Friday 14 December 2018

Impressive Heaslip adds to her national haul

Shona Heaslip. Pic: Sportsfile
Shona Heaslip. Pic: Sportsfile

Irish cross-country champion Shona Heaslip, representing IT Tralee, returned to the national cross-country course at Abbotstown at the weekend where she was was a comfortable winner of the women's race at the Irish Universities Cross-Country Championships

For the first time in some years, the colleges had decided not to link their championships with the All Ireland Schools Championships which take place this Saturday in Mallusk.

Up first were the women and Heaslip was first to break away on the 4.9km three-lap course with only the defending champion Michele Finn of UL attempting to stay with her.

Showing at the front of a large chasing pack was Mary Mulhare of DCU, with her team-mate Elizabeth Carr and Jessica Coyne of UCCD also in the group, along with Trinity's Sarah Fitzpatrick.

On the second of the three laps, Heaslip pulled away for an emphatic victory, with Finn and Mulhare a fighting third. With Carr fifth, Harriette Robinson eighth, and first year athlete Niamh Corry 12th, DCU regained the team trophy, beating the reigning champions UL by five points. Liam Brady of AIT was a clear winner of the men's 8km race, repeating his victory of two years ago.

Coming second was Neil Johnson of Queen's who overtook Darragh Fitzgibbon of UCD in the last 600m. Despite missing a number of top names DCU, with three in the top eight and ten in the top 25, successfully defended their team title, beating UCD.

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