Athletics: Siofra bides time before kicking on for victory
Siofra Cleirigh Buttner of Colaiste Iosagain continued her five-year winning streak when she won the senior girls' title at the Aviva Leinster Schools Cross-Country Championships in blustery Santry.
Having finished just outside the medals in the European Junior Club Championships last weekend, Cleirigh Buttner was content to let Linda Conroy of Mercy Kilbeggn make the early pace, keeping a watching brief with her school-mate Clar Nic Cartaigh, winner of the race last year.
Only with 400 metres to go did she move to the front and quickly built up a lead to secure a comfortable win.
Conroy, who struggled at the North Leinster Championships, was a good second, clearly back in top form.
With Nic Cartaigh third, Sarah Ni Mhaolmhuire fourth and Sorcha Ni Umfraid fifth, Colaiste Iosagain were clear winners of the team title.
Cleirigh Buttner will now turn her attention to the track, having broken the Irish junior indoor 800m record a few weeks ago.
"I'm concentrating on the 800m this season, so I'll run the 200m and 400m at the Irish Junior Indoors in Athlone this weekend and then the 800m at the National Seniors a week later," she said.
In the senior boys' race, Aaron Hanlon of St Mary's Drogheda was another intermediate champion making an effortless transition to the senior ranks. He forced the pace from the start and was soon out on his own.
In second place was Ian Guiden of St Aidan's. Behind them, Cillian O Maonaigh, the East Leinster champion, held on for bronze from Padraig Moran, who led Colaiste Mhuire Mullingar to team victory for a second year.
Drama of the day came in the intermediate boys' race, with Pierre Murchan of St Declan's CBS just making it to the line ahead of Jack MacGabhann of St Mary's College. Early leader Dylan Keegan from Templeogue College finished third, with St Aidan's winning their second team title of the day.
After a long break from racing, Ella Fennelly of Mount Anville won the girls' intermediate race, with Rathdown's Isabelle Odlum second.