International Selection for Jack O'Leary
It was into the West on Saturday 10th March, to St. Mary’s
College in Galway for the All-Ireland Schools Cross Country Finals. The course was a real test of fitness
and stamina, soft underfoot and with a few tough hills, but arrangements and organization was first class. Every race was
contested to the very end, as placings were vital both for the individual and for team placings. Being the last cross country
race of the domestic season, and with places on the Ireland schools teams to compete in Scotland at the end of March up for
grabs, the spectators witnessed a feast of running.
For two of the Club’s members, it was another day to
remember, in particular for Jack O’Leary (competing for Clongowes Wood College) where he
led the Junior boys race for a long period, eventually finishing 3rd to secure his place
on the Ireland team and become the latest in a long line of Club athletes to be selected to run for Ireland. Jack’s
name will now be added to the Club’s International Roll of Honour.
Joining Jack on the Ireland team will
be the ever consistent Linda Conroy (Mercy Kilbeggan) thanks to an excellent performance in the
Intermediate girls race in 5th, making this three years in a row to be selected on the Ireland
team. Aisling Moody (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) must keep her fingers crossed though,
as she finished 12th in the Junior girls race and was named a reserve, so must wait
to see if she makes the team for Scotland.
In the Minor boys race, Patrick Shaw (St. Finian’s Mullingar) ran a magnificent race to finish a gallant second
place, having to pull out all the stops to hold off Cormac Dalton (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge)
who was also in brilliant form and finished in fourth place. As well as Jack O’Leary running a terrific
race to finish third in the Junior boys race, the CBS Mullingar team were in top form and scored a wonderful
team victory, winning the team title by a single point, led home by Glen Gaffney
and with great support from Shane Hughes, Oisin Quinn, Michael
Moran, Senan Lynam and Adam Kelly, all deserving their gold
In the Intermediate boys race,
the CBS Mullingar team of Padraig Moran, Ryan Blundell, Eoin
Lynam and Jack Galvin competed well but failed to get into the team medal places. Lorraine Daly (Mercy Kilbeggan) had a fine run in the Senior girls race. CBS Mullingar
was also unlucky in the Senior boys race where Patrick Fagan ran very well,
supported by Jonathan Daly, Stephen Nea, Gavin
Doran and Ian McCormack, all doing their best but not getting into the medal places.
All in all, a great day of cross country running
and for Jack and Linda (and hopefully Aisling) they have one more run over
the country, at the end of March in Perth, Scotland.