NEWS FLASH
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  • Irish team set for Euro cross challenge

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Mud and glory on offer in Abbotstown

POSTED:

National glory and European selection at stake

Ireland’s best cross country runners will descend upon the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus for national glory and European selection at the Irish Life Health National Senior and Juvenile Even Age Championships on Sunday (November 25).

It promises to be a star-studded line-up at the purpose-built cross country course with Ciara Mageean (UCD) and Sean Tobin (Clonmel) bidding for their first senior cross country titles and rising star Sarah Healy (Blackrock) in a high-quality U20 women’s race.

The battle for the team titles should also prove an absorbing contest – particularly in the men’s race where Clonmel will be bidding for the first team title in their history.

The action will get underway with the U12 girls at 11:30 am (full timetable HERE and provisional entries HERE) building to a crescendo with senior women’s 8,000m and senior men’s 10,000m at 13:45 and 14:25 respectively.

Women's title up for grabs

With defending champion Shona Heaslip (An Riocht) unfortunately out through injury, the stage is set for a new senior women’s champion for 2018.

The first two finishing senior athletes (male/female) at the National Cross Country Championships will gain automatic selection for the European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg, Netherlands (December 9th). European selection policy is HERE.

Ciara Mageean will face stiff competition from the likes of Fionnuala Ross (Armagh AC), Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle), Annmarie McGlynn (Letterkenny) and newcomer on the scene Dylan Hassett (Leevale).

The course looks set to be soft underfoot with long spikes at the ready due to the heavy rain this week. It should make it an exciting spectacle for cross country aficionados.

DSD and Leevale look to have the strongest teams for the women’s race with the South Dublin club counting Laura Shaughnessy, Linda Byrne, Bethanie Murray, Maria McCambridge and Meghan Ryan among their ranks. The Leevale team includes the Finn sisters, Michelle and Carol, Dylan Hassett and Sinead O’Connor.

Tobin looks to guide Clonmel to first team title

Sean Tobin will be vying for his first senior cross title with the added motivation of leading his club Clonmel to an historic team title. He has strong backing in the Maunsell brothers, Kevin and William, with David Mansfield and Michael Carey vying to be the fouth scorer.

They would be the first team outside of Dublin to win since 1999 when Mullingar Harriers were in flying form. The only other clubs outside of Dublin to win were Deise Waterford and Burgerland Limerick.

It won’t be plain sailing though with Raheny Shamrock bidding for three-in-a-row with Kevin Dooney, Mick Clohisey, Brian Fay and Mark Kirwan among their ranks.     

Clonliffe Harriers and Kilkenny City Harriers will also be among the teams looking to be in the shake-up.

Other strong individual entries include track John Travers (Donore Harriers) and Paul Robinson (St Coca’s). Defending champion Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) isn’t on the entry list.    

Some of the leading U23 entries include Tom O’Keeffe (Kilkenny City Harriers), last year’s winner, Brian Fay and Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers) with the first finishing athlete (male/female) gaining automatic selection. Both U23 races are part of the senior races.

Avril Deegan (Ballyroan, Abbeyleix and District) and Sorcha McAlister (Westport) are among the leading U23 women’s entrants.

The U18 and Junior (U20) races are also combined with the first two finishing athletes gaining automatic selection.

Healy heads deep U20 women’s field

Sarah Healy (Blackrock) will look to continue her heady 2018 in a quality U20 women’s 4,000m race that includes Emma O’Brien (Sli Cualann), Jodie McCann (Dublin City Harriers) and last year’s winner Laura Nicholson (Bandon).

Mia McCalmont (Tír Chonaill A.C.) and Rebecca Wallace (Lagan Valley), Saoirse O’Brien (Westport) and Roisin Treacy (Ashford) will be among the leading U18 athletes listed in that category.

For the boys U18 and junior men’s 6,000m, the usual suspects will include: Darragh McElhinney (Bantry), Jamie Battle (Mullingar Harriers), Micheal Power (West Waterford), Sean O’Leary (Clonliffe Harriers), Craig McMeechan (North Down), Fintan Stewart (City of Derry), Daire Finn (Dublin City Harriers) and Keelan Kilrehill (Moy Valley).

Louis O’Loughlin (Donore Harriers), Sean Donoghue (Celtic DCH) and Paul Hartnett (Midleton) are among the lead U18 entrants.

It promises to be an exciting day of action but be sure to bring your wellies and umbrellas.

Irish Life Health National Cross Country Championships Sponsor

With an Irish Life Health BeneFit Plan, it pays to feel well.

As part of Benefit Plan from Irish Life Health, Athletics Ireland members can enjoy claiming €50 back on annual club membership, be it your own or your child’s.

Members can also claim up to €50 on those other running essentials including fitness wearables and sports massages.

More Information Available Here

 

Irish Life Health National Cross Country Championships Sponsor

With an Irish Life Health BeneFit Plan, it pays to feel well.

As part of Benefit Plan from Irish Life Health, Athletics Ireland members can enjoy claiming €50 back on annual club membership, be it your own or your child’s.

Members can also claim up to €50 on those other running essentials including fitness wearables and sports massages.

More Information Available Here

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