Sean Tobin wins Celtic Nations Cross Country title
The Celtic Nations Cross Country Competition between Athletics Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland took place in Edinburgh last Saturday. The Men’s under 20 race over 6k also included the Boys Under 17 race as well as an Under 20 International Challenge between America, Europe and England, so competition was very keen.
Clonmel’s Sean Tobin was on the Irish under 20 team, an event he is eligible for again next year. The race over 3 laps was a real cross Country course where athletes had hills to climb as well as timber jumps to clear as well as running on a demanding surface.
The pace was fast from the start and soon the field began to string out. At this stage Sean was running well in the mid teens and not far off the chasing pack. On the second lap Sean began to get into his stride and made good progress and going out on the final lap he was in 11th place. He was now full of running and closing the gap on the chasing pack and he kept this strong tempo going all the way to finish a very creditable 6th in 20 mins 15 secs and this brilliant performance saw him win the Celtic Men’s Under 20 title very impressively.
In the process he led the Irish team to victory with the other members of the Irish team Kevin Rooney 5th and Jake O’Regan 7th. They had 6 points to spare over Wales.
This was a fantastic achievement by Sean considering he is again eligible for this event next year. In 2010 he won the Celtic Under 17 Men’s Cross Country race in Antrim and also on that occasion he led the Irish team to victory. Well done Sean and a brilliant start to 2012.
In the race itself Ethiopian-born Kirubel Erassa ran a perfect race to win the junior men’s 6km race when biding his time, he kept to his race plan when Mark Shaw and Kieron Clements of Great Britain made a determined break 11mins 30 secs into the contest. Erassa, who moved to the USA in 2005, gradually hauled in first Shaw and then Clements before unleashing a powerful finish which carried him to a comfortable victory. The 18-year-old winner, who has a twin sister and nine other siblings, crossed the line in 19 mins 56 secs with fast finishing Clements and Shaw posting marks of 19:57 and 19:59 behind him.