Michael McDiarmada wins Clonliffe 2012 cross country

Yesterday’s Club Cross Country Championships held in Santry Demesne Parkland, was a truly great club day as for the first time the juvenile club championships took place alongside the senior championship – the result being over 100 club athletes taking part in the proceedings. To cap a memorable day the presentation of prizes was made by our guest of honour European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton.

The juvenile championships were very well supported with big fields in all races. The championships took place in perfect weather conditions, course director Mick Fogarty used the European Championship loop and with sunshine, although a fairly stiff breeze, there were perfect underfoot conditions leading to fast going in all races. Standout performances included excellent runs by both Fintan McManus and Ruth Bergin in race number 3, the U/12 race – this was a mixed race but Fintan and Ruth ran shoulder to shoulder with a great battle down the finishing straight through the tree-lined avenue. In the older juvenile age group Cathal Doyle was the class of the field taking an excellent win from David O’Hanlon whilst in the girls race there was a titanic battle down the home straight as Laura Tuite ate into Stephanie McCaul’s lead but in the end Stephanie held on for the win by a margin of possibly three quarters of an inch!

The winners of the juvenile championships were:

Race Number 1

1st Aoife Hession

2nd Molly Swords

3rd Ellie Wheatley

Race Number 2 Boys

1st Cormac Power-Breen

2nd Sean McDermott

3rd Sam Richards

Race 2 Girls

1st Sol O’Lideadha

2nd Amy Hodson

3rd Abbie Sheehy

Race Number 3 Boys

1st Fintan McManus

2nd David Preston

3rd Craig Bergin


1st Ruth Bergin

2nd Lauren Carr

3rd Hannah Browne

Race Number 4 Boys

1st Cathal Doyle

2nd David O’Hanlon

3rd Joseph Hession


1st Stephanie McCaul

2nd Laura Tuite

3rd Kate Hession

The Senior Championships incorporated junior, seniors and masters. Both men and women’s races were held in conjunction with one another leading to a huge field for club championship of almost 50 athletes lining up. From the off Michael McDiarmada and Aaron Hanlon headed the field, on lap 2 Michael McDiarmada pulled away looking powerful as he opened a substantial lead. Young Aaron O’Hanlon, who will be a junior athlete for a number of years yet, looked very strong in second place comfortably holding off Mark McDonald. There was a welcome return to form in this race by Larry Brady, other good performances on the day included Grand Prix Champion Colm Hickey running strongly in 7th place and Becky Woods choosing to run the longer men’s 6k race and running very well finishing 9th overall. The women’s championship proper was held over 3k – two laps and that was won comfortably by Ailish Malone from Marie Byrne with young Roisin Leahy (a junior) 3rd. First Master was Phillip O’Doherty.

Results of Club Championships

Women’s 3000 metres

1st Ailish Malone 11.09

2nd Marie Byrne 11.33

3rd Roisin Leahy 11.55

4th Lorna Begley 12.05

5th Joyce O’Hare 12.15

6th Amy Carron 12.41

7th Rachel Murray 13.04

8th Emer Mallon 15.15

Men’s 6000 metres

1st Michael McDiarmada 18.25

2nd Aaron Hanlon (junior) 19.05

3rd Mark McDonald 19.29

4th Larry Brady 19.55

5th Ernie Ramsey 20.06

6th Darren Reilly 20.25

7th Colm Hickey 20.43

8th Ger Kirwin 20.50

9th Becky Woods 20.52

10th Conor Delaney 20.55

11th Eoin McCullogh (junior) 20.58

12th Johnny Bradley-Ward (junior) 21.04

13th Phillip O’Doherty (1st master) 21.09

14th Mark Bermingham 21.12

15th Jeremy Chapman 21.26

16th Eoin Murray 21.44

17th Joe Phibbs 21.58

18th R. Case 22.14

19th Fergie Keenan 22.32

20th Martin Treacy 22.38

21st Dave Dunwoody 22.42

22nd John Buckley (junior) 23.16

23rd Kevin Dowling 23.26

24th Tom Monks 23.26

25th Stephen Byrne 24.03

26th Declan Murray 24.05

27th Richie Becket 24.09

28th Hans De Raeymaeker 24.15

29th Colm Breen 24.24

30th Richie Barr 24.53

31st Seamus Greenan 25.19

32nd Liam Hennessy 25.42

33rd Paddy Tuite 26.21

34th Pat Devitt 26.24

35th Jimmy Bennett 31.31

At the prize-giving Fionnuala Britton made the presentations firstly to the top three in the juvenile championships and then delighted the juvenile athletes by staying to sign autographs. Fionnuala was then kind enough to stay to make the presentation to the senior athletes which was very much appreciated by all concerned.

This was a most welcome development in Clonliffe Harriers to have the juvenile and senior championships merged, it proved to be a very successful experiment and hopefully will be repeated again in 2013.