Clonliffe hosted the Leinster Schools Cross Country today in Santry Demesne. Despite recent rain the day dawned dry and fresh as the course building crew arrived at 8.00am. Two hours later a magnificent course was built. Although soft in places the ground held up remarkably well throughout the day`s cross country as the past part of 1000 young athletes raced for their schools with prestigious places in the All Ireland Schools on March 11th the reward.
The club`s athletes were once again in excellent form with some excellent performances. Stake outs included a fairly majestic win in the day`s final event the senior boys over 6000m by Sean O’Leary leading his St. Aidans team (O`Leary, Joey Hession, Greg Hossenny and Fin McManus) to Leinster silver.
In the inter boys 4,500 there was joy and sadness: joy for St. Aidans with a particularly fine run by Daniel Lacey in 9th taking team bronze (Lacey, Jordan Byrne and Cian Bolger), joy also for both Craig Giles in 5th and Aaron Cullen 13th going through as individuals, and for the Belvedere Clonliffe lads disappointment in placing 4th (Ben Guiden 17th and Daniel Stone 23rd) and their school`s cross country season now at an end.
In the junior boys race Daragh Carter was again very impressive a fine 5th place, and for St. Aidans Dermot Buckley was 19th leading St. Aidans through to the All Irelands in 2nd place.
Of the Clonliffe girls both Alannah Cooley and Amy Fay were well up in the senior race. A good run also by Tess Loftus scoring for Loreto on the Green as they grabbed 3rd place. In the younger ages all the Clonliffe girls battled well but unfortunately didn`t progress.
Congratulations to all the qualifiers for March 11th, a great achievement. Hard luck to those who didn`t but will no doubt fight another day. So for now the course building gear is packed away for the Spring and Summer as the Santry course (and course builders) takes a well earned break. Still track is only around the corner!