EXCITING IRISH TEAM SELECTED FOR SPAR EUROPEAN CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS

POSTED:

European silver-medallist Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC) heads an Irish squad stacked with Olympic and European championship experience which has been selected for the 28th edition of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships which takes place in La Mandria Park, on the outskirts of Turin, on December 11th 2022.

Mageean is joined in the squad by fellow Olympians Michelle Finn (Leevale AC), Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea AC), Nadia Power (Dublin City Harriers) and Sunday’s 123.ie National Senior Cross Country champion Sarah Healy (UCD AC).

Last year’s European cross country silver medallist (U23), Darragh McElhinney, will spearhead a strong looking U23 team following his superb performance at nationals at the weekend which saw the Cork athlete claim his first senior cross country title. The Glengarrif star will line up alongside fellow European cross country medallist Efrem Gidey (U20 bronze in 2019), as well as Keelan Kilrehill (Moy Valley) and Jamie Battle (Mullingar Harriers) who were both part of last year's U23 gold-medal-winning team at Fingal-Dublin 2021.

This year’s squad also includes two of last year’s U20 silver-medal-winning team members in Nick Griggs (Mid Ulster AC) and Dean Casey (Ennis Track) who will lead out yet another strong looking Irish U20 team.

The senior women’s team will see Ann Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC), Roisin Flanagan (Finn Valley AC), Mary Mulhare (Portlaoise AC), and Aoibhe Richardson (Kilkenny City Harriers) join Mageean  and Finn in what looks a stacked senior race where Ireland will look to better last year’s agonising 4th place finish.

The senior men’s team also came close to medalling in 2021 (4 points off bronze) and they will look to the in-form Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock) to provide yet another of his now trademark gritty displays in his bid for another European top-10 finish.

Hiko Tonosa Haso (Dundrum South Dublin) looked backed to his best at nationals on Sunday and the experienced duo can expect plenty of backup from the quality quartet of Peter Lynch (Kilkenny City Harriers), Pierre Murchan (Dublin City Harriers), Cormac Dalton (Mullingar Harriers), and Irish indoor 5,000m record holder Barry Keane (Waterford AC) who all look to be peaking at the right time. 

Sunday’s national senior champions Sarah Healy (UCD AC) and Darragh McElhinney will lead the charge for the Irish U23 teams in Italy with the classy McElhinney sure to have eyes on the medals once again.

The men’s U23 race looks to have plenty of depth throughout however, so it will have to be another career best from the UCD athlete to get among the podium places. A strong team showing can be expected and McElhinney is sure to have Gidey and Kilrehill for company as the race hots up.

Irish fans can expect to see Jamie Battle (Mullingar Harriers), Thomas McStay (Galway City Harriers), and Shay McEvoy (Kilkenny City Harriers) all staying on at the finish as they look to eek out every last position.

The women’s U23 won’t be found lacking for championships experience with Danielle Donegan (UCD AC), Laura Mooney (Tullamore Harriers), Aoife Ó'Cuill (St Coca’s AC), and Jodie McCann (Dublin City Harriers) sure to work together in a bid to back up an attempt from Sarah Healy to better her excellent 5th place finish from Final-Dublin last December. Niamh O'Mahoney (An Ríocht AC) makes her championship debut following an excellent 2022 season.

The men’s U20 team looks particularly strong and recent rivals Griggs and Casey are sure to go with the leading pack from the gun. Jonas Stafford (Ashford AC) looked in the form of his life in taking the bronze medal in the U20 race in Rosapenna at the weekend, while Sean McGinley (Finn Valley), Callum Morgan (St. Malachy's AC), and Mark Hanrahan (Ennis Track) should head into December 11th full of confidence given recent performances.

Anika Thompson (Leevale AC) made the long trip from Oregon to Donegal at the weekend all the more worthwhile in taking the U20 women’s title impressively. Thompson will head an exciting women’s U20 team with Roise Roberts (North Belfast Harriers) and Jane Buckley (Leevale AC) back for another bite at the European U20 race following encouraging performances at the grade last year.

Anna Gardiner (East Down AC), Hannah Kehoe (Kilkenny City Harriers), and Fiona Hawkins (Dublin City Harriers) complete another young and exciting team.

The mixed relay team will have no shortage of speed or experience with Olympians Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea) and Nadia Power (Dublin City Harriers) joining 1,000m record holders (indoor) Georgie Hartigan (Dundrum South Dublin) and Luke McCann (Dublin City Harriers) as they each look to master the 1500m lap.

