The Irish team will be looking for good performances at the 26th edition of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon on Sunday (December 8th) ahead of the championships in Dublin next year. This will be the third time Portugal has hosted the championships and this year Bela Vista Park hosts the event in downtown Lisbon.
U20 teams get action underway
Jodie McCann (Dublin City Harriers) is the only returning athlete to the women’s U20 team which will have a fresh look. Last year’s team just missed out on medals finishing fourth, but this year will be more about experience ahead of Dublin 2020. Aoife O’Cuill (St. Coca’s AC), Danielle Donegan (Tullamore Harriers AC), Eimear Maher (Dundrum South Dublin AC), Maeve Gallagher (Swinford AC) and Sarah Kelly (Inishowen AC) make up the rest of the team.
It’s a case of déjà vu with Norway’s wunderkind Jakob Ingebrigtsen who now is looking to make even more history by winning four individual titles in the U20 men’s race. Darragh McElhinney (UCD) and Jamie Battle (Mullingar Harriers) are the only returnees on the Irish U20 men’s team which finished fifth in last year’s event.
Strong U23 teams
The women’s U23 team will look to have a strong showing with Adams State trio Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry) and twins Eilish and Roisin Flanagan (Carmen Runners). The trio led a 1-2-3 clean sweep of the podium at the NCAA Division II cross country championships. Eilish Flanagan also won a silver medal in the 3,000m steeplechase at the European U23 Athletics Championships last summer and will aim to improve upon her 16th place finish in this event last year. With three athletes to score, it looks like they will need a score inside 35 points to win a team medal.
Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock), Jack O’Leary (Mullingar Harriers) and Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers) return to the men’s U23 team and will be strengthened by Peter Lynch (Kilkenny City Harriers) who finished 13 at the NCAA Division I Championships. They will hope to build on their 6th place finish from last year.
McCormack quietly makes more history
Fionnuala McCormack’s (Kilcoole) name is synonymous with this event and creates more history by running for a record-breaking 16th time (only Italy’s Gabriele De Nard (17) and Ukraine’s Sergiy Lebid (19) surpassing McCormack’s tally on the men’s side) along with her famous back-to-back victories in 2011 and 2012.
Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn) comes into the event on the back of her stunning top 10 finish at the World Championships in Doha, as well as recently setting a new 5km road personal best of 15:44. Aoibhe Richardson (Kilkenny City Harriers) makes her senior debut in this event after a good 19th place finish at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. The team will be looking to improve on last year’s 11th place finish.
The senior men will hope to put in a strong performance with Sean Tobin (Clonmel) who was 10th individually last year, and Liam Brady (Tullamore Harriers) who brilliantly won the national senior title leading the charge.
An experienced team will compete in the mixed relay with the race set to start at 12:05pm. Action will be on RTE 2 from 12pm with all the action also streamed on European Athletics http://www.european-athletics.org/index.html
- Stats and event info
Tot. Number of countries 40
Tot. Number of athletes 602
Tot. Number of Men 336
Tot. Number of Women 266
10:00 U20 Men Race (6225m; Ss + 4L laps + Fs)
10:30 U20 Women Race (4225m; Ss + 2S laps+ 2L laps + Fs)
10:55 U23 Men race (8225m; Ss+ 1S lap + 5L laps + Fs)
11:30 U23 Women race (6225m; Ss + 4L laps + Fs)
12:05 Mixed Relay (4 x 1500m; Ss + 4x1L lap + Fs)
12:35 Senior Men race (10.225m; Ss + 2S laps + 6L laps + Fs)
13:20 Senior Women Race (8225m; Ss + 1S lap+ 5L laps + Fs)
- European Cross-Country Championships medal history
1994 Senior Catherina McKiernan GOLD 14.29
1998 U20 Gareth Turnbull BRONZE 16.55
2006 U23 Fionnuala Britton SILVER 18.56
2011 Senior Fionnuala Britton GOLD 25.55
2012 Senior Fionnuala Britton GOLD 27.45
1999 U20 Team BRONZE 43 pts Gary Murray 8th, Brian Keane 15th, Mark Smyth 20th, Joe McAlister 75th, Robert Connolly 94th
2000 Senior Team BRONZE 72 pts Peter Matthews 10th, Seamus Power 14th, Gareth Turnbull 23rd, Keith Kelly 25th, Ken Nason 55th, Fiachra Lombard 67th
2003 Senior Team SILVER 78 pts Sonia O’Sullivan 4th, Rosemary Ryan 13th, Ann Keenan Buckley 27th, Catherina McKiernan 34th, Marie Davenport 52nd
2004 U20 Team SILVER 54pts Mark Christie 5th, Andrew Ledwith 7th, Danny Darcy 11th, Jamie McCarthy 31st, Joe Sweeney 44th, Mark Hanrahan 56th
2010 U23 Team GOLD 60pts David McCarthy 11th, Brendan O’Neill 13th, Michael Mulhare 16th, David Rooney 20th (25th), John Coghlan 34th, Ciarán Ó Lionáird 76th
2012 Senior Team GOLD 52 pts Fionnuala Britton 1st Linda Byrne 8th, Ava Hutchinson 20th, Lizzie Lee 23rd, Sarah McCormack 36th, Sara Treacy 42nd
2014 Senior Team BRONZE 87 pts Fionnuala Britton 6th, Sara Treacy 12th, Michelle Finn 23rd, Ann Marie McGlynn 46th, Siobhan O’Doherty 47th, Laura Crowe 53rd
2015 Senior Team BRONZE 83 pts Fionnuala McCormack (nee Britton) 4th, Lizzie Lee 13th, Caroline Crowley 23rd, Ciara Durkan 43rd, Michelle Finn 54th, Kerry O’Flaherty 55th
- 2019 National Championships:
- 32:50:00 Liam Brady Tullamore Harriers A.C.
- 32:55:02 Brian Fay (U23) Raheny Shamrock A.C.
- 33:05:00 Sean Tobin Clonmel A.C.
- 33:06:00 Conor Bradley City of Derry AC Spartans
- 28:41:00 Fionnuala McCormack Kilcoole A.C.
- 30:22:00 Mary Mulhare Portlaoise A.C.
- 30:32:00 Una Britton Kilcoole A.C.
- Brian Fay (U23) Raheny Shamrock A.C.
- Cormac Dalton (U23) Mullingar Harriers A.C
- Cathal Doyle (U23) Clonliffe Harriers A.C.
- Sorcha Mcalister (U23) Westport A.C.
- Claire Fagan (U23) Mullingar Harriers A.C.
- Lauren Dermody (U23) Castlecomer A.C
- Darragh McElhinney U.C.D. A.C.
- Keelan Kilrehill Moy Valley A.C.
- Thomas Mc Stay Galway City Harriers A.C.
- Jodie Mccann Dublin City Harriers A.C.
- DANIELLE DONEGAN Tullamore Harriers A.C.
- Maeve Gallagher Swinford A.C.Mayo