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Nine local athletes named in Irelands Euro XC team

27 November 2018

Nine local athletes named in Irelands Euro XC team

Nine local athletes have been named in a 39 strong Ireland team for the upcoming European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg, Netherlands on Sunday 9th December 2018.

The Dutch City hosted the event in 2005 but the venue will be different this time around. This year’s race programme will take place on a challenging course at the Beekse Bergen Safari Park, situated just to the south-east of Tilburg.

Ciara Mageean (UCD AC / Steve Vernon), who claimed her first Senior XC title in Abbotstown on Sunday, will be joined by fellow National medallists Ann-Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC / Colin Roberts) and Fionnuala Ross (Armagh AC / Dermot Kerr).  Olympian Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC / Richard Rodgers) adds further strength to the Senior women's team, which includes Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) and Sara Treacy (Dunboyne AC).

In the Senior men’s team, local athlete Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers / Stephen Haas) has been selected alongside 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.

There are also familiar faces in the Under 23 teams, with America based Ryan Forsyth (Mark Wetmore), a Newcastle AC athlete with strong family links to County Down, in the men’s team.  Up and coming Carmen Runners athletes Eilish Flanagan and Roisin Flanagan, both coached by Damon Martin, have been selected in the women's team.

City of Derry AC’s Fintan Stewart (Andrew Henderson), who narrowly missed a medal at the National Championships last weekend, has been selected in the Under 20 Men’s team.

Athletics Ireland’s High Performance Director, Paul McNamara said:

“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 Abbottstown 2020.

“This season has demonstrated improved depth and quality in the under age categories, and as a result we’ve selected both U23 teams for the first time since 2014. Both U20 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”

Jackie Newton, Athletics NI’s Director of Coaching and Athlete Development said, 

"We are extremely proud to see nine athletes from Northern Ireland selected for this year’s European Championships after stand-out performances at the national championships and impressive cross country season’s for Northern Ireland’s state-side collegiate athletes. We are also delighted that Stephen Scullion has been selected whilst he is training in the USA. We wish them all the best with their final two weeks of preparation and look forward to seeing them in action on 9th December in Tilburg."

The official press release, by Athletics Ireland, is available HERE.