In the humble and modest surroundings of Tymon Park, the Dublin Juvenile Cross Country Uneven Age Championships took place in favourably warm and pleasant weather for this first day of November. With a complete absence of even a slight wind and a dazzlingly blue, clear sky above; race day conditions could only be described as most ideal. On offer today were priceless Dublin honours for the top twelve finishers in each championship race age group as well as the first three teams with four to score. Not withstanding this, the covetted and most sought after qualifying postitions for the National Juvenile Uneven Age Championships were also for the taking on this fine day. There were terrific individual and team finishes witnessed by very proud supporters out on the challenging, arduos course; and the drive and persistance of every Harrier never faulted, their courage and bravery admirable, as can almost always be said of our athletes. Today’s racing was no walk (or run, forgiving the pun) in the park, however with the mammoth task of completing the hefty, depleting distances in each age group by running a combination of loops in most cases; the largest of which stretching a span of 2000m!. Yet in a familiar a gracious style a reporter can confirm that every single athlete of Clonliffe, without exception, persevered to achieve their personal goal to do their parents, coaches and club proud indeed. Below are the highlights of a tremendously sucessful outing for the club.
First off the lne for the club today was young Jonathan Fitzsimons in superb form battling bravely to secure Dublin bronze and his place in the National Championships in just over a month’s time.
The Under 13 Girls delivered stellar performances all round to take a well deserved Dublin silver and great experience going on to bigger and better things. Among them, Emma McDonnell produced a fine run to place 3rd individually. Emma was well supported by her teammates Aoife Hession, Holly Roche, Mia Keenan, Ella Cooley, Kristin McGrady-Hogan, Blaze Carroll and Alannah Fitzsimons. These girls deservedly earned their just rewards for such valiant efforts as seen on the country today.
The Under 15 Girls, of whom there were only two, namely Tess Loftus and Amy Warren, put in the miles with determinaiton and vigour finishing this time just outside the individual medal placings. However valuable experience can be taken from today by both girls.
In the Under 15 Boys race fierce competition gave rise to spectacular running from all memebrs of the team lead home by Cian Bolger in a 3rd place finish, Cian proving his worth yet again on this occasion with this brilliant performance. Ben Guiden provided the low score of 4th place as he dug extremely deep in the final metres to surge from 16th place to just belond the reach of medal positions. Aaron Cullen had a very strong race following suit closely behind to finish in a great 6th place, with Ian McAweeney finishing an improvining 17th to provide the scoring four of 31 points. These terrific performances were well supported by young Conor Fagan and Darragh Carter who bravely stepped up from the U/14 squad.
In a sparsely populated Under 17 Girls race, Clíona Cooley deserves commendation after bravely volunteering to run in the absence of another Harrier, in an age group older than her own. Clíona today showed the characteristics becoming of a real Harrier, and for that her club salutes her. Hannah Browne, Marwa Ali and Tara Walnutt all fought well to finish strongly together for a great team effort.
In the final race of the day for Juvenile spectators, the Under 17 Boys showed that the grueling effort of training really does pay off in the long run as they served up a simply marvellous performance to claim outright victory to win Dublin gold. Sean O’Leary led the team home in a superb 2nd, followed closely by Alex Hogan in super style, with Kevin Loftus regaining places to finish well in 6th and Joseph Hession completing the bare scoring four in a great 8th place.
So that concludes both the Dublin Even and Uneven Age Juvenile Cross Country Championships, as our athletes look to the promising glory of National medals that are on offer in Dungarven in just under five weeks time. Well done to all today on such outstanding running, and to those who enjoyed the glorious sunshine as they supported their club. Nil Desperandum.
Report written by Kevin Loftus.
(Pictured) U/13 Girls Dublin XC Runner up 2015
(Pictured) U/15 Dublin XC Champions 2015
(Pictured) U/17 Girls XC team
(Pictured) U/17 Dublin XC Champions 2015