CONSISTENTLY strong running by Maciek Piotrowski of St Kilian's CS, Bray assured him of a third consecutive league title in the Leinster Schools Orienteering League, with a record entry of 400 attending the final round in Tymon Park, Tallaght.
ORIENTEERING: Although Piotrowski, competing in the 5th/6th year boys' category, finished second in his final race, he had done enough to take the title.
Winning in Tymon Park was David Costello, one of a 120-strong squad from Castleknock Community College in action on the day.
On a water-logged but runnable course, Costello's time for the 5.8km course with 18 control points to visit was an exceptional 31 mins 54 secs. Piotrowski was more than a minute behind for second in a closely fought battle, with Brian Kennelly of High School Rathgar and Alan Johnson of Castleknock CC only seconds behind again.
With standards improving all the time, 13 starters broke 40 minutes.
In the 5th and 6th year girls', three pairs from Mount Sackville, led by Ailbhe Ryan and Aislinn Roche, dominated on the 3.4km course. Miriam Verdon, another experienced campaigner from St Killian's, was first of the solo runners. In the B class, Sally Hanrahan and Dandy Cruise from Holy Child Killiney had over five minutes to spare on the chasers.
At the other end of the age scale, Castleknock Community College won both the boys' and girls' 1st year races in Tymon Park.
Sean Nagle was first of the boys, with a solid win over his team-mate Alex Clerkin, while the pairing of Rachael Armstrong and Asia Cheung were narrow winners of the girls' final race.
First solo runner was Jumana Wooton, also from Castleknock. Mairead Griffin, also Castleknock, who finished second solo this time, won the league title, with Eoin McCambridge of Castleknock the boys' winner.
Old rivals Luke Kearney of Castleknock and Rockbrook's Ruairi Long battled it out in 2nd/3rd year boys' race, with Kearney's speed winning him the final 4.6km race and the league title. Third in this strong age group was Gavin Dooley of Rockbrook.
Near neighbours Castleknock CC and Mount Sackville battled it out in girls' 2nd/3rd year race. Ailbhe Healy for Castleknock finished first with a two-minute margin on her team-mate Jean O'Brien, with Anne-Elise Clinton and Niamh Murphy from Mount Sackville fastest of the pairs in their first season of competition.
St Peter's College, Dunboyne made it a double in the final round of transition year races with over 70 boys and 40 girls starting. In the girls' 3.5km, with 14 control points, Sarah Godwin beat school-mate Laura Fallon by less than a minute.
Almost as close was the boys' race, won by Niall Cornyn of St Peter's, with Shane Keenan of Castleknock second. Cornyn also took the league title. Next up is the Leinster Championships at Hellfire Woods, Rathfarnham, Co Dublin on Wednesday, March 20, with new schools always welcome.