For many of the competitors at today’s KitKat schools cross country international it was their first time wearing their national uniform, their first taste of international competition.
The weather was glorious with sunshine throughout, while underfoot conditions were firm and well suited to track specialists.
Spotted amongst the spectators were our own Eamon Coghlan and Steve Cram who was there to support his son who competed in the junior race.
The day got under way with another superb performance by Shane Quinn who stormed into the lead from the gun and then simply ran away with the race. This was his second time to enter the winner’s enclosure fir this particular race as he also won it last year in a thrilling finish.
England, led by Dean Scott in second had six in the top ten to easily win the team title from Ireland who had three in the top ten with good runs by Patrick Monaghan in eight and Tommy Casey in tenth.
Both England and Scotland had five each in the top ten of the junior girls race before Maire Aine O’Shuilleabhain for Ireland came through to finish 11th. The race was won by Emilia Gorecka who led England to victory from Scotland.
England made it three team titles in the intermediate girls race led home by Laura Park who had a good win. Best of the Irish was Ciara Mageean in tenth.
And, to banish all memories of their rugby team’s defeat by Ireland, England made it four team titles in the intermediate boys race. They had seven in the top ten, with Dan King in tenth the best of the Irish.
The universities races saw Ciara Durkin and Linda Byrne battle it out in a very tight head to head. Little separate the pair until they entered the final straight when Durkin edged ahead to win snugly. Mary Margaret Meade and Siobhan O’Doherty made it a clean sweep for the Irish by filling the next two places to seal team honours.
Scot Conor McNulty broke away from Colm Turner midway through the men’s race to give Scotland their only individual winner of the day. Turner ran on strongly to take second, confirming reports that he is going really well in training. Ireland also won the team title here.
Universities photos to be added