Ireland team for European Cross Country Championships revealed
Kevin Dooney and Ciara Mageean to lead 39-strong squad in Tilburg on December 9th
Ciara Mageean will lead the 39-strong Irish team at next month’s European Cross Country Championships. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Athletics Ireland is entering teams in all six races, plus the mixed-relay. Tilburg played host to the championships before, back in 2005, only this time at a new challenging course at the Beekse Bergen Safari Park, situated just to the south-east of Tilburg.
Dooney (Rahney Shamrocks) and Mageean (UCD AC) both won their respective senior titles at the Irish Life Health National Cross Country Championships at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus on Sunday - the same venue for the European Cross Country Championships in 2020.
Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock) and American-based Ryan Forsyth (Newcastle AC) will lead a strong Under-23 men’s team, Forsyth having finished 11th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships last week.
The best chance of a medal lies in the under-20 women’s race led by Sarah Healy (Blackrock) who won double gold over 1500m and 3,000m at the European U-18 Athletics Championships last summer. Also in the ranks in Sophie O’Sullivan (Ballymore Cobh), daughter of Sonia who won silver over 800m at that same event.
“We’re excited about this team’s prospects for Tilburg, both in terms of making an impact here and now, but also as it’s an important stepping stone on the road to Abbotstown 2020,” said Paul McNamara, High Performance Director at Athletics Ireland
“This season has demonstrated improved depth and quality in the under age categories, and as a result we’ve selected both U-23 teams for the first time since 2014. Both U-20 teams look strong and can certainly build on their solid showing in Slovakia last year.
“Some of our leading senior women are unavailable but the selected team has a lot of experience and ability and will look to make an impact, while the senior men will look to build on a very positive result last year. The mixed relay is an exciting addition to the squad and should be capable of adding some value to Team Ireland’s prospects”
European Cross Country Championships, Tilburg, December 9th
Senior men: Kevin Dooney (Raheny Shamrock AC), Sean Tobin (Clonmel AC), Kevin Maunsell (Clonmel AC), Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock AC), Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers AC), Kevin Batt (DSD AC)
Senior women: Ciara Mageean (UCD AC), Ann Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC), Fionnuala Ross (Armagh AC), Michelle Finn (Leevale AC), Sara Treacy (Dunboyne AC), Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle & District AC)
U-23 men: Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock AC), Ryan Forsyth (Newcastle and District AC), Paul O’Donnell (DSD AC), Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers AC), Garry Campbell (Dunleer AC), Jack O’Leary (Mullingar Harriers AC)
U-23 women: Fian Sweeney (Dublin City Harriers AC), Eilish Flanagan (Carmen runners), Aoibhe Richardson (Kilkenny City Harriers AC), Roisin Flanagan (Carmen runners), Sorcha McAlister (Westport AC)
U-20 men: Daragh McElhinney (Bantry AC), Sean O’Leary (Clonliffe Harriers AC), Jamie Battle (Mullingar Harriers AC), Fintan Stewart (City of Derry AC Spartans, Daire Finn (Dublin City Harriers), Micheál Power (West Waterford AC)
U-20 women: Sarah Healy (Blackrock AC), Emma O’Brien (Sli Cualann), Jodie McCann (Dublin City Harriers AC), Laura Nicholson (Bandon AC), Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry AC), Sophie O’Sullivan (Ballymore Cobh AC)
Mixed Relay: John Travers (Donore Harriers AC), Paul Robinson (St Coca’s AC), Claire Tarplee (St Coca’s AC), Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD AC)