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McCormack finishes a fighting third in muddy Antrim


McCormack third in true test of cross country pedigree

Fionnuala McCormack finished a fighting third in a true test of cross country at the IAAF Antrim International Cross Country in Greenmount today.

Biting cold and muddy underfoot conditions greeted the runners in Greenmount and it was a challenge that McCormack relished.

"I liked it today," said McCormack who finished third over the 5.8km course in 18:13, 8 seconds behind Kenya's race winner Alice Aprot Nawowuna and four seconds behind Bahrain's Mimi Belete who won here in 2014.

McCormack ended up leading in the early stages by virtue of the fact of the conditions rather than a pre-race plan.

"In the first lap it kind of just happened," said the Wicklow woman on hitting the front. "I think the Africans thought they could get around the mud but realised they couldn’t. That’s how I ended up at the front because I just went through it."

The Kilcoole athlete couldn't hang on to the lead with Nawowuna an impressive victor in the end despite not feeling comfortable in the cold conditions. McCormack also had the consolation of avenging her defeat to Great Britain's Kate Avery last week at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country.

"This was definitely real cross country today," she eschewed happily having drifted back to fourth for the middle part of the 5.8km race. "It was little hills but tough ones and the muck was better than a long time that I’ve seen it. It was good. It would have been nice to have a bit of a kick at the end because you could see people struggling in front but I think on a course like that when someone gets a gap even though you can see them struggling your struggling yourself to get through the mud"

Olympic steeplechase qualifier Kerry O'Flaherty (Newcastle) finished 11th with Irish 800m record holder Rose Anne Galligan (Newbridge) 13th and Shona Heaslip (An Riocht) a place further back in 14th.

Two Irish U17 Development teams were competing with Olivia Nelson the pick of the bunch winning the U17 girls race. Fintan Stewart won bronze for the U17 boys Irish development team.

U17 Girls: Olivia Nelson 1st, Tamzin Muldowney 4th, Margane Dusaux 5th, Alanna  Bate 9th

U17 Boys: Fintan Stewart 3rd, Sean O'Leary 4th, David McGlynn 5th, Michael Power 6th  

Link to full results HERE

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