This Sunday is the highlight of the cross country season – the Nationals at the National Cross Country course in Abbottstown. This was an event which up to recent years has been dominated by the Clonliffe Senior men, however, the past few years our north side neighbours Raheny Shamrocks have turned the tables last year taking three in a row with Clonliffe finishing runner up.
Sunday will see one of the strongest Clonliffe teams in many years take to the field of battle. The field includes two former National senior cross country champions: Mark Kenneally, London 2012 Olympian and Sergiu Ciobanu. The Senior Men’s team also includes National marathon champion Stephen Scullion, Colm Rooney, Cathal Doyle, Ian Guiden and Jayme Rossiter.
The A team will receive great support from a strong B team of Killian Lonergan, Sean Doran, Eoin Taggart, James Kevan, Jarlaith Jordan, Liam Roarty, Tom Sherlock, Karl Nolan and Sean O’Leary
It is also very pleasing that for the third successive cross country championship race this season that a full Clonliffe Women’s team will compete in a senior race led by Ailish Malone. The full women’s senior team is Ailish, Laura Tuite, Alannah Cooley, Maura Matthews, Clodagh Galvin and Emma Cooper.
In the junior race the Men’s junior team go into this as defending champions. The Clonliffe junior men’s team is Daniel Lacey, Aaron Cullen, Efrem Gidey, Ben Guiden, Stephen Cashin, Ian McAlweney, Thomas Balthazar, Calum Simpson.
A full Clonliffe Women’s junior team will run in the Nationals for the first time, possibly ever. The Women’s team is: Hannah Browne, Ella Brown, Tess Loftus, Sarah Bateson, Aoife Hession, Alana Fitzsimons, Abbie Sheehy and Katie Halpin.
In addition to the junior and senior Championships of course Sunday is the juvenile even ages with good Clonliffe teams entered. The boys and girls U/18 race is incorporated in the junior race and if an athlete is entered on both teams will score in both the U/18 and the junior championship.
The Clonliffe teams in the juvenile nationals are:
Girls U/18 – Sarah Bateson, Abbie Sheehy, Ella Brown, Aoife Hession, Alana Fitzsimons and Katie Halpin.
Boys U/18 – Calum Simpson, Niall Carbery, Alex Murray, John Laurence, Alex Neuroth, Dermot Buckley.
Boys U/16 – Sean Boyne, Ronan Donohue, Sam Murray, Cillian Keegan, Eoin Housley, Jonathan Fitzsimons.
Girls U/14 – Sorcha O’Connor, Hazel Kenny, Rebecca Walsh, Ali Connolly, Sarah McDonnell, Kate Faherty.
Boys U/14 – Cian O’Hare, Sean Cronin, Lorcan Benjacar, Devan Morrissey, Mark Goss Keogh, Christian Finn.
The very best of luck to all our teams on Sunday. Clonliffe club members are encouraged to attend Abbottstown on Sunday to support their club mates. This is one of the biggest events of the year. It is a very important event to the athletes and the club and I am sure all will be greatly encouraged and benefit from your support. Let’s get ready to rumble!