Irish Schools’ Cross Country Championships
Saturday 10th March 2018
Well the Strathearn Cross Country teams were in action again at the weekend, this time at the Irish Schools’ Cross Country Championships at Waterford I.T. This meant a four hour journey and a very early start for some, while others made the journey the night before in preparation to take on the best athletes in the country travelling from far and wide to battle it out for Irish medals.
When we arrived and walked the course and particularly as the day went on, no amount of preparation and training could have guaranteed a good run due to the extremely muddy conditions as well as the uphill terrain to contend with…..the phrase two steps forwards and one step back could have been changed to one step forward and two steps back!! But the Strathearn girls just got on with the task at hand and gave it everything all the way round the course.
The Minors were the first race of the day and all 6 girls battled the difficult course with great strength. Mabelle Wilcox was up amongst the leaders all the way, narrowly missing out on a bronze individual medal and finishing 4th. Emmy Thornton ran hard not far behind her and came in in 8th place. Connie Hanna was the next home in 38th, Niamh Hatfield in 42nd, Alice Browne 51st and Ellie Gordon 55th.
The combined scores meant that the team finished in 1st place overall and they were crowned Irish Champions. By doing this they have made history as the first Strathearn team ever to win an Irish Schools’ Cross Country title. We have had silver and bronze team medals but never gold. So it was worth getting very muddy for! Well done girls!!
Next up were the Intermediate team and the course was gradually getting more muddy and slippery underfoot, less than ideal for a 3,500m race but off they went. The pace was fast and Amelia Kane did her best to keep with the lead group throughout the 3 laps, she finished a very commendable 10th place. Murphy Miller finished in 28th, Freya Axten in 45th and Sophie Kenny in 51st. The team score left them just outside the medals finishing just 2 points behind 3rd and only 4 points behind 2nd so were very unlucky on this occasion.
By the time the Senior girls set off, the course was a complete mud bath and our 6th form girls should be highly commended for their efforts. Olivia Nelson was the first of the Strathearn girls home in 34th place with Alex Reilly in 44th, Ruby Baxter in 59th and Katie Wills in 61st. Their overall team score gave them 8th place.
This was Alex’s last cross country race for Strathearn and she has been a super Cross Country captain this year, we wish her well for her future running.
A big 'THANK YOU' to all the parents who transported the pupils and cheered them on throughout the day, your support is much appreciated.