Sligo’s Michael Morgan marked himself out as a future star by taking his third consecutive title at the Irish Life Health All-Ireland Schools Cross Country in Santry on Saturday, the Summerhill College student coming from behind to take glory in the senior boys’ 6,000m race.
After Belvedere’s Daniel Stone led through the first half, Shay McEvoy of St Kieran’s College swept to the lead on the final lap but with McEvoy running himself to a standstill it was Morgan who finished strongest, taking victory ahead of Conall McLean.
After collapsing just before the finish, McEvoy got back to his feet to take third, while in fourth Stone helped Belvedere College to their first-ever senior boys’ title.
Lucy Holmes of Ard Scoil na nDeise took the senior girls’ title ahead of Celine Gavin and Holly Brennan, with Loreto Kilkenny claiming the team event. Saoirse Fitzgerald of Lucan and Luca O’Shea Breen of Temple Carrig took the minor titles; Lauren Madine of St Mary’s Downpatrick and Oliver Hopkins of St Declan’s took the junior titles; the intermediate titles went to Eimear Maher of Mount Anville and Abdel Laadjel of Kisoge.
Elsewhere, David Kenny had a breakthrough to take the Irish 20km race walk title in Raheny on Saturday, the Farranfore Maine Valley athlete smashing his personal best to clock 1:23:07. That brought the 21-year-old home well clear of Finn Valley’s Brendan Boyce (1:24:45) and Leevale’s Alex Wright (1:25:29) and earned him substantial bonus points in the race for Olympic qualification. The overall race was won by South Africa’s Wayne Snyman who, like Kenny and Boyce, is coached by Robert Heffernan.
Kate Veale took the women’s title in 1:56:06, with over a minute to spare ahead of runner-up Maggie O’Connor of St Joseph’s. The overall race was won by Guatemala’s Mirna Flores.