D.S.D athletes came home laden with medals from the National Cross-Country Championships on Sunday, in Waterford I.T. It was a golden moment for Jack MacGabhann, who returned from his studies in Holland to win his first individual gold medal at senior level, when he crossed the line in first place in the National Novice Championships. Jack did not have it all his own way for most of the 6,000m course of clinging deep mud, as D.S.D., club mate Paul O’Donnell, shared the race lead all the way to the last 400m, when Jack put in a great surge to the finish line. Paul secured a terrific 2nd place for a great 1st/2nd for D.S.D. With four to count for team success Ruadhán O’Gráda 35th and Mark Molloy 38th ensured a golden harvest for D.S.D. They were well supported by Diarmuid Meldon.
Earlier in the day Niamh Carey seemed to glide over the muddy ground as she was closely pressed by Shauna Doellken, Kenmare A.C. Once again Niamh showed her class as she forged clear over the last 300m to the finish line. This was an astonishing performance from an 18 year old, who is also on the Irish U17/U20 hockey teams. Niamh fired shots over the heads of those whose first love is cross-country, as the sky is the limit if she concentrated solely on athletics. D.S.D., were the dominant force in the team competition again winning gold, with Grace Dervan supporting Niamh in 9th place, Roseanne McCullough 19th; Aisling King 23rd and Lucy McCann 25th.
Gold seems to be the preferred colour for D.S.D. athletes these days as Alex Flynn and Morgan Clarkson were members of the winning Dublin U.15 team.
Saoirse O’Brien finished a great 9th place (running out of her age group) in the U.15 Girls race with Eimear Maher (suffering from a chest infection) in 12th; Éabha Nally 47th; Amelia Hauer 71st; Aimee Kenna 81st; Sophie Burns 90th and Emily Bradshaw 97th, resulting in bronze medals for D.S.D.
Jamie Byrne dug in for 9th place (U.13 Boys) in the biggest field of the day, with 164 finishers.
Well done to all!