Clonliffe women capture Leinster XC Gold

The Clonliffe women’s senior squad were back at a today only seven days after the Dublin cross country. Today’s venue presented the group with the daunting climbs of Avondale house Park in Co Wicklow. The athletes on arrival realising that they had been completely misled by their coach who only seven days previously had issued an assurance that Avondale was a flat course!

After getting over the shock of the hills the group got warmed up and ready for the task at hand. With the race featuring an uphill start all took it relatively conservatively on the first 1K loop, the end of that loop it looked like the girls were in the hunt for medals and bronze was certainly well within their grasp. As they headed out onto the first of the 2K loops Laura Power began working her way determinedly through the field climbing from 12th up to 6th and eventually on the final lap a superb fourth. Likewise Laura Tuite was working her way through the field having a much better outing then in Trinity last Sunday Laura eventually finishing a battling 19th, next in on her senior debut was junior athlete Sarah Bateson, who had been ill this week and ran herself into the ground to take 22nd. Three places back was another athlete who had worked through the field and on the final 200 took at least three places to finish an excellent 25th, Kate Hawkshaw. This scoring four received their just rewards by taking the Leinster cross country title. The four were backed up brilliantly by new Clonliffe women’s captain Jenny Johnston, making it a superb winning start to her captaincy in 38th, finishing side-by-side with Sarah Hawkshaw 39th and the ever improving Megan O’Keeffe in 44th.

Laura Power also took Inter County gold with Dublin and Sarah Bateson was 4th U/23.

Gold medals and titles do not come easy. Gold medals and titles come as a result of hard work and consistent work. The girls have gelled brilliantly and this group have done themselves and their club proud today. A stunning performance by each and every one of them.

Laura Power
Laura Tuite cuts through the pack
Ladies Captain Jenny Johnston chased by Sarah Hawkshaw
Meghan O’Keeffe
4th scorer Kate Hawkshaw
Team work : Laura and the youngster Sarah Bateson
Joyous Golden Girls
Team and Coaches
Ready for a night on the tiles!