Gold for Glenstal at Munster Schools X-Country

Having qualified from the North Munster event two weeks previous, a team of 15 athletes set off to the scenic environs of Tramore Valley Park, overlooking Cork City to represent the school in the GloHealth Munster Schools Cross Country Championships. At Minor level (u-14) we had a team of 6; Ted Collins, Patrick Johnson, John Walsh, Jack Neilan, Lukasz Niscior and Tom Bell. While at Junior level (u-15), a team of 8 represented both the school and North Munster; Henry Farrell, Mark Ryan, Taylor Gleeson, Daniel Yon Hin, Art Keane, Aidan Booth, Darragh Hanly and Daragh Butler.Both teams were unfortunate to meet high quality fields and they did not place in the top 5. Despite this, they ran courageously well and will no doubt feature prominently in the upcoming events for the remainder of the year.  

However, it would be the individuals who would grab the headlines for Glenstal on Leeside. At minor level, Ted Collins lived up to his expectations as he won gold in a performance that displayed composure and class beyond his years, bringing home a provincial gold for Glenstal in a fast paced and hard fought race. As the day reached its finale, it was the turn of the sole sixth year representative of the team, Patrick Hayes. Having finished in 5th in North Munster,  by his own admission, Patrick felt he had a lot more to offer. Maintaining pace with the breakaway leading group from an early stage, it looked as though Patrick would finish in a highly commendable 5th once again, this time of course at a provincial level in a far more competitive field of runners. With 200m metres to go after a gruelling 5km, and with the aid of some great support from his younger Glenstal teammates on the sidelines, Patrick made up an incredible 30 metres to snatch 4th place, beating two athletes who had pipped him two weeks previous. It brought a fantastic end to what really was a most enjoyable and successful day, and no one was more deserving than Patrick. Both Patrick and Ted will now move on to represent our school and province in the All Ireland’s in Sligo in March. Comhghairdeas lads agus go n-éirí libh!  

Brendan O’ Keeffe