McCormack and Clohisey reign supreme in Santry


McCormack and Clohisey reign supreme in Santry

Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) and Mick Clohisey(Raheny Shamrock) reigned supreme at the GloHealth Inter Club Cross Country Championships in Santry Demesne today.

A memorable day of competition saw big fields and a large spectator crowd that needn't have worried about the after affects of storm Barney. A bright crisp day greeted the early arrivals with Fiona Dillon of Thomastown AC taking the opening victory in the U12 girls ahead of Phoebe Bate (Mullingar Harriers) and Hannah Breen (Crookstown Millview) in second and third respectively. Mullingar Harriers pipped the team title. 

A sea of colour dotted Santry Demesne with clubs from all over the country out in force with tenst and tear drop flags adding an extra dimension to the electric atmosphere added to by Fintan Reilly and Nick Davis as the two main men on the microphone.  

Diarmuid Healy (Midleton) took the U12 boys title in a tidal wave of runners flowing to the finish ahead of Donnacha McNamara (Annalee) and Nial Murphy (St Cronan's) with Westport AC taking the team title.

There was some impressive winners in the juvenile races with Amy Rose Farrell (Blackrock AC) and Darragh McIlheny (Bantry) particularly impressive in the U16 age group. 

The senior women’s 8,000m race was one that whetted the appetite with a top class field and with the uncertainty of the form of Fionnuala McCormack after her 2:33:15 marathon in Chicago on October 11th.

The start of the race was a cagey affair with the diminutive McCormack nestled in the leading pack led by the effervescent Lizzie Lee (Leevale). 

Lee tried to take on McCormack but the the teak tough Wicklow woman was untouchable building an insurmountable lead.

Lee hung on gamely for second leading her club to a maiden team title with the surprise package Caroline Crowley (Crusaders) coming through for third.

“I went for it,” said Lee afterwards. “Nobody was sure of Fionnuala’s form so I put myself out there and in the mix. There was no beating her. I won the race amongst the rest. I’m ecstatic we won the team title. It’s our first ever time to win it.”

Dundrum South Dublin were second with Raheny Shamrock third.

McCormack, two-time European Cross Country Champion, was happy with her performance but was unsure of her form for the Europeans in Hyeres, France on December 13th.  

“I’ve no idea what shape I’m in going into the Europeans,” said McCormack in terms of individual medal aspirations. “Obviously I’ll be going in to do my very best but we’ll have to see and of course do my best for the team also.”

Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock) was an impressive winner of the men’s 10,000m with a front-running performance from the gun ahead of MSB’s John Coghlan in second and Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) in third.

Leevale missed out on the team title by a single point to Clonliffe Harriers, 47 to 48, with Raheny Shamrock narrowly behind on 51.

It was Clohisey's third time to win the Inter Clubs crown and he is now looking forward to competing in the European Cross Country Championships where his rivals will become his teammates. 

"You don't really think about these things," he said referring to his third Inter Clubs title. "You just move on to the next thing when you're on form. It is a good achievement and it was a good race out there today. I wasn't expecting to be out in the lead so early on my own so it it was a question of keeping my concentration. I'm looking forward to wearing the Irish vest with pride now at the Europeans and putting in a good performance. We were all rivals today but I'm looking forward to us competing as team mates in France."

Saunders and Mulcaire impress

Hope Saunders (Clonliffe Harriers)and Kevin Mulcaire (Ennis Track Club) were impressive winners of the junior women’s 4,000m and junior men’s 6,000m respectively.DSD women and Clonliffe Harriers men won the junior team titles.

For full results of the day click HERE

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