Lawton races to South Munster Schools’ senior boys' title

February 22nd, 2023 3:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Sean Lawton of Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí, winner of the senior boys race at the South Munster Schools CC, pictured with his coach Michael Harrington. (Photo: John Walshe)

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AN impressive winning display by Sean Lawton of Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí in the senior boys’ race was one of the highlights of the South Munster Schools Cross-Country Championships that took place at Tramore Valley Park.

Despite over 1,000 competitors in the six races, the programme went off like clockwork on an ideal day over the demanding course which was once the Cork city landfill site.

The senior 5000m race consisted of two small and two large laps and after the initial circuit Lawton was one of a group of four which was headed by Robert Troy from Charleville CBS.

Taking command after the second lap, the Durrus athlete started to pull away and at the finish had a clear margin of around 150 metres over William Verling (St Colman’s, Fermoy) with Troy holding on for the bronze medal.

‘It was tough enough, I took it on around halfway through and pushed it from then on,’ said Lawton who won the intermediate race a year ago at the South Munsters. ‘The hill wasn’t too bad until the last lap when I felt it, but I just kept driving hard for home.'

Coached by Michael Harrington at Durrus AC, the 17-year-old Kealkill native also had a good track season in 2022. He finished third in the 3000m at national U18 level as well as setting a Munster record of 8:47.55 over the same distance.

Backed up by Callum McElhinney (brother of Darragh), Luke Salter-Townsend and Paddy Desmond, Coláiste Pobail took third in the team race behind CBC, Cork, and Charleville CBS.

Caoimhe Flannery of Skibbereen Community School, winner of the intermediate race, with her mother Emer Cleary.


The only other West Cork winner on the day was Caoimhe Flannery of Skibbereen Community School who took the intermediate 3000m. In a close finish, Flannery got home by just a second ahead of Eanna Duff (Coachford College) with Saoirse Twomey (St Mary’s Macroom) a further two seconds back in third.

The first four teams in each race, along with the top 15 individuals, qualified for the Munster Schools Championships at Carriganore, Waterford, on Friday February 24th. This is also the venue for the Irish championships which take place there on Saturday, March 11th.

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