All Ireland Schools and Universities Cross Country Championships
While cross country running in Clongowes may have its origins in the arcane ‘Paper Chases’ of the Victorian school two centuries ago, in which ‘the most athletic boys’ as Hares led the Hounds a merry dance across the plains of Kildare, athletics as we know it was not recorded in the school until the June edition of The Clongownian in 1896. In that year ‘Athletic Sports’ were held in the College over the Easter weekend when, ‘after the “rigors” of Lent, the students were able to participate in a wide range of events at both track and field’.
Accordingly it is appropriate in the present Lenten season that up to 1000 of the finest athletes in the country will gather in Clongowes on Saturday, March 7th to compete in The All Ireland Schools and Universities Cross Country Championships. This extravaganza of athletics will feature many seasoned under-age internationals and is bound to include many future Olympians. Of particular interest will be our own Jack O’Leary, the current Leinster champion, as he attempts to win the Senior All Ireland title.
Shane Heslin and Declan O’Keeffe