Clonliffe athletes were out in good numbers for this afternoon`s Dublin Juvenile Cross Country league: the first cross country race of the season for the black `n` amber. It was a great Autumn afternoon in the Phoenix Park with some nice sunshine as the early morning rain had blown away, leaving surprisingly good underfoot conditions. There were some very good performances from the young Harriers several of whom are new to the sport and were making their racing debutes. The event was also the ideal opportunity for athletes, and their coaches, to assess early season form with only some four weeks training under the belts.
Top Clonliffe athlete of the meet was Cathal Doyle in the U/16 2,500m race, after a tentative first lap Cathal took up the running over the hills to run out a comfortable winner. Behind him a great battle developed for 5th and 6th between Brian Flanagan and Ross Kearney, on his debut, with neither Clonliffe man giving any quater in the race to the line with Brian just managing to hold his place by half an inch. Laura Tuite also battle gamely over 2,500m in the girls U/16 finishing well up in 4th. Other great runs today came from Joseph Hession in the U/14s over 1500m placing 3rd well backed up by Fintan McManus and Luke Guy. A great battling run also by Sophie Higgins 4th in the girls U/14, running one of her best races to date, and a fine run also from the fast finishing Amy McGrath as she took nearly half a dozen places in the run in. Alanah Cooley battled all the way in a tough U/15 2,000m race. In the boys U/15 race Sean Carrigg was first Clonliffe in 5th place with greg Hosseny maybe 4 places further back.
In the younger age groups their were some equally fine runs: in the U/11 girls by Abbey Sheehy and Yasman Eustace, U/12 girls a good team effort by Ellen Howlett, Rebecca Fitzsimons, Aimee Warren and Katelyn Butler. In the boys U/12 David Tuite was well up the field with Ben Guiden a couple of places behind and making his Clonliffe debut Niall Carroll. David Preston lead home the U/13 squad in 10th place with good runs also in this one from Jake, Jack, Augustyn, Harry and Craig. While in the U/13 girls Ruth Bergin ran well to lead home the Clonliffe girls in 8th with Lauren Carr, Hannah Browne, Cliona Cooley, Aimee Connolly and Kate Howlett also featuring strongly.
In all a very good season`s opener, well done to all the girls and boys out in The Park today….and in two weeks time we`ll do it again, also in The Park.
Well done also to Conor King in yesterday`s All Ireland Schools multi events in the Morton Stadium. Conor in the St. Aidans colours was 4th in the senior boys competition.