Close to a thousand schools athletes contested the GloHealth Leinster Schools’ Cross Country Championships in Santry Demesne on Wednesday, 11th of February. Jack O’Leary (Clongowes Wood) and Hope Saunders (Mt. Temple), who both represented Ireland at the European Cross Country Championships last December, ran out the impressive winners of the senior races.
O’Leary was prominent in the leading group from the offset with Peter Lynch (St Kierans, Kilkenny) and Andrew Corscoran (St Mary’s Drogheda) for company. O’Leary opened up over the final lap of the 6,000m contest to break the field and take a well-earned victory. Lynch produced a strong performance over the second half of the race to place second with Corscoran rounding out the top three in third. St. Aidans packed well as a team to take the team title with a score of 45 points.
Saunders was equally impressive in the senior girl’s contest as she coasted to an impressive victory over the 2,500m distance. Saunders made her break over the last 1,000m to secure the victory; next up for Saunders will be the GloHealth Irish Schools Cross Country Championships on the 7th of March. After making much of the early running Deirdre Healy (Institute of Education) finished second with Ruth O’Hara (St Mary’s Navan) finishing third. Loreto Kilkenny won the team title with a score of 32 points.
Alan Monaghan (St Pats Navan) was the clear winner of the intermediate boy’s race. Monaghan covered the ground with ease as he wound up the pace ferociously to take the Leinster title. Cormac Dalton (St. Josephs) rallied well to finish second with Philip Moran (Ratoath College) finishing third. Col Mhuire Mullingar won the team title accumulating a score of 58 points.
The intermediate girl’s race was the closest of the day with Emma O’Brien (Dominican College Wicklow), Niamh Ni Chiardha (Col. Iosagain) and Jodie McCann (Rathdown) battling it out for victory. O’Brien proved the strongest as she took the win with Ni Chiardha second and McCann third. O’Brien had the added bonus of leading her school to team victory with a score of 29 points.
Sarah Healy (H.C. Killiney) proved the class of the junior girl’s field as she stormed to victory with Amy Rose Farrell (My. Anville) breaking clear of the chasing pack to place second. Molly Brown (Castleknock College) finished third with Mt. Anville claiming the team title with a score of 45 points.
Adams Fitzpatrick (St Kieran’s Kilkenny) timed his sprint to perfection to win the junior boy’s title. Jack Moran (Col Mhuire) finished a close second with Cian May (Salesian College) finishing in third place. St Kieran’s Kilkenny won the team title with a score of 72 points.
Louis O’Loughlin (Moyle Park) won the minor boy’s race from Mikey Lawless (CBS Naas) second and Andrew Shaw (St Finians) third. Naas CBS won the team title with a score of 79 points. Ella Mae Cromie (Mt Temple) won the minor girl’s race with Sinead McKeown (Coolmine CS) second and Dearbhaile O’Reilly (Mt. Sackville) third. Mt. Sackville won the team title with a score of 47 points.