Junior girls (Sarah Woods & Ciara Sheppard) at the start line
Craughwell AC had a very successful day yesterday when some of our finest cross country runners travelled up to Belfast for the All Ireland Schools Cross Country Championships. The competition took place in the "playing fields", Mallusk on what turned out to be, a beautiful, mild spring day. 10 athletes represented 2 schools (Presentation College, Athenry, & Calasanctius College, Oranmore). We must not forget that 1,000's of athletes have begun this battle to get to the All Irelands and to earn a place in this final is a great achievement.
The first Craughwell athlete to race was Liam Leen (minor boy), who as per his usual style, held a strong position from begining to end, to storm in through the shoots in 45th position. A proud moment for the Presentation College, Athenry as he also claimed, 6th Connacht runner to finish.
Junior girls were next and with the mud and rain from the previous day having played havoc on the ground, there were some last minute procrastinations over whether the largest spikes (pins) that could be found that morning, would indeed be of any benefit at all, and that wellies might in fact be the safest option. Winner of the Intermediate girls ran the entire race with one spike on and one spike off (having lost her spike early on in the race). Our junior girls; Ciara, Sarah and Freya eagerly and strongly pulled out from the madding crowd to push themselves up amongst the middle set of runners. Their finishing posiitons were; Ciara Sheppard (Calasanctius College), 53rd (6th Connacht girl in), Sarah Woods (Pres, Athenry), 69th and Freya Bohen (Pres), 75th.
We also had some fantastic finishes for the junior boys, with Kyle Moorhead charging to the finish in 38th place (7th Connacht), (Kyle has leapt a massive 64 places up from his placing in last years schools x country final). Both Oisin Davis and James Furey had fine finishes coming in 81st and 96th.
Ailbhe Miskella (Pres), who was our only intermediate girl (and having another year to run in this category) had a superb race to finish in 50th place and cross the line as the 5th Connacht runner.
Grainne McDaid (Pres), running in the senior girls race (almost the last race of the day), had to battle through some tough terrain and incredibly muddy conditions caused by the previous races and had a strong 61st finishing place.
This is the end of a very successful season for our Cross Country Craughwell athletes who have all proved their strength of character and determination to train hard for competition and endure whatever our Irish weather throws at them.