The National Even Ages Juvenile and Novice Cross Country Championships were held at Athlone IT on Sunday the 11th of September with our Girls U/18 team and Boys U/16 team bringing home championship medals.
The Club had four Juvenile teams and Men’s Novice team competing on a tough cross country course.
The organisers had laid out an interesting spectator friendly course which was adjusted to the requisite distance, depending on the age group running however, each race “featured” a very severe climb after less than 400M which at best could be described as “testing” and at worst a “what am I doing here” hill.
Our first team taking part were the Boys U/14 who unfortunately were out of luck, although as usual our young athletes gave it their all.
Next up were the Boys U/16 team who ran superbly and were led home by Mark McDonald in 9th place, the other scorers were Eoin McDonnell (18th), Tony Kavanagh (22nd) and Larry Brady (37th), ably backed up by Paul Breslin (47th), Gavin Redmond (84th) and Dave Jones (104th). The field also includedDave Fitzmaurice who is in the process of transferring to Clonliffe however is ineligible to run for the Club until January and therefore competed as “unattached” and he finished 12th.
Next up were our only Girls team of the day, the U/18’s led by Becky and Sarah Woods who finished 9th and 35th respectively and along with the other scorers Khadijah Dridi (43rd) and Catriona Cassidy (50th) placed 3rd to take home bronze medals. They again were backed up well by Ashley Walsh (54th) and Denise Walsh (56th).
Our final Juvenile team of the day were the Boys U/18’s who unfortunately were out of luck and finished outside of the top three however, rest assured that they similarly gave it everything that they had.
Unfortunately the National Women’s Novice Race did not feature any Clonliffe athletes. We had however a team in the Men’s Novice thanks in particular toJuvenile Coach Ronan Mulvanney who, when called upon by his Club, despite his other responsibilities on the day, stepped up to the line in a borrowed pair of spikes to run his usual gutsy race and finished as the Club’s second scorer behind David Brennan. Unfortunately the majority of the Men’s Novice team, yours truly in particular, with our ageing legs found the pace and hills not quite to our liking!. Whilst the results of the National Novice have not as yet been posted on the AAI website, we can say with absolute certainty that we did not feature in the top 3!