Amy Greene (Finn Valley AC) and Paul Hartnett (East Cork AC) produced classy performances this afternoon to secure the Intermediate titles at today’s thrilling edition of the 123.ie National Intermediate, Masters & Juvenile B Cross Country Championships at the DKIT venue in County Louth (Feb 11th).
Green dominated the women’s race, opening a sizeable gap on the field over the opening lap before stretching the advantage as she ticked off the laps of the 5,000m course. The Finn Valley athlete would cross the finish in isolation in a time of 00:21.25.
Green was followed home by Dublin City Harriers teammates Orla Duffy (00:22.12) and Susan McManus (00:22.23) who would help their club to gold in the team competition.
The men’s race followed a similar pattern with Hartnett never relinquishing his early lead, although Clonliffe’s Mihail Sprincean did close the gap on the Cork athlete to within 100 meters at the halfway point before Harnett kicked on again.
Harnett, who claimed the national novice title in 2022 completed the 8,000m route in a winning time of 00:29.03 with Sprincean (00:29.12) holding off last year’s novice champion, Michael Murphy of Tullamore (00:29.55), for silver.
Clonliffe walked away with the team honours thanks to a strong showing that saw four scoring athletes inside the top 16.
The masters races also provided plenty of drama in the tough conditions. Kate Purcell’s impressive win for Raheny in the 4,000m in 00:16.45 was one of the standout moments of the day.
The Raheny athlete was pushed hard through much of the race by Longford’s Fiona Gettings and fellow Shamrock, Fiona Roche. Ultimately it was Purcell who would lead the Raheny charge which would see three of their athletes finishing inside the top 11 places.
East Cork’s Tim O’Donoghue (O35) mastered the 7,000m distance once more, making it three national cross country titles in a row thanks to his 00:24.50. The East Cork athlete led from the front and seemed to thrive in the heavy underfoot conditions. He crossed ahead of Colm Rooney (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.) who finished in 00:25.39, with Clane’s Brian Conroy staying on strongly for bronze in 00:26.06.
North Belfast Harriers packed superbly over the course of the race and walked away with the team O35 title with four athletes placing inside the top 20.
Away from the senior races there were impressive performances from Ella Grace Osborne (Dooneen A.C.) and David Wajrak (Portlaoise A.C.) who picked up gold in the U15 races, while the U17 titles went the way of Della Mcloughlin (Oughaval A.C) and Sam O’Neill (Dunleer A.C.) respectively.