Six-of-the-best Healy and Gidey sparkle
They come from very different backgrounds, but showed the same, scintillating supremacy. Sarah Healy and Efrem Gidey underlined their star quality with facile wins at the Irish Life Health Schools Cross Country Championships in Clongowes Wood on Saturday.
Healy signed off by becoming the second athlete in history after Síofra Cléirigh-Buttner to win six consecutive titles and the first to win titles in all four age categories.
"It's kind of sad, especially as I feel like cross country is (my thing)," said Healy.
By the time they reached the first bend in that senior girls' 2,500m race, Healy had her rivals toiling. At the finish, the Holy Child Killiney student had 29 seconds to spare over runner-up Lucy Holmes.
Efrem Gidey was no less impressive in the senior boys' race, the Chéile Tyrellstown student hitting the line with 23 seconds to spare over Keelan Kilrehill.
The Eritrean native fled his home country in 2016 and spent six months at the refugee encampment in Calais. "I hope to run for Ireland," he said.
Niamh O'Mahony, of Presentation Tralee, was winner of the intermediate girls' 3,500m, with Michael Morgan of Summerhill College Sligo a class apart in the intermediate boys' 5,000m.
The junior titles went to Tadhg Connolly and Hannah Kehoe, with Shane Buckley and Erin Leavy taking the minor titles.
Grace McKenzie broke the Irish pentathlon record at the NCAA Championships in Alabama, tallying 4230 points. Kate O'Connor broke the Irish U-20 javelin record in Slovakia with 48.95m. Lizzie Lee set a women's park run record of 16:48 in Westport, while Fionnuala McCormack impressed at the Longford 10K, clocking 33:09.