Clonliffe Harriers enjoyed an extremely successful day’s cross country at the national intermediate and masters held at Dundalk IT today with the intermediate men taking gold, intermediate women silver and master men 35 silver.
Underfoot conditions were testing, not unexpectedly having regard to the solid week’s rain which had fallen on the East Coast, it was however thankfully a bright early spring day, a little cold, but soon the club’s athletes warmed the heart!
First in action where the M65 team of Diarmuid Doyle, Colm Doran and George Maybury, the team finished a commendable 6th with Diarmuid leading home in 20th, Colin was 27th and George 30th.
Unfortunately due to several team members coming down with illness the women’s masters team were forced to scratch.
The Master M35 team was strong and came into this championship looking to better the bronze medal performance in the Dublin cross country and better it indeed they did. Colm Rooney, put recent injury woes behind him with a very impressive performance at the front of the field, he got out quick and lead for the 1st lap and 1/2 was then overtaken but remained in a very solid 2nd place throughout. Next in came Cathal McHale in an excellent 12th with Karl Nolan 18th and then with a very impressive performance came Tom Sherlock in 30th to give the team total of 62 points, 20 points behind a very strong North Belfast Harriers and some 19 points ahead of Annadale Striders. The scoring four were excellently backed up by John Donlon, 70th, James Dunne 82nd, Ger Clerkin 83rd and Niall Sherlock, still suffering from illness, 109th. Colm Rooney was also 1st M 40 and both he and Cathal McHale picked up intercounty gold medals for Dublin (a hard one for staunch Mayo man McHale to get his head around!).
Next it was the intermediate women and again a strong Clonliffe team toed the line. Sarah Bateson, who had ran an indoor 1500 pb in Abbottstown yesterday, showed no ill effects and got stuck into the race from the word go. She had undoubtedly her best cross country race to date to finish in 8th place and lead the Clonliffe team to an excellent silver. Hannah Browne also was in inspired form taking 10th position with Clodagh Galvin breathing down her neck in 11th and making it superb packing in 12th was Yuliya Taravosa . The scoring 4 had a team points total of 41, 10 points behind the victorious DCH team with Raheny taking bronze. The other team members also impressed, Jools Hughes was 16th, Sarah Hawkshaw 19th and Aisling Killelea 26th, unfortunately injury caused Julie Larkin out of the race with a lap to go. Both Sarah and Hannah took intercounty gold for the Dublin team and now leave both the intermediate and novice ranks behind them.
With 2 set of silvers in the bag it was now up to the intermediate men to go for gold. From the starters gun it was clear that the guys meant business, Mihail Sprincean got off to a steady start up in the top 6 but quickly move forward and was always in the top 3, he ran an excellent black and amber debut, in fact it was his first ever cross country race to take silver. Fintan Kerins, who last week was a member of the track and field team – indeed he ran a leg in the 4 x 400 relay, that took national indoor league gold, today it was the mud of Dundalk, running a superb race he moved himself forward from around 7th position right up to 4th position which he held to the finish. Next in and despite still suffering the after effects of a cold and being somewhat jetlagged, Sean Carrigg ran possibly his best ever race to 13th position and then the youngster of the group, and showing maturity beyond his years, Niall Carbery who held back on the opening lap and then came through strongly throughout the whole race to 16 position. These scoring four delivered team gold. Behind them the rest of the team really put in dogged impressive performances, Sean Heaslip Owens was only a matter of 10 seconds and one place behind Niall, next in was Liam Roarty 21st, Cian Murray 38th, Paul Keenan 39th, Rob Dowling 44th, Peter Bissett 48th, Ronan Donohue 52nd and Ryan Sheridan 54th. Mihail, Fintan and Sean all took inter-county gold for Dublin. Team result: 1.Clonliffe 35, 2 . East Cork 46, 3. DCH 63. 8th Clonliffe B.
It was a most successful day for the club on the country. The year has started very brightly indeed, last weekend the men won the national indoor league, this weekend the men the national intermediate cross country and into the bargain Master men 35 silver and women’s intermediate silver. Happy days!