Athletics Ireland, National Endurance Co-ordinator, Matt Lockett said: "We must acknowledge the outstanding work from athletes to put themselves in contention for selection for these championships. The depth in cross country running at present is fabulous to see, and is a testament to the work of coaches and athletes. We enjoyed a superb home European cross country championships in Dublin last December and we are in no doubt those who have been selected are primed to take on the best in Europe on December 11th once again.”

The SPAR European Cross Country Championships is one of the main seasonal appointments of the European Athletics calendar and is hosted by Italy for the fourth time after the editions of Ferrara in 1998, San Giorgio su Legnano in 2006 and Chia in 2016. Piemonte 2022  follows the edition of Fingal-Dublin last December which saw Ireland claim 3 medals (2 team and 1 individual), topped off with team gold in the men’s Under-23 race.

SELECTIONS:

Event

Name

Club

Coach

Senior Men

Hiko Tonosa Haso

Dundrum South Dublin

Feidhlim Kelly

Senior Men

Peter Lynch

Kilkenny City Harriers

Taylor Gulley

Senior Men

Pierre Murchan

Dublin City Harriers

Mary McKenna

Senior Men

Brian Fay

Raheny Shamrocks

Andy Powell

Senior Men

Cormac Dalton

Mullingar Harriers

Taylor Gulley

Senior Men

Barry Keane

Waterford AC

Matt Roe

Senior Women

Ciara Mageean

City of Lisburn

Helen Clitheroe

Senior Women

Michelle Finn

Leevale AC 

Feidhlim Kelly

Senior Women

Ann Marie McGlynn

Letterkenny AC

Emmett Dunleavy

Senior Women

Mary Mulhare

Portlaoise AC

Michael Mulhare

Senior Women

Aoibhe Richardson

Kilkenny City Harriers

Julia Lucas

Senior Women

Roisin Flanagan

Finn Valley AC

Damon Martin

U23 Men

Darragh McElhinney

UCD AC

Emmett Dunleavy

U23 Men

Efrem Gidey

Clonliffe Harriers

Peter McDermott

U23 Men

Keelan Kilrehill

Sligo AC

Emmett Dunleavy

U23 Men

Jamie Battle

Mullingar Harriers

Joe Ryan

U23 Men

Thomas McStay

Galway City Harriers

Matt lockett

U23 Men

Shay McEvoy

Kilkenny City Harriers

Taylor Gulley

U23 Women

Sarah Healy

UCD AC

Eoghan Marnell

U23 Women

Danielle Donegan

UCD AC

Emmett Dunleavy

U23 Women

Laura  Mooney

Tullamore Harriers

Ray Treacy

U23 Women

Aoife Ó'Cuill

St Coca’s AC

Joe Ryan

U23 Women

Jodie McCann

Dublin City Harriers

Clark McCann

U23 Women

Niamh O'Mahoney

An Ríocht AC

Ray Treacy

U20 Men

Nicholas Griggs

Mid Ulster AC

Mark Kirk

U20 Men

Dean Casey

Ennis Track AC

Pat Hogan

U20 Men

Jonas Stafford

Ashford AC

Feidhlim Kelly

U20 Men

Mark Hanrahan

Ennis Track AC

Pat Hogan

U20 Men

Callum Morgan

St. Malachy's AC

Mark Kirk

U20 Men

Sean McGinley

Finn Valley AC

John Rogan

U20 Women

Anika Thompson

Leevale AC

Ken Nason & Shalane Flanagan

U20 Women

Anna Gardiner

East Down AC

Peter Morgan

U20 Women

Róise Roberts

North Belfast Harriers

Jim McGuinness & Joe Ryan

U20 Women

Hannah Kehoe

Kilkenny City Harriers

Niamh Richardson

U20 Women

Jane Buckley

Leevale AC 

Ray Treacy

U20 Women

Fiona Hawkins

Dublin City Harriers

Damon Martin

Mixed Relay

Andrew Coscoran

Star of the Sea AC

Feidhlim Kelly

Mixed Relay

Luke McCann

UCD AC

Thomas Dreißigacker & Clark McCann

Mixed Relay

Georgie Hartigan

Dundrum South Dublin

Bev Hartigan

Mixed Relay

Nadia Power

Dublin City Harriers

Matt Yates

Athletics Ireland would like to congratulate all of our athletes and their coaches who have been selected for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships on December 11th. We are very proud of you all and look forward to cheering you on as you represent us once more.

We must also acknowledge the great work and effort our members, coaches, volunteers, and the wider athletics community has put in to support our athletes in attaining selection for these championships. We all look forward to roaring on #TeamGreen as the first races commence on December 11th.

  • 123.ie National Cross Country Championships Report (20.11.2022): Click HERE
  •  SPAR European Cross Country Championships Official Website & Timetable HERE

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