The schools 2015 cross country season commenced today with the prestigious DCU Invitational at St. Clare`s, Glasnevin. It was a day for the hardy. Thankfully the rain held off but it was a bitterly cold windy day for the event held on a “new” course which featured a jump over bales of straw. Underfoot after recent rain it was sloppy. As always a great turn out by Clonliffe`s young athletes running in their school colours. Top of the class goes to Irish junior cross country International and Clonliffe Junior athlete of the year Hope Saunders (Mount Temple) and Cathal Doyle (St. Aidans), now fully recovered from his Autumn/early Winter injury, both of whom won their senior races.
First into the fray were the minors where Iain (Ard Scoil Ris) placed 20th, Cillian Forrester (Belvedere) was 37th, and Luchino Ramano (Ard scoil Ris)59th.
Tess Loftus was the club`s sole representative in the junior girls race where she had a fine run to finish 20th from a big field. The junior boys race featured a race long battle between club mates Cian Bolger, Daniel Lacy (St. Aidans) and Ben Guiden (Belvedere) with the St. Aidans man prevailing to finish 11th followed by Ben 12th and Cian 13th, next in after a fine run was Jordan Byrne (St. Aidans) 15th, Stephen Cashin (Mount Temple) 17th and Jack Horan (St. Aidans) 111th.
The inter girls race featured the Cooley girls with Alannah The Elder placing 4th and Cliona The Younger 16th followed in by Aimee McGrath in 17th.
On then to the inter boys where Sean Carrig showed a welcome return to form to take 3rd place with Joseph Hession breathing down his neck in 4th. Next in was the ever improving Sean O`Leary in 7th place chased home all the way by Fintan McManus 8th after a good run. A disappointed Alex Hogan was 11th, Shane Merrigan 20th, Kevin McKenna 23rd, next in was Matthew “Not a Lover of Cross Country” Jenkinson 25th and Greg Hossenny 29th. (All except Jenko St. Aidans) and Harry Pierce (Ard Scoil Ris) 60th.
Finally the senior races. In the girls race as expected on the basis of current form Hope Saunders (Mount Temple) had a comfortable enough afternoon to win her first DCU Invitational with defending champion Laura Tuite (Our Lady of Mercy) 3rd. It is pleasing to report on the return to winning ways after a long period of injury of Cathal Doyle leading home the red and white pack of St. Aidans. Next in was Niall Norman 17th, Alex Gibbons 20th, Brian Flanagan 21st, Flanno running easy today as on Sunday he will don the Irish vest for the first time in the Celtic International in Dunboyne, Ross Kearney 25th and Thomas Ward 38th
It was another fine day for the club`s athletes with the Leinster School`s qualifiers to look forward to next week.
Thanks to Keith Hodson for results info.