At today`s National Novice Cross Country Championships held in yet again ideal conditions at Dundalk IT the next generation of Clonliffe cross country athletes stood up and were counted. The Novice men`s team arrived with something to prove and prove it they did. A really strong team effort saw the team win the Novice title with strong runs from the whole team.
From the starters gun the black and amber vests were to the fore with four well in the top 10. Young Cathal Doyle lead the charge with an excellent run to 4th place, next in was new boy Richie Owens 6th (strangely enough the same position he occupied in last year`s race, but wearing a different vest!) and then with Derry TC already having three home Clonliffe`s 3rd and 4th men together: Eoin Taggart 13th and Ian Guiden 14th enough to give Clonliffe a 10 point win over Derry. These four got great support from the rest of the team: Eoin McCullough running his best race in years 21st, Conor Keane 40th, Tom Sherlock 52nd, Sean Doran 71st and the truly vastly experienced Niall Sherlock 125th.
The women`s team put in spirited runs to finish 15th team lead in by Ciara Peelo (place unkown as not picked up on official results) Orna McGinley 62nd, Laura Tuite 79th, Aideen Brady 102nd, Emer Treacy 109th and Emer Brennan 117th.
(Pictured: Novice women`s team)
In the National Juveniles the U/19s occupied silver after a long 6000m battle. Sean O`Leary was once again the star of the show with another very impressive run to take U/19 silver (running a year up) and with a sprint finish to boot! Adam O`Brien showing a very welcome return to form placed 7th, Joey Hession was 42nd with Thomas Ward the 4th scorer in 48th, next was Alex Gibbons 55th and Greg Hossenny 60th.
The U/17 boys were just out of the medals placing 4th, missing out by some 7 points. It was.however, another excellent team effort by these lads. Craig Giles was 18th and then running his best race todate Stephen Cashin 38th, Daniel Lacey 41st and Ben Guiden 45th, next in was Cian Bolger 55th and Jordan Byrne 64th. From Stephen to Jordan there was a time differencial of maybe only 20 seconds so a top class team effort.
The U/15 boys will gain greatly from their experience of a first national. Daragh Carter, of course has already ran for the U/16s and scored on this silver medal team, today he lead his troops gamely to finish 39th, and score on the Dublin Country team that took silver, next in the constantly improving Dermot Buckley 63rd, Sam Kowdczyke 104th and Dylan Foy 130th, the team coming in 12th.
Unfortunately the girls teams were badly hit by illness and injury meaning that we couldn`t field teams, however, the girls did run very well. In the U/15s Abbey Sheehy was 72nd and Ella Brown 102nd. In the U/17s Hannah Browne ran strongly to place 70th with Tess Loftus breathing down her neck in 78th.
Well done to all today and indeed throughout the course of the season. It was so good sure we`ll do it all over again in 2017!
To see photos click: https://flic.kr/s/aHskJqXMLC