Fionnuala McCormack to extend record of Irish running vests

Nine-time national champion will lead Ireland team to Europeans in Lisbon

Fionnuala McCormack of Kilcoole A.C., Co. Wicklow, on her way to winning the Senior Women’s event during the Irish Life Health National Senior, Junior & Juvenile Even Age Cross Country Championships at the National Sports Campus Abbotstown. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Fionnuala McCormack of Kilcoole A.C., Co. Wicklow, on her way to winning the Senior Women’s event during the Irish Life Health National Senior, Junior & Juvenile Even Age Cross Country Championships at the National Sports Campus Abbotstown. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

 

Fionnuala McCormack will further extend her record number of appearances in Irish women’s athletics by leading the senior team into the European Cross-Country championships in Lisbon, Portugal on Sunday week.

After running away – and the term is justified – with her ninth Irish title in Abbotstown on Sunday, McCormack promptly declared her intent to have another crack at the European title she won twice, as the first back-to-back women’s winner, in 2011 and 2012. She also finished fourth in her last attempt in 2015, leading the Irish women to bronze medals.

After younger sister Una Britton also wrote her own little piece of history on Sunday, finishing third to make them the first siblings to share the same podium in a senior women’s cross country event, she too is rewarded with her place on the Irish team for Lisbon.

McCormack, clearly relishing her return to the country just six weeks after running the Tokyo Olympic marathon time, won her 37th Irish senior international athletics vest when finishing second best European, in 18th, at the World Cross Country in Denmark in March, just six months after giving birth to daughter Isla (more than both Sonia O’Sullivan’s 34, and Derval O’Rourke’s 32).

Ciara Mageean didn’t attempt to defend her title on Sunday, given she was not long back after a break from the World Championships in Doha, where she finished 10th in the 1,500m final in a best of 4:00.15, but is also included on team for Lisbon. No joy for Sarah Healy, however, the under-20 medal contender who has withdrawn her interest as she recovers from the effects of a virus.

Also included is Aoibhe Richardson from Kilkenny City Harriers AC, coached by her parents and former internationals Noel and Niamh Richardson, who proved her form at the weekend when finishing 19th in the elite US NCAA Cross-Country, running for the University of San Francisco.

Liam Brady from Tullamore Harriers will lead the senior men’s team fresh from winning his first senior men’s title on Sunday, with Seam Tobin also back in form after finishing 10th best in European last year. Brian Fay will lead the Under-23 team along with another US-based athlete Peter Lynch, who finished 13th in the NCAA event for Tulsa University, with Maeve Gallagher from Swinford AC part of the women’s under-20 team having already represented Ireland in cycling and triathlon this year.

Irish Teams, European Cross-Country Championships, Lisbon, December 8th

Men’s Senior –

          Conor Bradley      City of Derry Spartans AC      

          Damien Landers    Ennis Track AC   

          Eoin Everard        Kilkenny City Harriers AC      

          Kevin Maunsell    Clonmel AC          

          Liam Brady           Tullamore Harriers AC  

          Sean Tobin Clonmel AC        

Women’s Senior –

          Aoibhe Richardson         Kilkenny City Harriers AC        

          Ciara Mageean      City of Lisburn AC        

          Fionnuala McCormack   Kilcoole AC        

          Fionnuala Ross     Armagh AC           

          Mary Mulhare       Portlaoise AC      

         Una Britton           Kilcoole AC          

Men’s U23 –

          Brian Fay    Raheny Shamrock AC   

          Cathal Doyle         Clonliffe Harriers AC    

          Cormac Dalton     Mullingar Harriers AC   

          David McGlynn    Waterford AC      

          Jack O’Leary        Mullingar Harriers AC   

          Peter Lynch           Kilkenny City Harriers AC      

Women’s U23 –

          Claire Fagan          Mullingar Harriers AC   

          Eilish Flanagan     Carmen runners   

          Fian Sweeney       Dublin City Harriers AC           

          Roisin Flanagan    Carmen runners   

          Sorcha McAlister Westport AC          

          Stephanie Cotter   West Muskerry AC        

Men’s U20 –

          Daragh McElhinney        Bantry AC  

          Jamie Battle          Mullingar Harriers AC   

          Keelan Kilrehill     Moy Valley AC   

          Shay McEvoy       Kilkenny City Harriers AC      

          Thomas McStay    Galway City Harriers AC         

          Plus one more TBC                   

Women’s U20 –

         Aoife O’Cuill       St. Coca’s AC      

         Danielle Donegan Tullamore Harriers AC  

          Eimear Maher       Dundrum South Dublin AC    

          Jodie McCann      Dublin City Harriers AC         

          Maeve Gallagher   Swinford AC       

          Sarah Kelly Inisowen AC       

Mixed Relay –

          Amy O’Donoghue         Emerald AC         

          John Travers         Donore Harriers AC      

          Luke McCann       Dublin City Harriers AC         

          Nadia Power         Templeogue AC  

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