8th, Dermot Buckley 21st, Evan Foster 30th, Aaron 31st and Alex Nuroth 36th.

In the girls races Ella Cooley ran well to a 20th place finish in the Junior race over 1600m. There was also a good crop of Harriers in the inter girls race, 2,400m, where Aoife Hession was top Clonliffe in 7th after a good outing, Ella Brown was 9th, just fading a little over the final KM, Alana Fitzsimons, having just dispensed with her broken wrist cast had a very good run in the circumstances in 12th place with Vicky McDonnell 26th. The sole Harrier in the senior girls race, 1600m was Cliona Cooley who put in a good afternoon`s work to an 8th place finish.

Next up for the crew is the Leinster Regions at the latter end of next week.

(Pictured, Ben Guiden 3rd Senior Boys)


Clonliffe`s Red and White army marches on

A good day in ALSAA today for the Clonliffe athletes running in the CBS Rice Cross Country. The St. Aidans guys, in red and white, under the guidance of Alan O`Neill put in great runs showing little after effects from Sunday`s National Cross Country. It was a raw, but dry day, with the underfoot conditions pretty good for ALSAA!

Top Clonliffe performance came in the final race of the day, the U/20 race where Sean O`Leary finished in 2nd place. leading his team to gold, with 2nd, 4th, 5th and 7th. The team also included Daniel Lacey and Jordan Byrne.

Callum Simpson continues to impress and was an excellent 3rd place in the U/16 race, combining with fellow Harriers Dermot Buckley, Even Foster and Alex Neuroth to take another team win for the Whitehall outfit.

The St. Aidans U/15 squad also scored well to take team silver (6,8,11,25), whilst both the U/14s and U/17s were just out of the medals both placing 4th. The school`s year now comes to a close, however, no rest for the wicked as the DCU Invitational and then the Cross Country Championships are on the early horizon.

(Pictured St. Aidans U/16s CBS Champions 2017)

Ben places 2nd in Blackrock College Invitational

At this morning`s Blackrock College invitational Cross Country Ben Guiden put in a good showing as he placed 2nd in the senior race over 4,000m leading Belvedere to team victory. In the inter race Daniel Stone also put in a strong performance finishing in 3rd place. This was a very good performance by both athletes particularly after both had raced hard in Sunday`s Dublin U/17 Clonliffe team win.

Clonliffe athletes top marks in Community Schools

The Leinster Community Schools Cross Country took place yesterday. The senior boys race saw a great home straight sprint between Clonliffe U/18 Dublin team gold pairing Craig Giles and Aaron Cullen with Giles taking the glory. In the Intermediate race Max Kelly was a class apart taking gold. In the minor girls race another member of the Cullen family was also in great form as Naoise finished in a fine 2nd place.


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