McCormack to lead Irish team at European Cross Country Championships


Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) will lead the Irish women's team at the European Cross Country Championships in Hyeres, France on December 13th.

McCormack (neé Britton) impressed at the GloHealth Inter Clubs Championships in Santry Demesne yesterday and believes the women's team, announced today, can back up the bronze medals they won at the European Cross Country Championships in Samokov, Bulgaria last year.  

McCormack looks to team success

"We definitely have a good chance with the team," said McCormack who will be focusing more of her efforts around a team performance than her own individual expectations. 

"With a short build-up it definitely has to be about the team," said McCormack referring to the Chicago marathon on October 11th where she ran 2:33:15 to run an Olympic qualifying standard.  

"I haven't had the usual build-up," continued the two-time European Cross Country Champion. "We definitely have a good chance with the team. With a short build-up it definitely has to be about the team. 

"For the team I'm going to go out there and do my absolute best. We backed up our (team) gold in 2012 with our bronze (last year). This women's team is going to be strong for the next few years. The team is the most realistic (chance of a medal) but I'm going to go out there and do my absolute best as well. 

High performance view

High Performance Director Kevin Ankrom said: "We need her (Fionnuala) to be out there and put on a good performance. It leads to fewer points and a good team performance for us. 

"Athletes are planning more to make an effort to be on this team. We've got four medals in four years. Let's make it five medals in five years.

"Overall as a cross country programme we would have an expectation that our teams perform better and we are certainly working towards making our teams to prepare to do that. 

"Through Steven Macklin, Paul McNamara and Teresa McDaid we are looking to help people prepare for championships. We have to have expectations that our teams are going to perform better and be better prepared.

"I still think cross country and distance running is the cornerstone of the Irish culture. I look forward to the athletes performing at their best." 

Clohisey to  lead out senior men's team

The senior men's team will be led out by Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock) who won the championships yesterday for the third time in succession. 

"We are going in with a squad of endurance specialists who are laying the foundation for the Olympic team," said Ankrom with regards to Clohisey along with Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers) and Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) who have all posted Olympic marathon qualifying times. "John Coghlan (MSB) posted a particularly impressive performance also and shows athletes are stepping up to the mark."   

Mulcaire and Saunders to lead Juniors

Hope Saunders (Clonliffe Harriers) and Kevin Mulcaire (Ennis Track Club) are returning with experience to this year's championships and Kevin Ankrom believes Mulcaire is a top 8 candidate. 

U23 selections confirmed

An U23 men's team has been selected with two women, Shona Heaslip and Emma Mitchell, selected. 

Selected team to date below for European Cross Country Championships in Hyeres, France on December 13th:

Event Name  Club   Coach  
Men's Senior Mick Clohisey Raheny Shamrock Dick Hooper
Men's Senior John Coghlan Metro St Brigid's Eamonn Coghlan
Men's Senior Paul Pollock Annadale Striders Andrew Hobdell
Men's Senior Ryan Creech Leevale Donie Walsh
Men's Senior Joe Sweeney Dundrum South Dublin Jerry Kiernan
Men's Senior Sergiu Ciobanu Clonliffe Harriers Jerry Kiernan
Women's Senior  Fionnuala McCormack Kilcoole AC Joe Doonan
Women's Senior Lizzie Lee Leevale AC Donie Walsh
Women's Senior Caroline Crowley Crusaders AC Susan & Michael McGovern
Women's Senior Kerry O'Flaherty Newcastle & District AC Richard Rodgers
Women's Senior Ciara Durkan Skerries AC Joe Warne
Women's Senior Michelle Finn Leevale AC Donie Walsh
Men's U23 Thomas Moran Dunshaughlin AC Jerry Kiernan
Men's U23 Brandon Hargreaves Dundrum South Dublin Chris Jones
Men's U23 Hugh Armstrong Ballina AC Ray Treacy
Men's U23 Keith Fallon Galway City Harriers Matt Lockett
Men's U23 Aaron Hanlon Clonliffe Harriers Ray Treacy
Men's U23 Sean Tobin Clonmel AC Ryan Vanhoy/Anthony Moynihan
Women's U23 Shona Heaslip An Riocht Niamh O'Sullivan
Women's U23 Emma Mitchell Banbridge Eamon Christie
Men's Junior Kevin Mulcaire Ennis Track Club Pat Hogan
Men's Junior Peter Lynch Kilkenny City Harriers Noel Richardson
Men's Junior Jack O'Leary Mullingar Harriers Joe Ryan
Men's Junior Cathal Doyle Clonliffe Harriers Joe Cooper
Men's Junior James Edgar Lisburn AC Heather Ardis
Men's Junior Pierre Murchan Celtic AC Mary McKenna
Women's Junior Hope Saunders Clonliffe Harriers Joe Cooper & Conor McGuinness
Women's Junior Aoibhe Richardson Kilkenny City Harriers Noel Richardson
Women's Junior Isabel Carron Skerries AC Kevin Thompson
Women's Junior Deirdre Healy Ratoath AC Gerry Finnegan
Women's Junior Nadia Power Templeogue AC Stephen Holt
Women's Junior Sophie Murphy Dundrum South Dublin Donal Hennigan

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