Mageean Leads a Record 9 NI Athletes for European XC & Local Athletes prepare for the Mighty Oaks XC
07 December 2018
A record 9 athletes from Northern Ireland will be racing in the 39 strong Irish team this weekend in the 25th Spar European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg, Netherlands on Sunday 9th December. This highly popular event will see over 600 competitors from 38 countries.
The Women’s team will be led by recent Irish Champion, Ciara Mageean (UCD AC), in the Senior Women’s 8.3k race. Ciara last competed at this event two years ago and will be hoping to place within the Top 20 on Sunday, after her recent Senior XC title-win at Abbotstown in November.
Anne Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC), who competed in the Championships back in 2014 and helped her team gain the European Bronze Medal, will once again be competing alongside Fionnuala Ross (Armagh AC) and Olympian Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC).
The Men’s U20 team will include Fintan Stewart (City of Derry Spartans) who was 4th in the Trials, while there will be a number of NI athletes in the U23 events, with American-based athlete, Ryan Forsythe (Newcastle AC) tipped for a Top 10 finish and Carmen Runners’ twins, Eilish Flanagan and Roisin Flanagan competing in the Women’s U23 event.
In the Senior Men's 10.3k event Belfast's Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers), who is the Irish 10,000 Champion will be competing as part of a strong Irish team, hoping to improve on last year’s impressive 5th place. Senior Men’s Champion Kevin Dooney (Raheny Shamrock AC), Sean Tobin (Raheny Shamrock AC), Kevin Maunsell (Clonmel AC), Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock AC) and Kevin Batt (DSD AC) complete the team.
Live Streaming of the event will be available here.
Local Athletes set for the Mighty Oaks XC this weekend
Local athletes will once again take on the famous ‘Acorn Hill’ at the Mighty Oaks Cross Country this weekend, Saturday 8th December 2018, at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena in Cookstown.
This is the fifth year of the event, which is expected to get an exciting turn out as it is once again included in the Athletics NI Cross Country League. It will be the fourth race in the 2018-2019 League calendar and is hosted by Acorns AC.
It is only 11 months since the previous Mighty Oaks event, as last year’s event had to be postponed due to the bad weather. The previous event (13th January 2018) saw Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) and Catherine Diver (Beechmount Harriers) secure the top prizes.
North Belfast Harriers will be hoping to further amplify their top position in the all important Cross Country League Men’s Team Competition, which they currently hold with 76 points. Closely behind them are Willowfield Temperance Harriers (72 points) and North Down AC (68 points).
In the Ladies Competition we have North Down AC currently in the lead with 80 points, with Ballydrain Harriers (74 points) seated in second place and Dromore AC (60 points) coming in third.
Entries for the event will be available on the day.
There will be junior races included in the timetable. The schedule is as follows:
U12 Girls & Boys 800m 11am
U14 Girls & Boys 1 Mile 11.20am
U16 Girl & Boys 2 Mile 11.45am
U18 Girls & Boys 3 Mile 12.20pm
Senior & Masters Ladies (in O65+ Men’s Vets) 3 Mile 12.20pm
Senior & Masters Men 4 Mile 1pm