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CROSS-COUNTRY - All Ireland Schools

Cormac Dixon (HFCS Rathcoole) proved the class of the field in the boy’s senior 6km race at the All-Ireland Schools Cross-Country,  held on a damp and dank day in Tymon Park, Dublin on Saturday (March 9). Only with the finish line in sight did Dixon, who is a member of Tallaght AC, sprint  into the lead finishing in a solid time of 19 minutes exactly.  In a great race for Dublin schools, St Aidan’s CBS packed  superbly to take the team prize. Tom Breslin in 19th place, was followed home by the trio of Sam Murray, Devan Morrissey and Rory Quill, who finished in 33rd, 34th and 35th places, with Cillian Keegan a fighting 39th. It means that the  Whitehall school finished on 121 points, beating St Michael’s Enniskillen by six points. Best of the Dublin athletes  in the girls’ senior 3.5km race was Edel McCreery (Loreto Beaufort and Rathfarnham WSAF) in fifth place, followed closely by Grace Nunan (Institute of Education and Donore Harriers) seventh, with the pair given the same time of 13:48. Finishing ninth was Holly O’Brien (St Andrew’s Booterstown and Blackrock AC) with Julie Cleary (Loreto Stephen’s Green and Donore Harriers) tenth.

Winning the girl’s inter race, also over 3.5km, was Emily Bolton (Mount Sackville, Chapelizod and Donore Harriers), with the Mount Sackville team just out of the medals in fourth place.St Dominic’s Cabra  finished sixth teams; St Dominic’s had also qualified for the minor girls’ race finishing fifth. First Dublin athlete in the boys; inter race over 5km was James Foot (Blackrock College) in ninth place. Belvedere finished fourth team, led by Daire McCarthy 14th. 

In the younger age groups, Charlie O’Neill (Belvedere Dublin) won the junior boys’ 3.5km after making a break with about a kilometre to go; Belvedere finished third team. St Joseph’s Lucan finished fifth team in the girls’ junior race. At minor level, Willow Park Blackrock finished fifth in the boys’ race. Several excellent pictures from the schools cross country anr on Lindie Naughtons Flickr site at https://www.flickr.com/photos/lindie/albums/72177720315329120/

Well done to Adam Jones, Rathfarnham WSAF AC and Enda Fitzpatrick, DCH for organising the event and building a very competitive course and to all the crew from Rathfarnham for setting up and taking down the course.

CROSS-COUNTRY - Irish Universities

Roise Roberts of  DCU won a competition women’s 5km race at the at the Irish Universities’ Cross-Country Championships, hosted by Queen’s Belfast on Saturday (March 9). Third in 18:41 was Celine Gavin who was leading Trinity College to team victory over  UCD and many times champions DCU. Just ten points separated the three. It was a fourth team victory for Trinity since 2020. In the men’s race, Sean McGinley (DCU)   finished  second in 26:41 and Pierre Murchan (TCD) third in 26.44. UL was first team ahed of DCU, although for the 20th time since 2003, DCU finished best overall team ahead of UL, with Trinity third and UCD fourth.  

CROSS-COUNTRY - BHAA

Clare Sullivan of Crusaders AC was a clear winner of the women’s two-mile race at the AIB  & NUI BHAA Cross-Country, held in the ground of NUI Maynooth, on Saturday (March 9). Winning the men’s four-mile race in 23:05 was George Snee of Dunboyne AC, with Thomas Sherlock of Clonliffe Harriers second in 23:12. With venues for road races and cross country events so difficult to find in the Dublin area, the BHAA has spread its wings to neighbouring counties. Next BHAA event  is a  new look cross-country race on Saturday March 23 at Meath Eco Park, Rathbeggan Lakes, Co Meath, a venue discovered by long time BHAA supporter Val Ledwith. Details www.bhaa.ie 

ROADS 

Road race of the weekend was the Bohermeen Half Marathon in Co Meath on Sunday (March 10), which Dublin clubs travelling in force. Best individual results came from Kate Purcell (Raheny Shamrock, W40)  who was second  woman. Laura McDonnell (Rathfarnham WSAC ) finished second W40  in 80:55,  Dee O’Keeffe (Brothers Pearse) first W45  was  and Grainne Grennan (Blackrock AC) second W65 in 1:42.37.  Of the men, David Kirwan (Raheny Shamrock ) was first M45 and Ciaran Diviney (Crusaders) first M50. In the M65 category, Michael Walsh  (Bros Pearse ), Alan McCabe (Tallaght AC) and Declan Murray (Clonliffe Hrs) made it a clean sweep of the top three places. 

When it came to the team awards,  Raheny Shamrock beat thirty-nine other teams to win the open men’s  team category for teams of four ahead of Annadale Striders with Crusaders AC third. Raheny also won the men’s Rennicks Cup for teams of six, with Crusaders second and Donore Harriers third of the twenty-nine teams entered in this category.  Among them were new Dublin clubs Ballymun AC,  and D15 AC based in Blanchardstown. Crusaders AC, led by Margaret Foley in 19th place,  won both  the open women’s team category and also the Fr Delaney Cup,  followed by Raheny Shamrock and Brothers Pearse  in both instances.

THROWS 

For a second year, Nicola Tuthill (UCD AC) finished second in the women’s U23 hammer competition at the European Throwing Cup, Leiria, Portugal  on Sunday (March 10). Tuthill, aged twenty, threw a brilliant early season throw of 67.39m  in the opening round of the competition. She also threw 67.12 in the second round. Tuthill threw a personal best 67.85 last June in Poland. She is the reigning Irish champion. In the senior discus B final, five times Irish champion Niamh Fogarty (Raheny Shamrock) threw  a personal best 55.17 in the final round to finish fourth; Fogarty’s previous best of 53.95 dates back to 2022. In the women’s U23 B shot put a  day  earlier, Ciara Sheehy (DCU) finished fifth with a best of 13:59, while in the U23 discus, Anna Gavigan  (LSA/DCU ) finished 15th with a 44.10m effort.