Oisin Stephens and Brian O’Malley represented CBS Roscommon in the Connacht senior schools cross country championships in Sligo on Tuesday. They qualified for the Connacht finals by virtue of their top ten finishes in the south Connacht championships earlier in the month.
It was a perfect day for running, cool but bright and sunny. Both competitors faced into the 6000 meter race, having to complete 4 laps of a very challenging course. Oisin and Brian positioned themselves well on the 1st lap sitting comfortably inside the top ten. Conditions were very heavy underfoot, combined with a massive hill from the foot of the course that was almost 700 meters long up towards the finish line, many competitors in the field began to lose touch with leaders. The CBS lads however, stuck with the pace and displaying good teamwork maintained their positions in 9th and 10th coming into the third lap.
The frenetic pace continued with the leaders running 1500m laps in about 4 minute 30 seconds. This really stretched the field out, however Oisin managed to keep his 9th position and open up a gap to his next competitor during the final lap. Brian was in the 15th and final qualification place at this stage but agonisingly was passed on the final bend to just miss out on qualification. Further ahead, Osin Stephens finished strongly and came home in 9th position just 30 seconds behind the race winner. This was a fantastic achievement and Oisin will now go forward to represent the school in the All Ireland Finals in the coming weeks. Well done to both competitors.