XC National Champs 2017 Report (Even)
Sunday, 26th November 2017
The National Senior and Even Age Juvenile Cross Country Championships took place on Sunday, 27th November out on the purpose built cross country course at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Dublin.
MSB had some 24 Juveniles and three Seniors competing with four teams representing both girls and boys in U12 an U14 races respectively.
It wasn't as cold as the previous day but still brisk when the wind picked up but was vaguely warm when the sun was free from clouds. The course was muddy and tough in patches due to the recent heavy rain making it a hard slog to get around.
MSB set up their tent nice and early in a good spot and, despite the traffic congestion at the NSC entrance, all the athletes go there in good time especially with the races having been put back 30 minutes to accommodate those who were stuck.
First race up was the U12G which boasted the biggest field of 177 girls and where we had five athletes competing in the 2k race consisting of two 1km laps. First over for MSB was Caoimhe Keegan who has come on leaps and bounds in the previous few months and came over the line in 22nd place gaining both a county and regional medal for her efforts. A Silver County medal and Bronze Regional medal. The rest of the MSB team consisting of Leah O'Dwyer, Eva Crowe, Aisling O'Grady and Ava Casey battled their way to the end and put their MSB team in 12th place overall in the team event consisting of the best 20 teams in the island of Ireland.
In the U12B race, Thomas Bolton dominated proceedings winning the race by a large margin and crossing the line of the 2k course in around 6:50 which would be a fantastic time on the track let alone around the mud in Abbotstown. Ben O'Neill was next over, running up an age, followed by Ethan Monahan, Patrick O'Donnell, Mike Boland and Lucas Girigan putting the MSB team in a very creditable 8th place.
The U14G's team consisted of two U14s and four U13s; a team that had dominated the Dublin Championships, so there were high hopes for them in the national championships. They did not disappoint and, perhaps, exceeded expectations in the 3k race. Sadhbh Mohan ran a superb tactical race and did not panic when Hannah Kehoe of Gowran AC took to the front and opened up a lead. Sadhbh kept in contact and, with 500m to go, reeled her in and went past. However, Hannah did not give in and the two exchanged the lead a couple of times before Sadhbh managed to stretch out the lead with 150m to go to take Gold in the most exciting finish of the day. Gara Williams and Aoife Brown took 21st and 22nd respectively and Viviana McCann came over the line in 34th place with Zoe Coquart and Leila McCormack following up with great runs. This meant they took the lowest points score to take a fabulous team Gold medal for MSB. Sadhbh, Gara and Aoife also took County Gold and Regional Bronze for their troubles!
The U14B's race was over a tough 3k with the 1.5k loop having muddier and tougher sections than the 1k loop. James Bolton led the team home in 19th place and claimed a County Gold medal for his superb run. James Monahan, Louie Woodger and Sam Dunne (all running up and age) followed by Alex Hernandez brought the team a very respectable 11th place.
There was no representation for MSB in the U16 races so next up was Aisling Mohan in the combined Junior/U18G race over 4km. Aisling got round the course in a superb time of 15:49 to finish in 26th place overall but take 8th place and an individual top 12 medal in the U18 category.
David Troy was running in the Junior/U18B 6k race and came in 65th place in a great time of 21:25. It's not known yet where he came in the U18 category.
The seniors were up next with the distances getting longer and the course getting tougher with over a thousand kids cutting up the already muddy surface even more! Ladies’ captain Sarah Fay toughed it out in the 8k senior ladies race to finish in 66th place in a time of 35:02. John Coghlan, in the 10k senior men's race, found it tough going during the first couple of laps but settled into the race and moved through the pack to finish in 21st place in 33:07. Shane Healy, who had run the same 10k course in the Dublin Champs in 32:17, showed how the conditions underfoot can affect the pace coming over the line in 74th place in a time of 35:32
All in all a fantastic day all round for MSB. Massive thanks to all the athletes, parents and coaches for all their efforts and those who helped out with setting up the MSB tent, looking after the athletes and providing refreshments. Special thanks to Caoilinn Mohan for being the MSB official photographer for the day.
MSB results are as follows and full results are on the Athletics Ireland website here: