XC National Champs 2018 Report (Even)
Sunday, 25th November 2018
The National Even Age Juvenile and Senior Cross Country Championships took place today (Sunday, 25th Nov) on the national cross country course in Abbotstown, Dublin. With heavy rain in the last week the course was muddy in a couple of sections but mostly firm.
With MSB being the closest club to the Abbotstown course, we felt we were on home ground with many a training session already done there. A record 35 juvenile athletes and one senior athlete took to the start line.
The first race up was the U12G over 2km and Emily Bolton battled all the way neck and neck with the eventual winner to take a brilliant Silver. Eva Crowe in 24th place claimed a Gold county and Silver provincial medal. With a couple of falls for MSB athletes at the start putting a couple of our MSB athletes at a disadvantage a fourth place club finish with the rest of the team of Grace O'Grady, Ruby Buckley, Cara Mohan and Mia Coquart was a great achievement.
The U12B team of Eoin O'Brien, Zak Murphy, Ben O'Neill, Cathal Bruen, Jake O'Neill and Noah McCarthy claimed a very good 4th club team place with Eoin O'Brien, Zak Murphy and Ben O'Neill claiming a superb Dublin county Gold Medal over the 2km race.
Up next were the U14G over 3km. Gara Williams was in with the leading pack from the start and finished in a brilliant fifth place to claim her first individual cross country medal. Maddie Buckley was next over the line in a great 22nd place and claimed a county Silver team medal and a provincial Bronze for her efforts. The team along with Roisin Brady and Aisling O'Grady managed to claim a very creditable fifth place despite, unfortunately, Aoife Brown, last year's race winner, who fell at the start and was unable to continue and Sinead Dowling had to pull out during the race.
The U14B over 3km saw two packs of five athletes hit the front with Louie Woodger in the chasing pack of five. A blistering pace saw them through the first 1.5k in under 5 minutes. Louie still in the top 12 in the final straight battled it out giving all he'd got to cross the line in 11th place and claim his first cross country national medal. Thomas Bolton came over the line in 17th place to claim a county Gold. With James Monahan, Bobby Lynch, Sean Finn and Finn O'Neill running great races the team claimed a superb Silver medal!
The U16G had brilliantly claimed their spot at the national championship with a third place team finish at the Dublin Championships. Viviana McCann was first across the line in 23rd place. The rest of the team including Roisin McGuinness, Amy O'Leary and Leah O'Neill battled their way to the finish line over the tough 4km course and finished in 14th position in the club race. Special mention of the day goes to Leah O'Neill who had the sprint finish of the day over the tough uphill final 200m!
The U16B team took to the line next over 4km. Scott Fagan got himself into the leading pack for the first small and big lap but dropped slightly off the leading places over the final lap but managed a sprint finish to claim sixth place and a well-deserved individual medal. The rest of the team packed nicely with the next scoring three in the 30s and 40s which was more than enough to claim team Silver. Well done to the rest of the team made up of Finn Woodger, Sean Og MacSeoin, James Bolton, Aleks Lanecki and Alex Hernandez.
In the senior race Cathriona Mullen was the only senior competing and was running in the longest cross country race of the season over 8km and recorded a superb 14th place on the national stage in a time of 29:09. Cathriona was the first Dublin athlete over the line and claimed a national Silver medal in the county team race.
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 Stephen McGuinness and Caoilinn Mohan for their photographic duties.
With one podium, three more top 12 finishes, two club medals and numerous county and provincial medals, MSB had a fantastic and successful day out in Abbotstown.
Full results are available on the Athletics Ireland website at: http://www.athleticsireland.ie/competition/results/