The National Senior, Junior & Juvenile even ages Cross Country took place in Santry Demense last Sunday 21st November. The parkland located in Dublin’s northside is a familiar ground for most athletes. The cross country course which features long flat stretches and firm underfoot conditions has been the host to many major past championships including the 2009 European Cross Country Championships.
The U12 boys’ and girls’ races set Sundays actions underway. From there the juvenile ranks of Wicklow athletes tackled the cross country circuit. The day started with real excitement from the Garden County’s perspective. Greystones and District AC athlete Ethan Bramhill won the U12 Boys race – clocking under seven minutes for 2000 metres. In the girls’ race, Jessica O’Connor who is U11 ran up an age group to compete in the U12 2000m race. The Roundwood and District AC athlete put in a fantastic performance finishing 46th position out of the 181 participants.
In the U14 girls, Kate Hanly from Brays Runners AC had a great run to finish in 19th position overall. In a large field, Jessica Barrie finished 49th, Leah Foley 66th, Naomi Wall 74th Catherine O Neill 77th, Krippa Kissanthomas 112th, Helen Wintertbotham 118th, Rose Donohoe 121st, Iona Murnane 125th and Kacey Kelly 158th . The girls gave it everything on the day are improving with each passing season.
In the U14 boys, James Foot from Bray Runners AC was just two positions outside the podium places, coming home in a tight 5th place. He was followed by Inbhear Dee AC athlete Aaron Fitzsimons finishing in 17th position. Both performances earned James and Aaron National Gold Provincial medals as they were among the first six home from Leinster. Wicklow finished 6th county overall with remaining teammates Jack O’Leary 63rd, Evan Kenny 83rd, Morgan Durston 91st and JP Lynch 104th. Non scoring Athletes included Johann Schmidt 133rd , Adam Craxton 159th, and Harris Bremner 137th.
The first Wicklow Athlete home in the U16 girls was Isobel Lynch from Kilcoole AC in 24th followed by Ava Martin of Inbhear Dee in 34th position. Wicklow had seven athletes on the start line of the Under 16 Boys race. Malachy Kenny was the top finisher in 29th position, followed by Oscar Durston 34th, Rian Anafi Fitzgibbon 42nd , Colm O’Neill 66th, Fionn Begley 93rd Bobby More 98th and Ross O ‘Brien 115th.
Bray Runners AC were 2nd Club overall in girls U18 4000m Race with Anna Watson 6th, Eleanor Foot 26th , Niamh Murray 33rd and Hannah Kelly 67th and Eabha Byrne 150th. In the same race Laura Ivers representing Parnell AC had a strong run finishing 87th.Drew Donohoe of Bray Runners AC was the county’s lone competitor in the Junior boy’s race over six kilometres. He ran a great effort to finish in 143rd in a field of 175.
Similarly, Una Britton was the only Wicklow representative in the Senior Women’s 8000m race. In a competitive field with a host of former Olympians, national champions, and European medallists. The Kilcoole AC Athlete finished in an impressive 23rd position.
Sunday’s races were inspiring for all as Irelands top athletes competed for national glory. Wicklow athletes performed strongly amongst extremely stiff competition on the day. They will now have their sights on competing in the National Novice and Juvenile uneven age cross country in Gowran, Co. Kilkenny on Sunday 5th of December.