Rice College Westport has made history in becoming the first team from Connacht, not just Mayo, to win the Aviva All Ireland Schools Cross Country Senior Team Title.
The school won the title at the Aviva Irish Schools Cross Country Championships in Cork CIT held last Saturday. The championship has seen over 15,000 athletes compete across the country from regional heats, provincial finals through to the Aviva All Ireland Finals in Cork. On a fine day for cross country running in Cork, close to a 1,000 schools athletes battled it out for the various individual and team prizes.
The Rice College team was led by David Harper who literally had the run of his life to finish in third place overall in a time of 22.35. International triathlete Con Doherty had a storming run to finish in sixth place in a time of 23.17 with Joe Hastings, Jack Cashman, Sean Flynn, Eoin Long, Diarmuid McNulty and Aichlinn O’Reilly all contributing to the overall team victory. After a nervous wait the school was awarded the victory with a score of 84 points to hold off St Fintan’s Sutton, second on 117 points and St Malachy’s, Belfast third on 125 points.
The school would like to thank their sponsors Portwest and Allergan Pharmaceuticals and other contributions came from Alter Ego Beauty Salon and Ger Mc Nulty, Newport. Praise will also have to be given to the planning, organising and effort made by the teachers at Rice College such as Padraig Hughes, Pat McNamara and in particular Brian McManamon along with the likes of Westport Athletics club, Westport Triathlon club and Westport Covey Wheelers who had a huge part to play in getting these lads to the level of excellence that they are at through great coaching and training over the years.