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 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 No joy for Sarah Healy, however, the under-20 medal contender who has withdrawn her interest as she recovers from the effects of a virus.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