Colaiste Pobail Bheanntraí principal, Dr Kevin Healy, congratulates the Caoimhe Harrington, Darragh McElhinney and Niamh Cotter on their All-Ireland Cross Country success
The Aviva Irish Schools’ Cross Country Championships were held at the Cork Institute of Technology on Saturday, March 8. Having qualified from the South Munster and Munster competitions, Colaiste Pobail Bheanntraí athletes Caoimhe Harrington, Darragh McElhinney and Niamh Cotter took their places in the finals of the Junior Girls’ 2500M, Minor Boys’ 2500M and Senior Girls’ 2500M respectively.
Caoimhe Harrington, who won the 2013 Minor girls’ race, stepped up to the Junior category and produced a stunning run to capture first place and her second All-Ireland gold medal. Caoimhe took control of the race early and, despite spirited opposition, refused to relinquish her advantage. Wearing her opponents down, she clinched a hard fought victory. Racing over a course of two and a half kilometres and competing with eighty-five other participants, Caoimhe crossed the line with a time of 10 minutes 44 seconds, three seconds ahead of her nearest rival. Caoimhe’s victory ensures her a place in the Irish team that will participate in the Aviva SIAB Schools’ International Cross Country Championships in Bolton, England. Darragh McElhinney ran in the Minor Boys 2500m. Having led the field of one hundred and nine athletes for most of the race, he was placed second in a time of nine minutes 52 seconds. Having also participated in last year’s All-Ireland finals and been selected for the 2013 National Team, Niamh Cotter returned to competing at national level and lined up in the Senior Girls’ 2500m. In a challenging race with a field of sixty-nine participants, Niamh posted a time of eleven minutes and four seconds to claim a medal for sixth place.
Dr Kevin Healy, principal of Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí, was keen to commend each participant saying: “The entire school community is exceptionally proud of our athletes. Qualifying for the National Finals was an excellent accomplishment but it has been a wonderful achievement for each of our participants to return home with a medal. I would like to congratulate everyone involved and wish Caoimhe the very best of luck in representing the school and her nation in the International Championships.”