Ireland have secured a record 5 medals at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships at La Mandria Park in Italy this afternoon (Dec 11th). The total saw Ireland finish in second place on the overall medal table alongside Spain and France, bettering the 3 medals won at last year’s European Cross Country Championships which were hosted in Fingal-Dublin.

It was a day of outstanding team and individual performances, and those in attendance didn’t have to wait long to see Irish athletes in contention for medals. Nick Griggs (Silver) and Dean Casey (Bronze) claimed a superb double podium finish for Ireland in the first race of the day, performances which would help the Irish U20’s to the team silver medal alongside teammates Sean McGinley (12th), Callum Morgan (18th), Jonas Stafford (33rd), and Mark Hanrahan (53rd).

The men’s U23 followed their medal-winning-teammates to the podium shortly after, claiming a superb team bronze medal thanks to some brilliant championship running from Efrem Gidey (5th), Keelan Kilrehill (9th), and Shane McEvoy (15th).

Darragh McElhinney (26th) was fearless in his pursuit of the individual medals, but last year’s silver medallist had to settle for 26th having been with the leaders over the first 3 laps of the tough and undulating course. Jamie Battle (55th) and Thomas McStay (63rd) rounded out another inspiring performance from the U23 team.

Irish medals didn’t end there however, with a gritty senior women’s team using all of their championship racing experience to win another brilliant bronze thanks to an outstanding double act from twins Eilish and Roisin Flanagan who crossed side-by-side in 11th and 12th place.

Mary Mulhare (27th) would round out the scoring for the bronze medal-winning-team, but she was closely supported by Ann Marie McGlynn (31st), Aoibhe Richardson (46th), and Michelle Finn (55th). The result continues an outstandingly consistent run from the senior women’s team who have medalled for the 5th time in 11 years at these championships.

There were more outstanding performances away from the medals today too, with Jane Buckley securing a brilliant 5th place finish in the women’s U20 race, while the senior men’s team saw 3 athletes inside the top 30 places in a stacked field. Peter Lynch of Kilkenny City Harries was outstanding throughout and finished 15th ahead of Hiko Tonosa Haso (27th)  and Brian Fay (30th) .

Sarah Healy was right in contention for a medal in the U23 race but unfortunately had to withdraw during the final lap with injury.

Today’s performances continue a remarkably consistent medal-winning-run for Irish athletes at European Cross Country Championships. Ireland has won 12 medals over the last 3 editions of these championships; a stat made all the more impressive when set against the 13 medals won in the previous 25 editions.  


U20 Men Race

Individual Medals

1 GBR BARNICOAT Will 17:40                    

2 IRL GRIGGS Nicholas 17:41                     

3 IRL CASEY Dean 17:46

Team Medals

1 GBR Great Britain & Northern Ireland 10           

2 IRL Ireland 17

3 ESP Spain 30

Irish Finishing Positions (Team 2nd):

  • Griggs 2nd
  • Casey 3rd
  • McGinley 12th
  • Morgan 18th
  • Stafford 33rd
  • Hanrahan 53rd


U20 Women Race

Individual Medals

1 550 FORERO Maria Spain 13:04

2 724 ØSTGÅRD Ingeborg Norway 13:07

3 571 MONONEN Ilona Finland 13:08

Team Medals:

  1. Spain 21
  2. Turkey 25
  3. Germany 33

Irish finishing positions (Team 8th):

  • Buckley 5th
  • Hawkins 35th
  • Thompson 52nd
  • Gardiner 59th
  • Roberts 66th
  • Kehoe 72nd


Mixed Relay (4 x 1500m) - 09:30am Irish Time


1 Italy 17:23                                    

2 Spain 17:24                                  

3 France 17.31

Irish Team Finishing Position:

9th in 17.56


U23 Men Race

Individual Medals:

1 GBR HICKS Charles 23:40                        

2 GBR MAHAMED Zakariya 23:48                            

3 FRA BRESC Valentin 23:58

Team Medals:

1 Great Britain & Northern Ireland 11    

2 France 14       

3 Ireland 29

Irish Finishing Positions (Team 3rd):

  • Gidey 5th
  • Kilrehill 9th
  • McEvoy 15th
  • McElhinney 26th
  • Battle 55th
  • McStay 63rd


U23 Women Race (6000m)

Individual Medals:

1 ITA BATTOCLETTI Nadia 19:55               

2 GBR KEITH Megan 20:08                         

3 GBR MILLARD Alexandra 20:27

Team Medals:

1 Great Britain & Northern Ireland 10    

2 Italy 31            

3 France 38

Irish Finishing Positions (Team 7th):

  • Donegan 28th
  • O’Mahony 35th
  • Mooney 39th
  • McCann 54th
  • Healy DNF
  • O’Cuill DNF


Senior Women Race

Individual Medals:

1 NOR GRØVDAL Karoline Bjerkeli 26:25                              

2 GER KLOSTERHALFEN Konstanze 26:29                             

3 GER REH Alina 27:19

Team Medals:

1 Germany 9

2 Great Britain & Northern Ireland 30    

3 Ireland 50

Irish Finishing Positions (Team 3rd):

  • E Flanagan 11th
  • R Flanagan 12th
  • Mulhare 27th
  • McGlynn 31st
  • Richardson 46th
  • Finn 55th


Senior Men Race

Individual Medals:


2 GBR CAIRESS Emile 29:42

3 BEL KIMELI Isaac 29:45

Team Medals:

1 France 24       

2 Italy 25            

3 Spain 36          

Irish Finishing Positions (Team 8th):

  • Lynch 15th
  • Haso 27th
  • Fay 30th
  • Keane 33rd
  • Dalton 36th
  • Murchan 67th


Full Results: HERE

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