All-Ireland Schools XC Finals 2023 (11th Mar)
International selection for Tianna O’Leary
At a rain soaked SETU Sports Arena in Waterford on Saturday 11th March, the All-Ireland Schools Cross Country Finals took place. A number of Mullingar Harriers were representing their schools and colleges competing strongly over a difficult, hilly and at times treacherous course to bring home both individual and team medals.
First up were Tianna O’Leary and Eleanor Kiernan (Ursuline Convent Thurles) in the Junior Girls 2,500m. Tianna stayed in the top ten during the first half of the race with Eleanor never far behind. During the second half of the race, both girls ran very strongly to finish 5th and 16th respectively, helping their school team to 3rd place. More importantly, Tianna’s fifth place finish earned her a place on the Irish Junior Schools team that will compete in the SIAB Schools International Cross Country against teams from England, Scotland and Wales in Liverpool later in March. This is a fantastic and very well earned achievement for Tianna, her school, her family and the Club, and we wish her well.
Next up was the Intermediate girls 3,500m where Mullingar Harriers had two representatives with Caoimhe Kilmurray and Grace Byrne competing for Loreto Mullingar. Caoimhe battled all the way to the line and finished well placed in 13th. Grace worked hard over the difficult ground to finish strong in a competitive race.
The Colaiste Mhuire Intermediate boys team was next up over 5,000m of hills and muck. While the rain had stopped at this stage, the ground conditions were still very poor. Jamie Wallace was first home in 15th place followed by Conor Sherwin, Pablo Lozano, Luke Greene, Niall Brady, Conor Liston, Daniel Hickey and Jorge Martin, all packing well to give the boys 3rd place in the team competition.
Aimee Wallace was representing St. Finian’s College in the Senior girls 3,500m race and was in contention from the start. The testing course and poor ground took its toll though and it turned out not to be Aimee’s day.
The final race of the day was the Senior boys 6,000m. Colaiste Mhuire was represented by Diarmuid Fagan and Ross Killea. This was a fiercely competitive race and went out hard and fast. The two boys were side by side for the first three laps and working well with each other. During the final lap both pushed on well resulting in Diarmuid finishing 9th and Ross 19th, fantastic performances against top class opposition.
Congratulations to all who competed and to Tianna on her international selection. This concludes the cross country season and the school’s track and field season is now just around the corner.