Star of Sea Cross Country 2017

Star of Sea Cross Country 2017

It was off to Greenanstown in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Stamullen on Sunday the 24th of September 2017  where our annual pre cross country season warm up took place at the Star of the Sea Cross Country Meet. The course was in mint condition which eased the pain of the rolling hills for our younger athletes. With the first six medalling and three to score for the team competition expectations were high as a small but talented squad headed over to East Meath to rid themselves of the Summer cobwebs and give the legs a stretch before next week Meath Championship.

 First up in their first competitive cross country race were race were the trio of Isabelle Dolan, Holly Ryan and Katie Reilly. From the gun the girls were in the mix with Isabelle leading home the trio as both Holly and herself claimed individual prizes. Katie also had a fantastic debut with a top ten finish to guarantee the Under 9 Girls Team Gold and put pressure on their  elders for the coming races. In the boys under 9 race, poor George Comerford had a fall as Thomas Gormley got roughed up in the stampede at the start of the race, however both boys show true grit and character and fought their way to a top ten finish just shy of the podium. The boys would no doubt have medalled had they a third teammate to score. It will be the same venue for the un-even ages Meath Cross Country Championship in a fortnight which will have the Dunboyne AC teams as favourite.

 It was a case of coaches wearing surgical masks with the under 10 Girls team where three of the quartet had been ill with stomach bugs in the days leading up to this race meet, but being made of stern stuff Sabdh Pitt, Ruth Reilly, Le Ang Grogan and Catherine O Hanlon overcame this obstacle to earn silver in the team competition. Sadbh was impressive as an individual as she took bronze. All bodes well for this talented group at County level next weekend in their age group championship. Again there were two athletes for the boys race as Cian Doyle and Andrew Norman ran strong races as both came home in the top fifteen, a shoe in the door had they somebody to join the team.

 For our under eleven age group there was only a pair of girls, another what if scenario for the team competition with  Hannah Brown and Amy Reilly having top twenty finishes in an impressive field of athletes, showing a never say die attitude on the hilly course.  Dylan Ryan was our only under 11 boy in action, he ran an intelligent race tucking in near the front and had the ‘dash of the day’ coming down the home front to claim an individual prize.

 For once today the boys outnumber the girls as the under 12 athletes took to the grass.  Poor Kate Gormley and Elizabeth Comerford battled well to earn a top twenty finish in the biggest field (number wise) of the day and seemed disappointed as they had not enough scoring members to shine in the team event. Our boys on the other hand had Ciaran McCormack and James McAvenue joined by newby Liam Jennings in the boys race. Ciaran was aggressive in the race as he gritted the teeth and powered home to an individual silver medal. With all three athletes having a top fifteen finish, the writing was on the wall before the team results were announced and gold medals were the reward. Again this group will be expected to bring home the spoils next weekend when the team is full strength.

 The numbers were back down for the under 13 category as only Sophie Dolan and Aleah Kelly turned up for the girls outing. Sophie despite a full sporting schedule in numerous sports showed good legs as she came home to earn an individual prize and Aleah was also well towards the front of the field, both starting to rise upwards in the fitness curve as they ease their way into the cross country season. John Brown ran a very positive race today, at times making good use of his elbows in good old fashion cross country antics to stand his ground and has  showed huge continuous progress in recent times as he came home in top ten.

 We actually had a quintet in the under 14 girls race as sprinters Kate Griffin and Lucy Eglington joined our distance athletes Rachael Norman, Kayla Ryan and Aoife McCormack. These girls earned the coaches’ pet title for this outing as Kayla ran a very smart race as she timed her breakaway to perfection and won the race overall. Aoife also was in flying form as she joined Kayla on the podium as she powered home to bronze. With three in the top ten and five in the top twenty there was only ever going to be one gold medal winning squad on Sunday, much to the delight of this cheeky but talent bunch. Due to recent injuries we had no males in action in this age group but we wish all a speedy recovery.

 Due to a tactical move Conor Leane was the only under 15 athlete in action on this fine morning, with his sick twin in the shadows to shout out in support. This was a welcome sight as this talented athlete was away from the club scene for over a year and he showed he still has it as he was the front runner for much of the race before having to settle for silver in the latter stages of the race. This fella will be back to winning ways in no time when he get a few races into those unused racing legs of his and has Marc to push him on.

 All our under 15 girls and under 16 girls moved up age groups to join forces for the under 17 girls race (no under 16 competition) and given that it was a three kilometre race on a testing course fair play to all. Youngsters Katie Greene and Doireann Ni Fhlatharta joined the more mature Anna Griffin and Bonnie McFeat for the gruelling race where Doireann worked hard to win silver and Bonnie outsprinted Katie for the final spot on the podium. All four girls were in the top fifteen having worked their socks off from the gun with a few a bit wobbly at the end. This is the first time in many a year that Dunboyne AC had an Under 17 team in any competition male or female so when the girls took the team title it showed that the club are definitely making some in-roads into the drop off of athletes as they go deeper into their teens.


A big thank you to all the coaches and supporters  that travelled and a big well done to all athletes. Roll on the county championship.

Thanks to Keith Eglinton for the photos

SOS XC 2017

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