CONALL HAYES of Coláiste Chiaráin produced the run of the day when he won the combined inter and senior race at the West Leinster Boys' Cross-Country races, hosted by Castleknock College.
Hayes ran a smart race keeping in touch with a group of six or so on the first of four laps after the usual helter skelter sprint after the race started.
Adam Dunne of St Colmcille's and Belvedere's Conor Stone set the pace on the second lap with the lead changing hands several times. Sitting on their shoulders was Luke Gilligan of Templeogue College, who had finished sixth in the Dublin Under-18 Championships the previous Sunday, along with Aaron Murphy of Belvedere.
On the third lap, Stone was pushing the pace, with Hayes looking ominously comfortable on his shoulder and Dunne slipping back to third. Not too far behind were Murphy and Paul Tierney of St Colmcille's, followed by Gilligan, who was clearly tiring after his weekend efforts.
Coming to the line, Hayes was not only lapping the back markers, but comfortable clear of the chasers. He finished first in the inter race, where he was followed by Cormac Carr and Richard Keogh, both Templeogue College.
Gilligan held on to win the senior race from Dunne, Stone and Tierney.
Having a much more comfortable day in the junior race was Dara Finn of St Declan's Cabra. By the end of the first of three 1000m laps, Finn was already clear of the field, although David Troy of Castleknock College did his level best to catch him in the middle part of the race. With less than a lap to go, Finn sneaked a look over his shoulder and then raced away for a fine win.
Troy was a deserved second with Finn Burke Power of St Declan's a solid third.
Starting the day's racing was a minor boys' race that included many making their athletics debut, among them most of the young Castleknock rugby team.
Leading them home was Mark O'Connor of Castleknock Community College, who held off the challenge of Conor Hanratty from Templeogue, Conor Kelly of Moyle Park and Brian Cody, also Castleknock Community College.
Teams from eight schools figured in the prizes, sponsored by Amphibian King, with medals also going to the top 15 in each race.
Over 60 had travelled from Belvedere alone, a school better known for its throwers. Next schools' races takes place on next Thursday in Blackrock College.