The seventh holding of the International Youth Cup takes place on June 24th in Glendalough in Ireland. The event is for runners born in 1995 or 1996. The race will be held on the Wicklow Way close to the Upper Lake with spectacular views of the Spink and Camaderry as a backdrop. Ireland has a good record in this event having won gold and bronze team medals in 2010 and fourth and fifth teams in 2011.
Nine countries will contest the event with 36 runners in the boy’s race and 33 runners in the girl’s race. Three of the top eight from 2011 will be contesting the boy’s race. Konstantin Galiullin (RUS) will be hoping to better his silver medal but Nadir Cavagna (ITA) who was sixth in Slovenia and Tim Kovacic (SLO) who was eight will have other ideas. Patryk Lachowski (POL) was twelfth in 2011 and he has ran 8:59 for 3000m this year.
The host country will be pinning their hopes on British and Irish under 16 champion Killian Mooney and Cillian O’Donovan who won the Irish schools 3000m championships in 8:54. Andrew Cullen completes the Irish A team and he was fifth in the Irish schools 2000m steeplechase and is a good triathlete. The second Irish team of Michael Healion (Eire Og), Julian Martin (DSD), and Liam Fitzpatrick (DSD) is well-balanced and could be thereabouts in the team results. Poland, Russia, and Italy was the finishing order in 2011 and these countries are all sure to be prominent again as are the Welsh and Scottish but they will have to beat a strong Irish team.
The girl’s race looks more open. Only Clare McCarthy (IRE) finished in the top ten in 2011 and she recently won the Irish trials and competed in the European junior cross-country championships in 2011. Weronika Pyzik (POL) was a silver medallist in the Polish cross-country championships and the course should suit her. Sarah Miles (IRE) ran 10:42 for a bronze in the Irish schools 3000m and the Irish A team is completed by Sorcha Humphreys who was fifth in the schools 1500m. The Irish second team looks competitive also with schools 1500m steeplechase bronze medallist Sorcha Fallon (North Sligo), fourth place finisher in the school 3000m, Orlaith Moynihan (Clonmel), and Rosie Hynes (Swinford) who ran for Ireland on the mountains in 2011.
Russia won from Slovenia in 2011 and, while Slovenia may not be so strong away from home, the Russians with two teams will be hard to beat. Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Scotland, and Wales all field full teams and will be dreaming of a place on the podium. In a race with all three runners to count, there is no recovery for a bad run or for a heroic first kilometre but then again champions must take a risk!
Ireland Girls I: Sorcha Humphreys (DSD); Clare McCarthy (DSD); Sarah Miles (DSD)
Ireland Girls II: Sorcha Fallon (North Sligo); Rosie Hynes (Swinford); Orlaith Moynihan (Clonmel)
Ireland Boys I: Andrew Cullen (DSD); Killian Mooney (DSD); Cillian O’Donovan (Iveragh)
Ireland Boys II: Liam Fitzpatrick (DSD); Michael Healion (Eire Og); Julian Martin (DSD)
Managers: Eddie McDonagh (DSD); Sheila Jones (DSD); Pat Ryan (Mullingar)