Athletes Selected for European Cross Country

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)

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 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
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