Selections have been made for the European Cross Country Championships, following Sunday’s National Inter Clubs Cross Country in Santry.
This year’s women’s race was one of the most competitive in years with international talent spread right across the top twenty finishers. Double European Champion Fionnuala McCormack (née Britton) shone on the day, opening up an impressive lead on the rest of the pack to take gold. While Olympic Marathon preparation remains her main focus, she will take a break from the roads to lead the Irish team in Hyeres, France.
The team will be hoping to improve on last year’s bronze and even get close to matching their 2012 gold medal winning performance. Second place finisher Lizzie Lee, a member of the 2012 gold medal winning team will join McCormack, along with Caroline Crowley, Kerry O’Flaherty, Ciara Durkan and Michelle Finn.
Notable absences from selection were Laura Crowe and Sara Treacy – both members of last year’s bronze medal winning team in Samokov. 7th and 9th place finishes, respectively, were not enough to qualify them.
The men’s team will be led by Mick Clohisey, who won Sunday’s title for the third year in a row. Joining him is John Coghlan, who showed peak form on Sunday to finish second. Marathon specialists and Olympic hopefuls Sergiu Ciobanu and Paul Pollock will make an endurance-strong team, along with Joe Sweeney and Ryan Creech.
A full men’s u23 team has been selected, while individuals Shona Heaslip and Emma Mitchell will represent the u23 women. We await confirmation as to whether athletes in the States will be added to make up a full women’s team.
Junior teams were all chosen from strong performances in Santry. Both Hope Saunders and Kevin Mulcaire will be hoping to perform well individually, as well as for their teams. High Performance Director Kevin Ankrom believes Mulcaire is capable of a top 8 performance, and is positive about potential across the board:
‘We’ve got four medals in four years. Let’s make it five medals in five years.’
Full teams below: (Source: athleticsireland.ie)
|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 Walsh & 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|
|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 & Brian McDonald|
|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|