Saturday 7 December 2019

Schools success

Myles, Róisín and Claragh on song

Claragh Keane of Presentation Wexford with her brother, Conor, after her eighth place finish.
Claragh Keane of Presentation Wexford with her brother, Conor, after her eighth place finish.

The All-Ireland Schools cross-country took place on Saturday in the stunning setting of Clongowes Wood College, Clane, Co. Kildare.

Running conditions were very good with very little cutting up on a course which, apart from some tight cornering, was designed for fast running.

A critical factor on the day was a persistent and strong south-westerly. It dissuaded more than a few from taking on front-running duties and chastened some of those who moved too soon.

First to medal for Wexford was Myles Hewlett of New Ross C.B.S. In a high-quality Junior boys' race he was one of a group of four which, having let Tadhg Connolly (Abbey C.C.) and Jack McCausland (Royal Belfast) pull away to ultimately take gold and silver respectively, battled for the final place on the podium.

Round the final bend for home and a last mad helter-skelter dash to the finish line ensued. Myles ended up in sixth place, a mere three seconds off the bronze medal.

In the Inter girls' 3,500m race, Róisín O'Reilly (Loreto Wexford) had a very conservative start before moving through to the rear of the leading group over the first of two laps.

When Niamh O'Mahony of Presentation Tralee took advantage of the element of surprise to make an early break for glory, the 'peloton' chose to let her go.

Róisín, with too much ground to make up on the leader, bided her time before cutting loose from the chasing group and moving clear into second place, a position she held all the way to the end.

In the same race, Claragh Keane of Presentation Wexford ran a very well-paced race as she methodically worked her way through the field.

This left her with plenty of zip in the run for home and she had a storming run up the finish straight to take eighth place.

All three athletes - Myles, Róisín and Claragh - qualify for the Irish team competing at the schools international which takes place in two weeks in Santry Demesne, Dublin.

Wexford People

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