NI Stars Represent Ireland at Euro XC Championships
11 December 2017
A battling fifth place finish for the Senior Men’s team was Ireland’s highlight of the European Cross Country Championships in Slovakia this weekend (Sunday 10th December 2017). This was backed up by strong performances by the Senior Ladies team and also the Junior athletes involved in the squad.
Nearly 600 athletes from 37 countries took on the fast and flat course in Samorin, this included five local athletes who were part of the Ireland team. Recently crowned AAI National XC Champion Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders / Andrew Hobdell) lined up in the Senior Men’s team and secured 48th place, covering the 10.2k course in 31:35.
The Ireland team, led home by Sean Tobin in 15th place, came through well to take 5th place.
Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC / Richard Rodgers) and Fionnuala Ross (Armagh AC / Dermot Kerr) were part of the senior ladies team who claimed a 7th place finish in the team standings.
Individually, the ladies performed well – Kerry produced a gutsy performance to secure her highest finish at the Euro XC, completing the 8.3k course in 28:35 for 38th place. Fionnuala also impressed on her major championship debut, crossing the line in 28:53 for 47th place.
Two-time European XC Champion Fionnuala McCormack, was the first of the Irish ladies to finish, in 12th place.
A mere one second separated Northern Ireland men Craig McMeechan (North Down AC / Francis Marsh) and James Edgar (City of Lisburn AC / Heather Ardis) in the Under 20 Men’s 6.3k course.
AAI National Age Group Champion Craig clocked 19:30 for 37th place, with James following in 19:31 for 38th place. Fearghal Curtin was the first of Ireland’s Under 20 men to finish, taking 22nd place.