O'Leary makes hay on soft ground to take Leinster crown
Jack O'Leary of Clongowes Wood coasted to victory at the Leinster Schools Cross Country Championships yesterday, proving once again that success runs in the family.
The 18-year-old is a nephew of Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary, while his father Eddie is racing manager for Gigginstown House Stud. In Santry Demesne yesterday, O'Leary found the soft going much to his liking, easing away from the field on the final lap to take the senior boys' title ahead of Peter Lynch (St Kieran's College, Kilkenny).
O'Leary is on course to face Kevin Mulcaire at the GloHealth All-Ireland Schools Cross Country in Sligo racecourse on March 5, and his Clare rival will be looking to make a statement of his own when he opens his campaign at the Munster Schools Cross Country today.
While O'Leary may have starred individually yesterday, the intermediate girls served up the race of the day, with Sarah Healy proving strongest after an absorbing battle over 3500m. The Holy Child Killiney student had too much on the final lap for Amy Rose Farrell (Mount Anville), who had blown the contest open with a mid-race surge.
The intermediate boys' title went to Adam Fitzpatrick (St Kieran's, Kilkenny) ahead of Sean O'Leary (St Aidan's), with Fitzpatrick's team-mate Rory Lodge taking third.
Eimear Fitzpatrick (OLS Templeogue) took a decisive win in the senior girls' 2500m race, with Niamh Ní Chiarda (Coláiste Íosagáin) second and Lauren Dermody (Loreto Kilkenny) third.
In the junior girls' 2000m race, St Gerard's Róisín Treacy led from start to finish, taking victory ahead of Deirbhile O'Reilly (Mount Sackville) and Jennifer McAdams (HCFS Rathcoole). The junior boys' title was won in similar style by Louis O'Loughlin of Moyle Park, while the minor titles went to Aine Kirwan (Loreto Kilkenny) and Sean Donoghue (St Declan's Cabra).