Sheehan and Cooke break the tape in Tuam
Niall Sheehan of Gowran AC and Aoife Cooke of Youghal claimed the titles at the National Intermediate Cross Country Championships in Tuam yesterday.
Sheehan edged a close men's race, his winning time of 27:53 bringing him home five seconds clear of Ballyfin's Colin Maher in the 8,000m.
The women's race proved easier for Cooke, whose winning time of 20:01 had her 38 seconds clear of runner-up Sinéad Tangney of Sportsworld.
At the Celtic International Cross Country in Cardiff, Darragh McElhinney of Bantry and Sarah Healy of Blackrock carried the Irish colours to victory in the U-17 races. In the senior UK Cross Challenge, Shona Heaslip turned in a strong performance to finish fourth behind Jessica Judd of Chelmsford and Verity Ockenden of Swansea. Maria McCambridge of Dundrum South Dublin finished the race in fourth.
Meanwhile, at the Irish Life Health National Indoor Combined Events on Saturday, Shane Aston took gold in a thrilling men's contest. The Trim AC athlete edged victory over Roberto James Paoluzzi of Ballymena & Antrim by 36 points with his tally of 3,597. Amy McTeggart of Boyne defended her senior women's crown with 3,373 points ahead of Laura Frey (Lagan Valley) with 2,979.
Leevale's Harry Nevin was the standout performer in the underage categories, setting a championship best of 2,892 points to win the U-14 boys' title. The junior titles went to Daniel Ryan of Moycarkey Coolcroo and Cliodhna Blake of St John's.
Elsewhere, Tomas Cotter opened his 2017 campaign well, the US-based athlete clocking 4:01.86 for the mile in his first outing since the European Championships last July.
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