Regional win for Ó Lionáird

Four Irish runners have qualified for Monday week’s NCAA cross country championships, while a fifth will have to wait to see if an ‘at large’ pick will see her through after a day of thrills at the Division 1 Regional cross country championships.

In the South Regional Ciarán Ó Lionáird (Leevale AC) achieved a significant milestone in his running career to date with an impressive win in Hoover Alabama. With 2K to go the race was down to four with O’Lionaird well placed amongst two Kenyans and a South African. With 400m to go Ó Lionáird kicked and was able to ease down in the last 100m with the race won.

A herniated disc in his back was diagnosed early in the year that kept him from training and racing for a long period. He has settled back into training and used the early season races as training runs rather than all out efforts.

“We did what we came to do,” Florida men’s coach Bob Braman said. “We qualified and ran really well so it was a great thing. It was good to see all of our guys go out there and run well and stay injury free. It really opened up for Ciarán and he kicked it in to get the win.”