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Britton to lead Irish Charge at European Cross Country Championships


from the AAI Defending European Champion Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) will lead the Irish Team at the 19th SPAR European Cross Country Championships which takes place in Budapest, Hungary on the 9th of December.

 The Wicklow athlete’s preparation for these championships has gone exceptional well, she finished 4th in the very competitive VIII Cross de Atapuerca in Burgos, Spain earlier in the month. She continued her preparations with a third place finish in a classy field in the Cross de l’Acier at the weekend. Also joining Britton on the senior women’s team is Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC), Ava Hutchinson (Dundrum South Dublin AC), Sarah McCormack (Clonliffe Harriers AC), Linda Byrne (Dundrum South Dublin AC) and Sarah Louise Treacy (Moynalvey AC).

Joe Sweeney (Dundrum South Dublin AC) has been rewarded with a place on the team following his performance at the Woodies DIY Inter County Cross Country National Championships which took place in Ratoath, Co Meath last Sunday. The strongly built DSD runner stormed to victory, crossing the line 39 seconds clear of Michael Mulhare (Portlaoise AC), who has also been named in the team. Sweeney finished a magnificent fifth place last year at the European Championships; he will be joined on the team by David Rooney (Raheny Shamrock AC). Rooney recently placed seventh at the prestigious NCAA, Brendan O’Neill (Dundrum South Dublin AC), Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF) and Brian Maher (KCH AC) complete the line up for the senior men’s team.

In the U23 Women’s Team, Una Britton (Kilcoole AC), sister to Fionnuala will lead the charge for the Irish. Britton will be joined on the line by Laura Behan (KCK AC), as both these athletes finished first and second U23’s respectively at the trials last Sunday.

Chris Johnston (Letterkenny AC) will lead the U23 Men’s team. Johnston was the first U23 athletes across the line at the national championships at the weekend. He will be joined on the team by David Fitzmaurice (Clonliffe Harriers AC), Patrick Hogan (Ferrybank AC), Sam Mealy (Crusaders AC), John Travers (Donore Harriers AC), Sam Mealy (Crusaders AC) and Shane Quinn (Ferrybank AC).

Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD AC) has been named in the Junior Women’s team. The World Junior 800m semi-finalist won the national cross country in fine style at the weekend. She will be joined on the team by Sarah Collins (Finn Valley AC), Collins has competed brilliantly on the collegiate circuit in recent month culminating in a tenth place finish at the NCAA championships. Linda Conroy (Mullingar Harriers), Mary Mulhare (Portlaoise AC),Claire McCarthy (Dundrum South Dublin) and Mary Ann O’Sullivan (Tinryland AC) are also named as part of the Junior women’s team.

Stephan Kerr (Armagh AC) will lead the junior men’s team after storming to victory at the national championships. Sean Tobin (Clonmel AC), is another who has been in tremendous form this season and is named on the team alongside Ian Guiden (Clonliffe Harriers), Killian Mooney (Dundrum South Dublin) and Eoghan Totten (Newcastle AC)

Teresa McDaid Team Manager said “We have solid teams competing at this year championships with chances of quality performances at junior and senior level. For many of our juniors this is their first year competing in this age category and they will be looking to gain experience from this competition.”