A number of young Laois athletes performed impressively in the Leinster schools cross country championship in Santry this week.
Eight events took place on the day with minor, junior, inter and senior races for both boys and girls.
In the minor girls race, Eliza McLoughlin of Coláiste Iosagáin Portarlington, Ciara Milton of St Leo’s Carlow and Cara Dooley of Coláiste Iosagáín Portarlington all raced competitively and finished well, with McLoughlin progressing to the All Ireland competition following a 13th placed finish.
The minor boys race had just the one Laois competitor as Portlaoise CBS’ Finn Darcy ran strongly.
The junior girls race saw Kate McLoughlin finish 10th in the race which also sees her qualify to the all Ireland competition. Cara English also had a fine race.
The junior boys competition saw Laois contestants race excellently.
Will Duffy of Knockbeg and David Wajrak of Portlaoise CBS finished in positions which sees them through to the All Ireland.
Ballylinan’s Duffy came home in sixth spot while Portlaoise’s Wajrak finished one second behind in eighth.
Daniel Downey of Portlaoise CBS was very unlucky as he narrowly missed on a place in the All Ireland competition as he finished in 16th.
Eoin Kelly, Will Craig, Eoghan Maguire, Walter Webb and Hugh Wall, all of Knockbeg put in strong performances.
The Knockbeg team missed out on a place in the All Ireland in heartbreaking circumstances as well.
They finished in fourth place and with just the top three teams going through, they missed out by one spot.
There were two Laois competitors involved in the inter girls race. Rachel Ayers of St Leo’s will go on to race in the All Ireland competition after finishing 8th.
Della McLoughlin of Colaiste Iosagain also put on an excellent display.
In the inter boys competition, Finn Craig of Knockbeg, Tadhg O’Comhraidhe of Dunamase College, Shane Maher of Knockbeg, Sean McAuilfe of Coláiste Iosagáin Portarlington and John Delaney of St Fergal’s Rathdowney were all involved.
Faye McEvoy of Heywood Community School, Orla Looney of Mountrath Community School and Rebecca Marshall of Dunamase College all raced in the senior girls competition.
Faye McEvoy raced excellently and will go on to compete in the All Ireland competition as she came 15th.
Orla Looney and Rebecca Marshall just narrowly missed out on.
Jack Mahon of Heywood Community School and Jack Martin of St Fergal’s in Rathdowney were the only Laois competitors in the senior boys race and can hold their heads high after impressive runs, that unfortunately fell just short.
The All Ireland schools cross country championships final will take place on March 11 which will be held in Waterford IT.