The Loftus Report: today saw the beginning of the various campaigns by our young harriers in their different schools, at what was a frosty, foggy West Leinster Schools XC Championships. The course set was no different in the barren and open area of the Phoenix Park from previous years; a tough, arduous and lengthy straight of one kilometre laid flat proved to be challenging in ways not experienced by most runners used to the shifting altitudes of hills and mud ridden tracks. As always, the work was most definitely cut out for the brave souls who ventured out to race today.
Beginning what will hopefully be a wonderful schools XC career, Amy Scott from St. Michael’s had a strong race in the Minor Girls 1000m finishing in 22nd place. This was a good result for Amy who is ever improving with every training session.
On then to the Junior Girls race of 2000m when we had a stunning display of form from Lauren Carr running in her Coolmine Community School singlet. Lauren showed consistency and determination throughtout her race and has booked her place for the Leinster XC Championships, well deservedly, in two week’s time.
After all of the Girls’ races had been run the Minor boys lined up next, in a field well containing well over 200 competitors. Cillian Forrester made his debut for Belvedere College in his first official school’s XC race, finishing a very commendable 35th place. Cillian pushed himself all the way to the line in what was one of the most competitive races of the day.
In the Junior Boy’s race we had another lone wolf lining up for the distance of 2500m. Young Ben Guiden, running for Belvedere, had a superb race to finish a spectacular 5th place and booking yet another ticket to the regional Championships in early February. Ben moved from strength to strength as his race progressed, right down the finishing straight to the very end.
Our last competitor of the day ran in the Intermediate Boy’s race, a vast distance of 4000m on the bumpy plains. Kevin Loftus again in the black and white of Belvedere College ran a strong race to secure a place, by the skin of his teeth, in the Leinster’s; coming home in a very commendable 12th place.
So, this concludes the first of the many Sectional school’s races to come, a terrific well sone to all those who competed today, and we wish all our athletes who haven’t the best of luck in the days to come.
The results below are PROVISIONAL and are subject to change following publication of official results from Athletics Ireland and the Irish School’s Athletics Association.
Report and results written and compiled by K Loftus