LUCAN HARRIERS A.C.
National Even Age, Junior, U23 & Senior Championships Rosapenna, Co. Donegal - 20th November 2022
23 Lucan Harriers Athletes made the long journey to Rosapenna last weekend for the National Cross-Country Championships.
With the journey being so long it meant most people headed up on Friday and got to relax and enjoy Friday evening with a few getting out to the course on Saturday for of reconnaissance and a shakeout.
In fairness to Cranford AC the course was perfect as was the organisation and we headed to the course on Sunday with the athletes all set to go into battle!
Harriers first competitors of the day were the U12 boys, and they didn’t disappoint. Conal Fitzgerald ran the race of his life battling through the 2nd lap passing athletes the whole way to get up to 12th place and win an individual national medal. Daniel Abbott was our 2nd finisher and 2nd Dublin finisher. Daniel has shown huge improvements all year and today was no different and he finished in a strong 33rd position. Liam Collis was next in and with an excellent last 500m he made his was up to 94th. Elliot King (134th) finished like a train as did Sean Butcher (154th) and they helped the team to a very creditable 9th position (of 17 teams).
Our U14 girls were next up and there was a huge field of 171 athletes taking part. Rachel Jez led the team home in 16th place a fantastic finish in such a competitive field. Rachel was also part of the Dublin Team that finished 3rd County Team. Muireann Ni Bhuachalla had a strong run and finished in 68th position with Poppy Lyons Kennedy leaving everything out there to finish 71st. Ellen Kenny had her best ever finish at Nationals to come in 99th and was followed in by Izzy Lyons Kennedy in 105th having moved up from U13. Ana Jones was our 6th finisher with an excellent 122nd on her National Championships debut. Like our boys U12 our U14 girls finished in a very good 9th place in the team competition.
In the U14 boys we had 2 entrants and there was another big field of more than 160 athletes taking part. Conor Abbott and Joe Bracken both representing Dublin ran strongly throughout, running together for a lot of the race. Conor stretched away towards the end to finish 50th with Joe just behind in 59th.
Next up was our U16 Girls running 4k amongst another big field of 150. The team were led home by Izzy Cuffe in an excellent 14th place. Izzy has showed consistent improvements year on year over the last number of years and Sundays race was no different, she committed early running towards the front and kept it going to the finish just missing an individual medal. Saoirse Fitzgerald was unlucky to fall just at the start and end up right at the back of the field. Saoirse fought hard through the field throughout the race and got up to 21st by the finish. Sadhbh Ni Bhuachalla and Eva Collis completed the team with both running well to finish in 118th and 124th respectively helping the team to yet another 9th position!
We had 3 girls out in the U18 4k race, mixed in the same race as the junior ladies (U20). Eve Noctor and Aisling Fitzpatrick got out well and committed early. They fought hard throughout and finished in 21st and 25th positions, they were also part of the Dublin County team that won silver. Maggie Jez went out a little more conservatively but fought hard throughout the race to come through for 55th place.
Cillian Murphy made his Nationals debut in the U18 boys race, again this race was mixed in with the junior men and was highly competitive. Cillian really gave a great account of himself finishing a very creditable 66th in an excellent time of 21:20 for the 6k distance.
In Senior & U23 Women's race we had Aoife Coffey competing. Aoife was making her debut at the National Seniors which is a very daunting 8k. The race was stacked with Olympians and a European and Commonwealth Medallist taking part. Aoife ran a blinder to finish an excellent 51stin senior race and 12th in the U23 race.
Dylan Wright ran a solid race in the Senior Men's race, again this race was stacked, and the pace was hot from the gun. Dylan stuck to his task and ran consistently throughout to finish in 108th in an excellent 35:10 for the 10k distance.
Well done to all athletes who raced on Sunday, it was great to see Lucan Harriers out in force mixing with the best Ireland has to offer. Next stop is Conna in Cork for the Uneven Age Cross Country Championships on the 4th of December.