THE CROSS COUNTRY action switched to the Tattersalls Complex in Ratoath Co. Meath last Sunday for this year's juvenile even age championships together with the Junior and Senior Inter County races.
Under foot conditions were very testing but thankfully the rain stayed away for all the races. There was a sizeable Carlow representation in most of the races and some notable performances.
The standout Carlow performance came in the U-16 girls race where Siobhra O'Flaherty running a year younger than most of the other girls made light of the opposition and strode away for a very comfortable victory adding to her reputation as one of Ireland most promising young athletes.
Also in sparkling form was Danny Lawler in the Boys U-18 race who produced a strong run to finish fourth, his highest ever All-Ireland place. The third top 10 Carlow placing came from Ben Dorgan in the opening Boys race U-12 who came through the field late to take an excellent sixth in his first All-Ireland.
Ben is certainly one to watch for the future. His team ran well in sixth overall with good running from Fiachra Fitzpatrick, David Ward, Cillian Duff, and Toriq Adegoke. Another good individual run came from Natasha Doyle who finished 30th in the girls U-12 race.
Team medals are hard to come by at this level so the performance of the boys U-14 in packing very well to take silver was a great achievement. The four boys who brought in 140 points were Niall Harvey, John Byrne, Bobby Crowley, and Hugh Dooley with Kevin Murphy not far behind as backup.
The boys U-16 were all about five places each off a medal with a much improved run from Pauric Coughlan followed by Cian Herrernan, Eamon Murphy, David Lawler and Oran O'Flaherty.
Maryann O'Sullivan Tinryland had an excellent run in the Junior U-20 race to finish third while Brian Kirwan from St Laurence O'Toole's had his best finish ever in the Senior men's race, a very creditable 26th.
Club mate Graham Power, improving with ever outing, was 23rd in the men's Junior race.