The cross country season comes to an end this weekend with the All-Ireland Schools Cross Country Finals being held in Mallusk Playing Fields, Newtownabbey, Belfast.
This is the blue riband event on the schools athletics calendar, and many famous Irish athletes first tasted success at these championships.
For most of these young athletes, their season commenced last September, with the Laois Athletics Cross Country in Rosenallis.
The road to Belfast began in Stradbally with the South Leinster Schools on February 1st.
Qualifiers from this south Leinsters then competed in the Leinster Finals in Santry in mid-February.
The cream of this crop is now hoping to capture All-Ireland glory in Belfast on Saturday.
There will be huge interest in all of the girls races on the day with several Laois based athletes going in search of glory.
First up is Ava O’Connor (Tullamore Harriers) and her junior girls team of Grainne Cotter (St Michaels), Ava Prendergast and Kate Corcoran (both Ballyfin AC), who are all representing Scoil Chriost Rí Portlaoise.
While Niamh McDonald (Ballyroan Abbeyleix & District) of Heywood Community Schools is our Laois representative in the Minor Girls.
Louise Stack (Portlaoise AC) represents Mountrath Community Schools in the Senior Girls race. Also running in the Senior race, having qualified through the Munster route, are Avril Deegan and Sorcha Moloney (both Ballyroan Abbeyleix & District).
Avril and Sorcha led their Presentation Thurles team to victory in Munster, and will be fancied to be in the team medals again in Belfast.
In the Junior Boys, Oisin Hooney flies the flag for Knockbeg College while Knockbeg’s Ben Crotty runs in the Minor race.
In the Intermediate Race Cian McDonald (Ballyroan Abbeyleix & District) represents Heywood CS.
While in the Senior race, Cian Kelly (St Abbans) and Oran O’Flaherty lead their Knockbeg team of Jamie Wall, Declan Roberts, Tommy Bric and John Byrne.