Leinster Schools XC 12.02.14

It was another fruitful day for Skerries AC athletes in the Leinster Schools XC Championships at Santry Demesne which is becoming a happy hunting ground for our competitors. Following a morning of wind and rain of almost biblical proportions, the Spring sun did shine through before the midday start and this optimism was certainly encapsulated by our athletes despite heavy underfoot conditions and a strong wind.In the Minor girls race, Sarah Whelan was very unlucky when falling close to the finishing line but managed to pick herself up from the mud and finish in a respectable 42nd position.Fortunes picked up in the Junior girls race which saw Eibhlin McCarthy (Loreto, Balbriggan) battle heroicly for a superb 13th position, securing qualification for the All-Ireland Schools XC on the 8th March in Cork IT.Competing in the Intermediate girls race were the all conquering team representing Skerries Community College who again claimed the Inter girls title following impressive performances, Rhona Pierce having the most successful podium finish of her schools career to date striding to victory and taking the Leinster Schools title ahead of her class mate Isabel Carron in 2nd. Equally precious points were picked up by Sarah Byrne in 22nd place and Laura Costello in 42nd. The girls taking the team title on 25 points ahead of Dominican, Wicklow on 40 points and Colaiste Iosagain on 70 points. The girls now travel to Cork with a realistic chance of repeating last years All-Ireland Schools victory.Also securing individual qualification for AI Schools in Cork in the Inter Girls race was the ever consistent Eryn Devine (Loreto, Balbriggan). She ran a very mature race in finishing an excellent 11th place.Our two athletes competing in the Senior events also emerged from their respective races with fine performances. Daniel Kelly competing for CUS in the Senior Boys 6k, we are awaiting confirmation of finishing position, had a credible run in stamina sapping conditions.Orla Bollard competing for Loreto, Balbriggan had qualification snatched from her grasp when narrowly missing out for 15th place after an exciting sprint finish, surely brighter days await for this dedicated and ever improving athlete.We now look forward to the prestigious All-Ireland Schools Championships in Cork IT on Saturday March 8th and wish our athletes the very best of luck.