MORGAN SHINES IN DUBLIN RACE
FIVE Dyfed Schools athletes joined their Welsh team-mates as a squad of 36 made the journey to Dublin for the SIAB Schools Cross Country International.
The end-of-season international at Santry Demesne gave an opportunity to test home form against the cream of cross-country talent from across the UK and Ireland.
Teams of eight from Welsh Schools, English Schools, Irish Schools and Scottish Schools battled it out in the under-15 junior and under-17 intermediate races.
Welsh Schools pupils wearing the red vest were selected following the Welsh Schools National Championships in Brecon.
Frank Morgan (Bro Myrddin) and Rhys Llewellyn (Haverfordwest High) were the first to run in the second race of the afternoon, the Junior Boys.
Welsh Schools champion Morgan produced one of Wales’s top individual performances on the day, finishing in ninth position (13:23) overall and leading the Welsh squad, having enjoyed valuable experience at the event in 2018.
Llewellyn, meanwhile, was making his debut on the international stage and battled right to the end on his first outing to finish the 4,000m course in a time of 14:36 in 31st.
Llanelli’s Adam Beer (Glan y Môr), having won the Welsh Schools and Welsh Cross-Country Championships in the space of 10 days in February, was involved here.
He was joined in the Intermediate Boys by Iori Humphreys (Ysgol Harri Tudur), who has been as successful over the busy cross-country season and confirmed his place in SIAB after a top-10 finish in Brecon.
Beer finished 21st (19:27) and Humphreys in 32nd (20:41) over the longest distance of the 2019 international.
Dafydd Jones (Bro Myrddin) was selected to compete for Welsh Schools in the 4x1500m relay.
Jones clocked the second fastest lap out of the 16 athletes involved, running a time of four minutes 25 seconds.
This year’s squad was very much spread from schools across Wales’s four regions, with runners involved from locations such as Barry, Cowbridge, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Bridgend, Carmarthen, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Bangor, Denbighshire and Flint.
It proved to be a successful day for Wales’s up-and-coming stars, with the best result of the day coming in the Junior Girls’ race.
The girls finished sixth to come away with team bronze behind England and Scotland.
There were also strong showings from the other promising age groups. Several now look ahead to the London Mini Marathon on the final Sunday of April as well as being eligible for next year’s Schools International in Scotland.
Next up in the calendar will be the SIAB Track & Field International for athletes in the under-17 age group at Swansea University on Saturday, July 20. Carmarthen Harriers Frank Morgan and Dafydd Jones with coach Carol Jones.