One of the highlights of the athletics year takes place on Sunday in Abbotstown. The Nationals. A day of mud, rain, wind, pride and guts! A day when athletes give of themselves not for person but for club.
There are eight Clonliffe teams competing in Abbottstown on Sunday from underage through to Senior with the prize of National Cross Country team titles and medals.
The senior men’s team have endured slim pickings in recent years having been the dominant force over the country from the mid 2000s right up to 2015 when the club last captured the National. Since then our Northside rivals Raheny Shamrocks have prevailed and on Sunday come hunting three in a row. Pre race favourites may well be Clonmel AC with sub 4 minute man Sean Tobin favourite to take the individual title.
The senior men’s team on Sunday is strong and will certainly will be in the hunt. It features the national marathon winning team from this year’s Dublin City Marathon of Gary O’Hanlon, David Flynn and Sergiu Ciobanu, the last Clonliffe man to win the National in 2013 in Tullamore, along with Jayme Rossiter, Cathal Doyle and Colm Rooney.
The men’s team is: Adam O’Brien (U/23), Cathal Doyle (U/23), Colm Rooney, David Flynn, Eoin Taggart, Gary O’Hanlon, Jayme Rossiter, Sean Doran, Sergiu Ciobanu, Thomas Sherlock and Valdas Dopolskas.
Unfortunately there are no Clonliffe senior women taking part.
There is a strong junior men’s team that looks like they will be serious challengers on Sunday including Sean O`Leary who has been in fine form of late and the current All Ireland School`s champion Efrem Gidey.
The junior men’s team is: Ben Guiden, Daniel Stone, Thomas Baltazar, Daniel Lacy, Eferm Gidey, Jarlath Jordan, Jordan Byrne, Ryan Sheridan, Sean O’Leary, Stephen Cashin.
It is also pleasing to see a full Clonliffe junior women’s team competing of: Ella Brown, Tess Loftus, Sarah Bateson, Ale Hernandez, Cliona Cooley and Hannah Browne.
The junior and senior races will be preceded by the underage competition with again good Clonliffe teams running.
Boys U/14: Jonathan Fitzsimons, Callum Maguire, Cian O’Hare, Cillian Keegan, Sandys O’Connor, Sean Cronin.
The girls U/16 team is: Aoife Hession, Alana Fitzsimons, Katie Halpin, Lara Gallagher, Naoise Cullen, Ella Cooley.
Boys U/16: Niall Carbery, Alex Neuroth, Andrew Gaffney, Cillian Sheeran, Jack Woods, Ronan Donohue.
The junior races also incorporate the U/18 races. The Clonliffe girls U/18 team is: Ella Brown, Sarah Bateson, Tess Loftus and Aimee Warren.
The boys U/18 team, again incorporated in the junior men’s race is: Ben Guiden, Thomas Baltazar, Alex Murray, Calum Simpson, Daragh Carter and Daniel Stone.
Traffic and parking in Abbottstown on National Cross Country day can be problematic. See attached Info: National XC Info 2018
Finally there will be hot food available for athletes in the Clonliffe club bar post event from 4.30/5 p.m.
The very best of luck to all on Sunday.