The Striders had over thirty juveniles in action, in Navan, on bank holiday Saturday, at the Leinster cross country championships, for even age groups. With some fields larger than 200 of the best provincial athletes, competition was very strong. However we are very lucky to have a great bunch of underage athletes and it was no surprise that they performed so well, at this level. First up, in the U10’s event was Heather Costello, who got the day off to a great start, finishing well inside the top half of the field over a tough 1km course. Over 2km, the BU12 team performed really well, earning 8th place in the club team event and helping Wexford to 5th place in the county team event. Ronan Shannon was first Strider over the line ahead of Sean Lennon, Tomasso Hickey, Sam Myers and Olan Delaney, with all boys putting in big efforts.
With the distance up to a testing 3km, Ciara Murphy and Kelly Corbett were part of a Wexford squad that placed 7th. The BU14 Striders team created a slice of club history, recording individual 1st and 2nd places, in a Leinster cross country event, for the first time. The eight strong Striders squad all performed heroically to win both the club title and help Wexford to the county title. Aidan Shannon was the star man for the Striders, taking another Leinster gold, ahead of Myles Hewlett, winning silver, out of his age group, with Darragh Flannelly a handful of seconds back in 7th place. The three boys sat back in the chasing pack for the first part of the race and all moved into contention, with a kilometer or so to go. Aidan powered up the hill to win gold in great style, ahead of Myles who made up considerable ground to take second place in the final strides. With Darragh finishing strongly to claim his individual medal, Cosmo Hewlett powered home to secure the fourth spot that won the Striders a Leinster club title. Eoin Shannon, Finn Kelly, Owen Lennon and Caolan Costello made up the golden squad, with all performing remarkably well.
The GU16 team did a fantastic job of following the golden boys, to take 5th place in the club event. Despite being out of age Erinn Shannon was first Strider home ahead of Clodagh Foran, Eve Byrne, Aisling Power and Ellie Quinn. Adam O’Connor, running a year out of age, was first Wexford athlete home in the BU16 event. Striders Aaron Browne and Ryan Kielthy ran very well to be part of the Wexford team that finished 6th place in the county event. The final underage races of the day led to more medals for the Striders. The GU18 squad of Grace Costello, Rebecca Bawden, Grainne Flannelly, Alannah Byrne and Joanne Kelly won a bronze in the club event. In the BU18 race over 6km, Aedan Rogers won his individual medal with a top ten finish, ahead of James Boland who registered another really good finish.
Well done to all Striders and Wexford athletes who performed so well.