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Fourth for Claragh at schools cross-country in Waterford


A general view of the Senior girls’ 3,500m race in Carriganore.

A general view of the Senior girls’ 3,500m race in Carriganore.

A general view of the Senior girls’ 3,500m race in Carriganore.


THE 123.ie All-Ireland schools cross-country returned on Saturday to the SETU sports grounds in Carriganore, Waterford.

The day dawned gloomy and wet with a persistent drenching rain and finished in glorious sunshine. A course which, with its punishing ascents, was challenging to start with was made even tougher as the top surface turned to gloop. The joys of cross-country running!

Claragh Keane of Presentation (Wexford) has been one of the county’s most consistent under-age performers all the way through her teenage years. Competing in her final schools’ cross-country event, she once again showed the doggedness and tenacity that have marked her out as one the country’s top up-and-coming distance runners.

Competing in the Senior girls’ 3,500 metres race, Claragh was not tempted to go with the fast early pace. This was a sensible decision on a day when conditions were so trying and the nature-induced attrition rate so high.

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Claragh was sitting around eighth or ninth going into the final lap and looking strong. Her big reserves of strength came to the fore as she eased her way past some of the early pace-setters, especially on the final ascent of the short steep mid-lap bank.

She got up to fourth place, with her eyes very much on third-placed Avril Millerick. The finish, however, came too soon for her and she crossed the line in fourth after a fine run.

Emma Hickey, representing St. Mary’s (New Ross), also delivered a big run in the Junior girls’ race. Never too far from the front, Emma dealt very well with the tough conditions and finished strongly in a medal-winning twelfth place, less than half a minute behind the winner. Lily Ryan of Holy Faith (Rosbercon) placed 32nd.

Maria Coone of Loreto (Wexford), who won the Leinster indoor Under-17 walk the previous weekend, signed off on her cross-country season with a solid 26th place in the Inter girls’ race.

Myles Hewlett of New Ross CBS was 26th in the Senior boys’ race. Kyle Bolger of Good Counsel (New Ross) was 47th in the Minor boys’ race.

Each year, Wexford’s athletics community comes together at its annual awards night to honour individuals and clubs who have brought distinction to the county over the previous year.

A lifetime achievement award goes to one individual who has gone above and beyond in the service they have given to athletics in the county.

This is one of the few times in the year when our athletes, officials and supporters get a chance to meet up in a social setting, and a big turn-out is expected this Thursday.

Fixtures: March 16 (7.30 p.m.), Athletics Wexford awards night, Wexford Golf Club, Mulgannon; March 19, national spring throws championships, Tullamore; March 25, national Juvenile and relay championships day one, TUS, Athlone; March 25, SIAB cross-county championships, Scotland; March 26, Mr Oil Co. Wexford Intermediate road race championships, Rathgarogue, hosted by United Striders AC; March 26 to April 1, world Masters indoor athletics championships, Torun, Poland.