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Daragh Drury competes in All Ireland Cross Country for Our Lady’s Castleblayney

Daragh Drury became the first student in several decades to represent Our Lady’s Secondary School, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan at the All Ireland Schools Cross Country Championships, which were held in Antrim on Saturday March 9.

Daragh reached the finals in Jordanstown having won the Armagh/Monaghan division before qualifying at the Ulster Finals during midterm.

The standard at the All Ireland finals was extremely high with all athletes qualifying from their respective districts and then provinces.

Indeed, those who placed in the top 12 in each final were eligible for International selection. Daragh, however, was not daunted and he was among the leading pack of runners throughout the 3500 metres of muddy terrain.

He eventually finished 22nd overall on the day, out of a very strong field of almost 100 runners. This was a remarkable achievement considering Daragh has only been running competitively for twelve months and was competing against the best in the country. 

Cross Country was introduced to Our Lady’s Secondary School this year and has proved a resounding success.

The Junior team of Daragh Drury, Frank Connolly, Aaron Courtney, David Hanley, and Colin Merrick reached the Ulster Final.

Meanwhile, the Senior team (pictured above) of Ciaran Hennessy (capt), Callum Southall, Ronan Merrick, Daniel Brennan and Darragh McKenna also reached the Ulster Final winning the divisional championship.

Throughout the year the Cross Country received particular support from the parents of all students involved and also from Mr Paddy Mulroe and Mr Tony Graham who accompanied the students to the Ulster Finals during mid-term and this was greatly appreciated.