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MSB's National Cross Country Report - Nov. 19th 2023

Sunday 19th November was the date and Gowran, Co. Kilkenny was the venue. The menu du jour was a challenging course of knee deep mud that tested the mettle of all brave enough to toe the line in Kilkenny.

And bravery was the order of the day for our MSB athletes with 21 competitors across the day in juvenile, junior and senior categories.

The day started with our Juveniles. MSB's U12, U14 and U16 girls and boys proudly representing their club as both individuals and teams in the even ages. All gave magnificent performances on what was probably the most brutal course we have ever seen! We are so proud of each and every athletes for making it to the finish line yesterday 👏👏

The first race of the day kicked off with 8 of our 2012 girls taking on the challenge of

the 2K race for U12G. The team was made up of Ruby Finnigan, Leah Lawlor, Aisling O'Brien, Orna McPartland, Charlotte Grimes and Maia Norton.

The course was meandering, mud drenched & not for the faint hearted. This didn't put our girls off and they ran with great vigour from the start & battled through mud, hills, twists & turns with superb performances on display from each one of them. A great experience for everyone. Well done girls.

The 2012 boys' MSB team were Senan Kelly (8th), James Howlin (16th), Jacob Shiels (41st), Fionn Keane (65th), David Dempsey (70th) and Favour Orji (154th).

All of the boys ran their hearts out in some very tough, and energy sapping XC conditions. Senan led the boys home and was superbly supported by his teammates James, Jacob, Fionn, David and Favour.

A superb team effort by all six members ensured the boys secured 3rd place in the National Club competition with a combined score of 130, a wonderful achievement for the boys and our club, and huge dividends for all their hard work. In the cross county competition, Dublin finished in 2nd place Nationally with Senan, James and Jacob securing a silver medal each! 👏👏

We then had a great performance by our U14 boy, Ryan McDevitt, and U16 girls, Isla O’Dwyer and Leia Ryan. All these athletes performed extremely well on a very challenging course due to very mucky and sticky underfoot conditions. Ryan finished in an amazing 39th place in his first National Cross Country experience. Isla, being a U15 athlete, ran up an age to finish in a fantastic 59th place, and Leia Ryan finished 42nd after a challenging lead-up to the race and claimed a U16 Dublin County Silver Medal. Most importantly, the positive attitude and approach of all three athletes could be seen by everyone, with a few smiles before and even after their races.

Finally, after the course had been sufficiently muddied, it was the turn of junior and seniors to take to the course. Sadhbh Mohan and Ellen McLoughlin performed excellently with 28th and 43rd places respectively in the U20 womens race. Sadhbh went on to capture a magnificent team bronze for her performance with the Dublin county team. Well done Sadhbh!

Next up Louie Woodger braved the course in U20 mens race. Louie batteled hard to claim 22nd place and a team Gold for the Dublin county team. Well done Louie.

Finally, MSB's Sinead Lambe lined out as our senior representative. Sinead dug deep, literally, to get around the course which was by now a muck-fest. Sinead claimed a well-deserved 35th place in the senior race and should be very proud in these challenging circumstances.

Coaches and parents of juvenile (and juniors/seniors!) are very proud of all of our MSB athletes' performances yesterday and look forward to future events. Our juveniles were also thankful and inspired by the support of our senior athletes on the day who all had incredible performance and gave our juveniles plenty to cheer for!!

A great and proud day for the club - congratulations to everyone!

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