Former Irish dancer Heaslip wins international cross-country race

An Riocht AC representative displays strong development over 6km at national campus

Shona Heaslip competes in the  5,000m Women’s Final at the World Student  Games in Taipei, Taiwan. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Shona Heaslip competes in the 5,000m Women’s Final at the World Student Games in Taipei, Taiwan. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Shona Heaslip, from An Riocht AC, starred at the Autumn Open International Cross Country Festival to win the women’s 6km race at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus in Dublin 15.

Heaslip, a former Irish dancer, continues to develop apace having competed at the World Student Games in Taipei over 5,000m in August. In different conditions and climate she eventually broke clear after a fast start ahead of Scotland’s Mhairi MacLennan in second and Michelle Finn (Leevale) who sprinted in for third.

Despite the downpour from Storm Brian the previous day, the underfoot conditions were relatively firm at the purpose-built national cross country course.

The men’s combined race also took off at a searing pace with young and old alike displaying their progress from base training.

The lead group eventually whittled down to three with Hiko Tonosa (DSD) of Ethiopia having more in the tank for the sprint to win in 22:58 ahead of Kenya’s Gideon Kimosop 23:01 and Adam Kirk-Smith (Derry City Track Club) who had a fine run in third in 23:06.

Darragh McElhinney (Bantry) showed he was wintering well to win the junior 6,000m in 18:48 ahead of Jamie Battle (Mullingar Harriers) in 18:56 and Michael Power (West Waterford) in 19:05.

The fitness and energy in both junior races was evident as they battle for the coveted Irish singlets for the European Cross Country Championships in December.

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