Damien Dunlea, running in the colours of Colaiste Chriost Ri, a school that produced the likes of Marcus O’Sullivan, Ken Nason, Aidan and Paul O’Regan and a host of other athletes who also distinguished themselves in the Leevale colours, was in action again today in the Kit Kat All Ireland schools cross country championships, held in Tinryland, county Carlow.
Weather wise it was a cold day with scattered sleet showers, although the sun did break through for most of the time.
The intermediate boys race had a top class field of runners in the line up. However, it was Diarmuid Collins from Midleton CBS who was first to cause an upset by leading from the start, with Damien Dunlea well placed behind him.
By halfway Joe Sweeney from Dublin, second in the national junior two weeks ago, had taken the lead, with the two Cork lads chasing, and getting away from the rest of the field.
The order remained the same for most of the race, with Collins and Dunlea taking turns at leading. Sweeney had enough in reserve to win the race, while Dunlea ran on very strongly over the last lap to take second, and Collins held on well for third.
The result might have had a different outcome had the two Cork guys gone with Sweeney, especially with the finishing speed Dunlea showed in the last quarter.
An excellent performance from both. Well done.