Dublin delights at DCU!
The College cross country teams enjoyed an excellent start at to 2017 at the DCU Cross Country invitational in Dublin on Wednesday 18th January, winning three of the four boys team races on offer and taking the title for best overall school. The DCU invitational brings together many of the top teams from across Leinster and Ulster ahead of the upcoming district, provincial and Irish Championships. The Minor boys (Yr9) produced a winning performance in the first race of the day to set the bar for those to follow. Mathew Lavery and Luke Kelly got out in the top group with Matthew finishing strong for 6th place and Luke holding on well at the finish in 10th. Diarmuid Hanna (only a year 8) ran a fantastic race to finish 16th among boys a year older and Cian McGrath completed the scoring quartet in 20th place. These boys were strongly backed up by Kelvin Kearney making a welcome return to competition in 46th, Conall McGirr 52nd, Sean Murray returning from injury in 80th, Eoghan Breen in 97th, Evan Stanley in 93rd and Simon Ostermayer in 104th. This in a race with around 200 finishers.
Not to be outdone by their younger teammates the Junior boys produced the most dominating team performance of the day. Placing all four scorers in the top dozen. Daniel McComiskey lead the race on the first short lap, and held on brilliantly on the second long lap to finish in 5th. Fionntan Campbell was next across the line in 6th after a strong finish. Calum Morgan was as consistent as ever in 8th and Oscar Smyth produced his best race to date, finishing in 12th. Ruari Gallagher was next to finish in 23rd and Darragh Gorman crossed the line in 58th out of around 150 runners.
The Intermediate boys (Yr11 and12) faced the toughest challenge of the day with strong teams to content with from St. Aidan's in Dublin and St. Ciaran's in Kilkenny. They were more than ready for it and made it three wins in a row for the visitors from Belfast. Conal Browne ran the race his recent excellent training suggested he was capable of to finish a close 3rd behind two of the top runners in Ireland in this age group. Conall McClean made his way up through the field throughout the race and exhibited a strong finish to take 4th. The ever dependable Adam Ferris was next to finish in 15th. Matteo Lavorca used his speed to pass a group of six athletes in the final 200m to secure 18th place and complete the scoring. Thomas Reid made a strong return to competition in 35th. These boys were followed home by Fionn McQuillan in 42nd, Sean Og Gallgher 52nd, Oisin McQuillan in 54th, Kelan Benson in 77th and Emmet Maguire in 126th.
The senior boys only had three individuals who acquitted themselves well. Kieron Conway had his best ever race to finish in 19th, Conor O' Rawe finished close behind in 24th and Niall Armstrong, who has made big improvements over the last year, finished in 46th.