McCarthy set to strut his stuff in Lisbon after impressive wins

AFTER wins in Belfast and Cardiff over the past two weekends, Cork’s Jamie McCarthy will be oozing confidence when he travels to Lisbon for Sunday’s junior international cross-country race.

The Riverstick athlete was in sensational form at Stormont where he won the U-20 race with style. Back in the colours of his school - Kinsale Community School - when he travelled to the Reebok Cardiff Cross-Country last weekend again finished clear of a strong international field in the junior/senior schools race.

This time he travelled as part of the North Monastery/Cork schools team and he played a starring role on what was a most successful day for the whole team Showing a welcome return to form was Mark Hanrahan (Douglas Community School) who tracked McCarthy right through the 7 km race in Bute Park and eventually finished a clear second - a mere three seconds behind McCarthy The pace was hectic from the start with a local athlete racing into the lead which he maintained for the opening 800m.

It was then that McCarthy and Hanrahan took control despite the best efforts of Darrell Bellinger (Oxford) who had finished runner-up to McCarthy the previous week in Belfast.

The North Monastery/Cork Schools team finished second in the inter-counties competition behind Gloucestershire Schools.

Recent ’flu victim, Andrew Ledwith (North Monastery) finished 23rd, followed by Keith Linehan (North Monastery), 27th, Richard O’Connor (North Monastery) 34th and Alan Brady (North Monastery) 45th.

The individual results were:

1, Jamie McCarthy (Kinsale CS) 22:33; 2, Mark Hanrahan (Douglas CS) 22:36; 3, Steven Waldron (UWI Cardiff) 22:51; 4, Alex Felce (Gloucestershire Schools) 23:00.

Teams: 1, Gloucestershire Schools 82 pts; 2, North Monastery/Cork Schools 132 pts; 3, Cardiff and Vale Schools, 146 pts.

National junior champion, Mark Christie, will miss Sunday’s international in Lisbon on account of exams. Joe Sweeney (DSD), Jamie McCarthy (Riverstick) and Andrew Ledwith (Fr Murphy’s), who competed with him on the Irish team at the European championships, will be joined by Mark Kirwan (Raheny).

Tristan Druet will lead the men’s U-23 team at the Celtic International in Ayr. He made his debut for Ireland at the European under-23 track and field championships last summer and was also on the team for the European cross-country championships in Edinburgh.

The sensational Azmera Gebrezki will make her debut for Ireland at Ayr where she will lead the junior women’s team.

A native of Eritrea, she has been in Ireland since the world championships in Leopardstown and her most recent victory was in the national inter-counties championships in Mullingar where she won the junior women’s race despite dropping her shoe and then stopping to put it back on.

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