Declan Cruises to Schools Cross Country Silver
The pinnacle of Irish Schools Cross Country running took place in Waterford on Saturday and five Craughwell AC Athletes made the long trek to represent their Schools. Waterford is a long way, but a fitting location for top-level cross country as the home of the finest cross country runner that Ireland has ever produced in the great John Treacy, and many fine other contenders down through the years.
It was clear when we arrived why Waterford athletes are so good over the turf! After the hard rain of recent weeks the course was tough and challenging throughout.
Declan O’Connell of Clarin College Athenry was competing under-age in the Intermediate boys and had a simply outstanding run to come a marvelous second and qualify for the Schools International team of six in Liverpool in a couple of weeks. Declan was in the lead group all the way and went with eventual winner Francis Donoghue of Summerhill when he made the move. He couldn’t quite hold on to the Sligo man, but gapped the rest of the field to record a fantastic Silver medal in tough conditions.
Making the team was Declan’s cross country target for this year and this was an outstanding run from the popular Clarinbridge native! This is Declan’s second national Cross Country team to make, and he is becoming good friends with the other lads on the Irish team which can only help keep pushing him forward.
Holly O’Boyle of Calasanctius Oranmore finished in the top 50 in a competitive Senior girls race. Unfortunately due to Anna McKiernan catching Covid they were a member short of a team, but Holly continued to show good progression, leading teammates Clodagh Mahon and Cecilia Furey home.
Stephen Ruane of Calasanctius came 19th in the Junior Boys race with another fine performance and Claudia Coyle representing Seamount put in a fine 52nd in the Minor Girls Race.