Nenagh Olympic AC team who won silver medals in the All Ireland Junior Cross Country Championships in Donegal, from left: Tom Walshe, Seán Hayes, Jamie Moloney, Daniel Ellis, Cian Hodgins, Seán Finn (coach), Thomas Bergin, Luke Purcell and Ben Walshe.

Great performances at National Cross-Country Championships

Donegal was the venue last Sunday for the National Junior and Senior Cross-Country Championships with the top three finishers in each race qualifying for the European Cross Country Championships taking place in Italy next month.

As such each race was very competitive as the cream of Irish athletics descended on the Donegal hills.

In the Junior women’s race, we had some great performances on what a very fast course was. Muireann Duffy of Clonmel AC ran very well when finishing tenth and she was closely followed home by Niamh Cunneen of Nenagh Olympic AC and Emma Murray Clonmel AC finishing 15th & 16th respectively. It was a pity that the County team was short one athlete as they would have figured among the medals.

In the Junior men’s race, Nenagh Olympic was very well represented, as they swept all before them at both County and Provincial levels this year, so hopes were high of a podium finish.

While the two top stars, Nicholas Griggs of Mid Ulster and Dena Casey of Ennis Track Club were dominating the race, it was very competitive back through the race with every position hard fought. Here Luke Purcell of Nenagh Olympic ran a brilliant race when finishing seventh and hot on his heels was his clubmate Daniel Ryan Ellis in ninth place.

All eyes were then on the remaining club members and they did not disappoint as both athletes put in earnest efforts over the closing stages, with Cian Hodgins 25th & Thomas Bergin 80th. These four combined very well when winning the National Junior Inter Club silver medals.

There were also good performances from Sean Hayes 101st, Jamie Moloney 117th, Aaron Moore Moyne AC 120th and Ben Walshe 147th.

In the Senior Men’s race the sole County representative was Kevin Moore of Dundrum AC. Kevin ran well when finishing 45th. Congrats to Sergiu Ciobanu who was on the Clonliffe Harriers club team that won the Inter Club silver medals.