It was a day to remember for all in attendance at Santry for Irish Life Health National Cross Country Championships, with Leevale athletes taking victory in both the junior women’s and senior women’s races.
Leevale’s Olympian Michelle Finn shone on a day of cross country competition which was glittered with star names throughout. Michelle posted a career best performance to claim the senior women’s title in a superb front running display.
The women’s senior race was stacked with talent and Michelle made her mind up from the gun to lead out and poured on the pressure throughout, showing all of her big race experience as she clocked off each lap of the 8,000m distance.
The double Olympian crossed the line in 27.22 from Sarah Healy (UCD AC) in 27.34 and Roisin Flanagan (Finn Valley AC) in 27.41, all of whom secured selection on the European Cross Country team set to compete in Sport Ireland campus on December 12th.
Michelle led the Leevale women’s team to silver, Lizzie Lee (15), Sinead O’Connor (36) and Niamh Moore (46). Michelle is just the second Leevale woman to win the senior women’s inter club cross-country, Fionnuala Morrish previously won the event almost forty years ago in 1982.
In the U20 women’s 4,000m race, Jane Buckley, continued her fine form to secure the junior title in impressive style to cross in 14.06. Jane is the first Leevale athletes to win the Junior Women’s cross country and she secures automatic qualification for the U20 women’s team to represent Ireland at the upcoming European Cross Country Championships.
Ryan Creech finished the senior men’s race in 7th place, leading the Leevale men’s team home to bronze medals. Gavin O’Rourke (33), John Shine (59), Shane Collins (68).