A beautiful day in Abbotstown saw D.S.D athletes turn out in all categories to sample the new National Cross Country course. This new course is magnificent but is not spectator friendly. Come on A.A.I., we must make sure that all spectators can see most of the action from a central area. It should only take a few adjustments to make this happen. Otherwise it was a great day’s sport and really well organised.
There is always something special when we greet new Dublin Championship winners and Eimear Maher U.14 Girls and Morgan Clarkson U.14 Boys, were both impressive winners of their age categories, and will look forward to their respective All-Irelands with a degree of confidence. Morgan led from gun to tape closely followed by our own Alex O’Floinn for a 1st and 2nd for D.S.D. Eimear ran a cagey race in the leading bunch and struck for home as she turned into the finishing straight for a gallant victory over 3,000m.
Jodie McCann led home a top class field in the U.18 Girls, to give D.S.D., a 1,2,3, in this race. Jodie, a former All-Ireland winner, was followed home by Grace Dervan and Roseanne McCullough. Lucy was 5th, with Katie and Clodagh also finishing close up on the winning team.
Arguably, the hardest race of the day was the U.20 4,000m, which was won by a top class international athlete from Wales, with Sophie Murphy and Abbie Taylor chasing hard to ensure they were 1st and 2nd from an Irish perspective. Sophie looked very impressive on the sandy rain soaked ground and looks a real contender for the National Championships. Abbie can be really proud of her effort, with three more years in this age category.
Paul O’Donnell continues to improve and was just run out of 2nd place after a tumble early on in the U.20 men’s race. He looked comfortable in a big field of seniors and juniors, with the juniors turning into the finishing tunnel after 3 x 2000m laps. Most of these top juniors will be selected for international races in Europe in the near future. Meghan Ryan also ran a fine race to finish 3rd in the U.23 Women’s race.
Laura Shaughnessy led D.S.D., home in the senior race. Her endevours, in second place, to chase Fionnuala McCormack, for a large portion of the race, saw her tire a little in the finishing straight, for a 5th place. Laura is the most improved athlete in the club at the moment and this run follows her great win in Rathfarnham. Fiona Clinton was always prominent in a large field to finish14th with Bethanie Murray close up in 15th place.
We had a full turn out for the U.18 boys, with James Maguire (U.17) back in action after his year’s sojourn in Germany. James would have found the hills of Marlay and Kilmashogue hills more to his liking. It was a great team victory for the U.18’s, with Luke, Conor, Aaron, Nathan and Philip packed together for a very strong finish.
The evergreen Peter Mathews, many times National C.C. Champion, is only a part time runner these days, but still managed to take 2nd place in the M45 category. The masters had the biggest turn out of the day. Full results to follow when to hand.