The National Inter-club/Inter-county Cross Country Championships takes place at the Abbottstown Campus this Sunday. It promises to be an exciting days cross country action particular in the senior men’s event over 10,000m. Clonliffe men have dominated this event in recent years and are defending champions, indeed in 2015 there were two national inter-clubs held, one in March and one in November, both won by the Clonliffe men. Testament to this domination is the fact that Clonliffe have won eight of the last ten Nationals.
2016, however, brings a much tougher test, the switch in date of the inter-counties from the spring to winter, with European places at stake, has increased the strength in depth of the interclub race greatly and has seen a resurgence in club teams being entered for the Nationals. Therefore, this year looks like being the greatest interclub battle in recent years with particularly strong teams entered from our Northside rivals Raheny Shamrocks, DSD, Leevale A.C. and possible dark horses Ennis TC.
Club Captain Joe Cooper despite the unavailability of Gary Murray, Alistair Cragg, Stephen Scullian, Gary O`Hanlon, Eoin Pierce and Aaron Hanlon (a potential winning team in itself) has still managed to pull together a team that will stoutly defend the title and fight all the way to the death. Sunday`s team is led by National Marathon Champion and 2013 National Cross Country Champion Sergiu Ciobanu and includes three of the scorers from November twelve months.
The senior men’s A team entered for Sunday is: Brian MacMahon, Sergiu Ciobanu, David Flynn, Ian Guiden, Conor Healy, Mark Kenneally, James Kevan, Killian Lonergan, David Mansfield, Conor McGuinness and Jayme Rossiter.
There is also a Clonliffe B team entered comprising: Sean Doran, Mark Doyle, Thomas Frayne, Ross Gannon, Conor Keane, Eoin McCullough, Ernie Ramsey, Liam Roarty, Thomas Sherlock, Niall Sherlock, Eoin Taggart.
The Clonliffe women’s team has been decimated by injuries, however, it is good to report the return to the Nationals of Sara McCormack, in recent years Sara has been focusing very much on the mountain running scene with considerable international success, however, she has exceptional pedigree on the country and was National Cross Country Champion in 2014 and indeed won European Cross Country team gold with the Irish women’s team in Budapest back in 2012.
The Clonliffe junior men are also defending national champions having won the national in Santry in November of last year. Once again the junior team is led by Cathal Doyle, who placed just out of the individual medals that year but looks good to medal this time out.
The junior men team, to include U/18s entered is: Cathal Doyle, Alex Gibbons, Adam O’Brien, Sean O’Leary, Daniel Lacey, Fintan McManus, Craig Giles, Joseph Hession, Alex Hogan, Greg Hossennay, Jack Maughan, Matthew Jenkinson and Thomas Ward. The juniors will race over 6,000m.
The junior women will run 4000. The team is: Laura Tuite, Alannah Cooley, Cliona Cooley and Hannah Browne.
In the juvenile programme there are Clonliffe teams in the girls U/14 and both boys and girls U/16 as follows:
Girls U/14 (3,000m): Aoife Hession, Ava Mulvahill, Alana Fitzsimons, Ella Cooley, Holly Roche, Katie Halpin.
Girls U/16 (4,000m): Tess Loftus, Aimee Warren, Abby Sheehy, Amy Hodson, Ella Brown, Vicky McDonnell.
U/16 Boys (4,000m) : Arran Cullen, Cian Bolger, Ben Guiden, Daniel Stone, Daragh Carter, Ian McAweeney.
11.30am Girls U/12: 2000m
11.43am Boys U/12: 2000m
11.55am Girls U/14: 3000m
12.10pm Boys U/14: 3000m
12.25pm Girls U/16: 4000m
12.43pm Boys U/16: 4000m
1.00pm Girls U/18 and junior women: 4000m
1.20pm Boys U/18 and junior men: 6000m
1.45pm Senior women and U/23: 8000m
2.25pm Senior men and U/23: 10,000m
See www.athleticsireland.ie for parking details – please allow plenty of time for walking from the car-park to the course even if you manage to secure a parking space within the campus itself.
The very best of luck to all our athletes competing on Sunday.