A beautiful day in Abbottstown, the course looked immaculate, the club flags and tents standing proudly and the scene was set for the Dublin Uneven Age Cross Country Championships 2022.
Our first competitors of the day were the U14 girls covering 3000m of this championship course. Sophie Kernan continues her fine form and took a coveted medal finishing 11th place. Leah O’Reilly also had a very fine run finishing approximately 34th picking up some places as she stormed down the finish straight. Sophie Rattigan finished very well in this very competitive race.
U14 Boys ran the same distance with 3 Clonliffe Harriers taking to the start line. Sean Singpluoglu was first Clonliffe man home continuing his fine form with Fiachra O’Donovan finishing with a very strong kick finish and Conor Phelan working hard throughout the race and finishing well.
U16 Girls covered 4000m. Mya O’Reilly had another great cross country run finishing 14th with her team mate Ciara Sheedy in 16th. Under 15 athlete, Ellen Morgan stepped up an age to help the team and had a very good run, finishing 22nd picking up three places on the home straight. Cadhla also managed to pick up some places with Sarah McDonnell working back to form.
U16 Boys also ran 4000m. Matei Ursachri and Rory Quill packed in well from the gun. This mighty army of U16 boys, all working well and were threatening throughout the race. Matei and Rory pushed hard with Matei taking the Silver and Rory a well-deserved podium position Bronze. Aiden Benjacar showed fine form finishing 21st with Alistair Anith taking in 22nd as fourth scorer. The team achieved Silver and were well supported by Jack Quinn in 26th, Harry Lynam in 27th, Aaron Murray in 30th, Jack McDonnell in 31st and Cathal O’Neill in 40th. Brilliant performances from all in this team.
U18 Girls were brave hearts out there today. Hazel Kenny had been unwell during the night and this morning but was determined not to let her hard work go to waste. Sorcha O’Connor also became unwell just before the race but these hardy Clonliffe girls decided to support each other to get through their 4000m out of age. The guts, girth and determination renowned throughout Clonliffe saw them take 15th and 16th positions. Hopefully both will be on top form for their U17 race on 6th November.
U18 Boys – Sean Cronin was cool, calm, relaxed and way ahead of the rest of the field. A Gold and an U18 Dublin Championship title for this talented 16 year old. Five of the team were in the top 12, qualifying them for the National Championships in November with Lorcan Benjacar 7th, Tom Breslin 8th, Cillian Keegan 10th and Leon Brady 11th, Oran McGown was 13th and Johnny Fitzsimmons 17th. The team finished in 2nd position unfortunate to miss out on gold by two points to DSD.
A fantastic display of juvenile championship cross country running as we look forward to the Uneven Age Championships in 3 weeks in Citywest.
The U11, 13 and U15 athletes took part in the AAI Club Relay Championships. The excitement could be heard throughout the course and the atmosphere was electric. The U11’s and U13s ran 500m legs. The U15 girls ran 1000m per leg. It was exciting, but it was tough. The experience these younger athletes gained will pay them back in spades as they continue to develop. U15’s used this race to build towards the Dublin Uneven age championships and building their team, working on chasing down places and holding positions – and they “understood the assignment”!! Well done to all, especially our U10’s who ran out of age.
Once again, many thanks to the parents who again stepped up to help our youngest athletes today and to the athletes who once again, did Clonliffe Harriers, Gladys and their coaches proud.