National Novice Cross Country, Ballyheise, 7 December 2008

And so to it, the last cross country endeavour for 2008. Following the harrowing experiences of Avondale and Abbeyleix, Ballyheise in the heart of Cavan was the location selected to host the National Novice XC.

Arriving at the arena in Ballyheise, we were confronted by a biting cold in the air and the sight of little kids bawling their eyes out, others with icepacks strapped to ankles and even one poor misfortunate being stretchered out with a neck brace and oxygen mask. It was clear we were a long long way from La Santa.

Sean Wall was the first of the Sportsworld participants to face the course. In the Under-19 race, a gruelling 6k race, in which young Waller admirably held his own, stepping up an age class to compete.

The ladies’ novice race was the next to feature Sportsworld runners. At a distance of 3k, this race went off with a ferocious pace around the course and the Sportsworld team quickly got into their stride. Lorna Quinn, Mary Finn, Crona Brady, Stephanie Bergin and debutante Catherine O’Neill all put in strong performances. Both Lorna and Stephanie also ran on the Dublin side while Crona wore the green and gold of Meath.

The men’s novice race was the last race of the day. The Sportsworld team of Ronan Merrick, Ed McEntee, Michael Cunningham, Colin Bolger, Paul Duffy, Paul Mitchell and Will Greensmyth faced into six laps of the course, by now well churned with knee-deep mud after the previous races. The Sportsworld gents dug deep and got around with some exceptional performances. Worthy of particular note is that of Ronan Merrick whose top form this season continued with a strong run to lead home the Sportsworld team, a performance benefitting perhaps from the extra sleep Mr Merrick gained from his alarm not waking him on time that morning. Colin Bolger returned to cross country racing with a fine run while Paul Mitchell in his first season of cross country running proved himself to be fully competent at conquering the hills of Cavan.

The last cross country race of 2008 behind us then as we take a brief sojourn over the Christmas season to recover. More cross country pleasures await in January and February…I can’t wait.
Report by

William Greensmyth

Women – 3,000 metres
Lorna Quinn brought our Novice ladies team home in 12th place and a time of 13.44, next in 13th place Mary Finn time of 13.50, Stephanie Bergin time of 14.06 and Crona Brady time 14.15 well done ladies, Great running.

Men – 6,000
Ronan Merrick led sportsworld mens team home in a time of 25.32, followed by Colm Bolger 25.44, Michael Cunningham 25.47, Ed McEntee 25.54, Paul Duffy 27.19, Paul Mitchell 27.28, Will Greensmyth (Welcome back from injury) 28.50.

Well done to all

Senior Women Tramore on 23/11/08 8,000 meters
Well done to Aoife Brady who ran a fantastic race to finish in 17th place in a time of 32.17. Aoife also score 2nd place for the Meath Team. Well done Aoife great run in a highly competitive race.

Boys under 16 – 3,000 meters.
Sean Wall is still surprising us all he finished in 31st place and was the fourth scorer on the Dublin Team. Well done Sean, very proud.

Report By
Orlagh Fleming