The East, West, and North Leinster Secondary Schools Cross Country championships took place in the Phoenix Park over last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
The top 15 athletes in each event qualified to represent their schools in the upcoming Leinster Championships in Santry Demesne on February 8th, along with the top three schools teams in each event.
The majority of Raheny Shamrock juvenile athletes were in action in Friday’s North Leinster event, with a small number in the East and West Leinster’s.
In the East Leinster’s; the club’s two athletes in action, Siomha Magee and Ella Beck, both ran great races in the senior girls event to finish third and 10th respectively, securing automatic qualification.
Siomha (The Institute of Education) and Ella (Loreto Stephens Greeen) also helped both of their school teams to qualify.
In the West Leinster’s; Mark Salmon was part of the winning Belvedere College Intermediate squad.
In Friday’s North Leinster’s; Willow Agnew (Clonturk CC) got the day off to a great start from a Raheny perspective showing the rest of the field a clean pair of heels when winning the minor girls race.
Not far behind was Maggie Foley in third place competing for Holy Faith Clontarf. Maggie led the Holy Faith Team to victory, strongly supported by club-mates Kate Tuite (10th), Ailbhe Murphy (21st) and Alison Teeling (26th).
In the minor boys; the St. Paul’s College team with strong Raheny links finished third. Cillian Cooney ran a strong race for St. Aidan’s CBS but St. Aidan’s were unlucky not to advance, finishing fourth team.
Next up were the junior girls, in this race the Raheny girls secured four of the 15 automatic qualification spots on offer with Claire O’Leary (GC Reachrann) finishing third, Esther Ntoko (Sutton Park) 10th, Sophie Kelly (Holy Faith Clontarf) 11th and Clara Woods (Holy Faith Clontarf) 13th.
Holy Faith Clontarf again won this team title with Sophie and Clara well supported by their Raheny teammates Freyja O’Carroll and Olivia Meikle. Rebecca O’Rourke (Sutton Park) also had a good run in this race, finishing 40th.
In the junior boys, there was more individual success for Raheny with outright victory for George Sevastopulo (Mount Temple), followed closely by Conrad Latham (St. Paul’s College) in second, and not far behind were his club-mates Tom Monaghan (Sutton Park) 6th, Odhran Fidgeon (St. Paul’s College) 13th and Donagh Kirwan (St. Paul’s College) 18th. St. Paul’s convincingly won the team title. Daniel Connolly, running for St. Fintan’s, finished 24th.
In the Intermediate Girls, Elena Forkan (Sutton Park) finishing sixth ran bravely to both secure individual qualification for herself and help her school team qualify in second place. Aoife Nolan, running for Holy Faith Clontarf ran well here for 40th.
In the intermediate boys, there was more individual success for the club with Jamie Whelan of Ardgillan Community College finishing third. In the team competition the St. Paul’s college team with strong Raheny links secured qualification in third.
In the senior girls, Grace Meikle ran well finishing 16th overall, narrowly missing out on qualification by just one place.
So all in all a successful few days of schools athletics with 20+ qualifiers for the Leinster Championships on February 8th.