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All Ireland Schools Cross Country Championships

Sophie Murphy (Mount Anville/D.S.D) swept to a glorious victory in Mallusk on Saturday. Sophie remains unbeaten all year on home soil, her only defeat was a great 5th place finish in the European Club Championships in Portugal. This was her most comprehensive win to date as she totally dominated the 2,550m race from gun to tape. In front by 10m in the first 100m of the race she continued her relentless pace that burned off the opposition and finished in splendid isolation at the finish line on one of the muckiest courses ever experienced in this competition. Sophie has many offers of scholarships to American universities and may consider going down this road. Just as impressive was Jodie McCann (Institute of Education/D.S.D) who is only 17 years of age and finished in the 2nd place in this senior girls (U.20) race. She chased Sophie in vain but put a big gap between herself and the 3rd finisher Stephanie Cotter, Coachford College. In the first race of the day, the minor girls (U.14), there were breakthrough performances from Eimear Maher (Mt.Anville/D.S.D) and Saoirse Ni Bhrian (Colaoise Iosagain/D.S.D). Both girls took a long time to get into contention, but a great burst up the final tough hill saw Saoirse in 3rd place in the home straight with Eimear on her shoulder. Eimear then forged ahead to pick up bronze, with Saoirse fighting all the way to the line, to finish a close up 6th. Well done to all!
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