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All Ireland Schools Cross Country Championships 2017
The venue was the Mallusk Playing Fields just outside of Belfast. It was a damp, overcast but mild Saturday morning which will become memorable for anything but that, for Aisling Mohan at least, because it is where she has earned her first international vest for Ireland on what was otherwise a dull and dreary day. Aisling turned in a superb performance to finish 6th individual in the All Ireland finals in the Inter Cross Country Championships in Mallusk on Saturday 11th March.
She ran a very impressive race, well above expectations with nothing in it from 4th to 6th after enduring 3.6Km of muck and hills in a very competitive race. The first 3 finishers in Aisling's race are already established, formidable runners on the athletics front. After her great run in this race Aisling has now made her mark as a tough competitor and will be remembered by her peers as a new force to be reckoned with in the future.
Aisling's younger sister Sadhbh was a member of the Minor team who had come into this championship race as 3rd place qualifiers from Leinster. Their 5th place achievement overall was better than expected on paper, in a fast-paced race, where they beat the team who had won the Leinsters and they were only 8 places off a bronze medal, which in cross country terms is very little. All the girls ran their very best, hoping to strike gold and measuring themselves up against the best in Ireland in their age group. This in itself is a great opportunity for the girls to have had and no mean achievement, to be allowed to 'toe that line' on an occasion like this.
There was great support for our athletes from their families and some fellow students who made the trip and made the occasion very special for the girls.
We can be very proud of all these wonderful young ladies who, as ever, looked fab in their pink athletics vest but more importantly stood out because they had all participated in an activity that was not for the faint-hearted, that develops resilience and character building qualities, that they had survived and were able to chat and reflect on it after, in a mature way. Powerful lessons learned on the mucky 'playing fields' of Mallusk this weekend in March.
The Minor team who travelled to Mallusk (all 1st years):
Sadhbh Mohan, Ella Healy, Grace Maughan, Sinead Cuggy, Hannah Birmingham and Sophie Creedon.
Aisling Mohan (4th year)
[ posted under Sport on 13 March 2017 ]