Weekend Preview Stirling International Cross Country
10 January 2020
A team of 32 athletes will represent Northern Ireland and Ulster at this weekend’s Stirling Celtic & Home International Cross Country on Saturday 11th January.
The Senior Men’s team will consist of NI & Ulster Intermediate XC Champion, Zak Hanna (Newcastle & District AC) who excelled last year in his mountain running specialism. After securing 19th place at the European Championships and 35th in the World Championships, Zak is currently Ireland’s top short course runner.
He will be joined by former Irish International Conor Duffy (Glaslough Harriers) and Springwell Running Club’s Neil Johnson, who recently won the boxing day Greencastle 5 Mile event.
In the Senior Women’s team, North Down AC’s Jessica Craig is on a high this season with a PB in the Seeley Cup 10k where she was 3rd in 35 mins 11 secs plus a 6th place in the Scottish Cross Country Championships.
Armagh AC’s Fionnuala Ross was a member of the silver medal winning Irish Senior team in Lisbon. The Scottish 10k road champion will be hoping to emulate her excellent 3rd place finish in the IAAF Northern Ireland International XC. She will be joined by club mate, Danielle Fegan who just missed out on Lisbon selection and North Down AC’s Katie Moore, who finished in a terrific 13th place at the Northern Ireland International XC.
The Women’s U23 race includes Comber Cross Country winner Rebekah Nixon of Dromore AC, along with DCH’s Edel Monaghan and Inishowen AC’s Sarah Kelly. In the Men’s U23, the team of 3 will be: North Down AC’s Craig McMeechan, Newcastle & District AC’s Patrick McNiff and Eoin Hughes of Letterkenny AC.
The younger age group competition is set to be a tough battle for the NI & Ulster teams. The U17 Men will be Sean McGinley (Olympian & Youth AC); Matthew Lavery (North Belfast Harriers); Callum Morgan (St Malachy’s AC) and Oisin Toye (Finn Valley AC). The U17 Girls team is: Catherine Martin (Loughview AC); Amy Greene (Rosses AC); Roise Roberts (North Belfast Harriers); Nuala Bose (Olympian Youth & AC) and Kirsti Foster (Willowfield Harriers).
St Malachy’s AC’s Adam Ferris, Tony McCambridge and Conall McClean will make up the Men’s U20 team, along with Monaghan Phoenix AC’s Conor Maguire. In the Ladies U20 team there will be Niamh Carr (Springwell Running Club); Aoife McGreevy (Lagan Valley AC); Hannah Gilliland (Willowfield Harriers) and Ella Quinn (Omagh Harriers).
We wish the teams the best of luck in their competition as they travel later today.
Elsewhere this weekend…
Athletes from across Northern Ireland will compete in the 6th round of the Athletics NI Cross Country League this Sunday at the Mathieson Cup, hosted by Mallusk Harriers.
After the first 4 rounds, North Belfast Harriers lead the Men’s league with a total of 100 points, with Willowfield Harriers closely behind with 99 points and North Down AC in 3rd place with 69 points.
In the Ladies’ league, Armagh AC currently hold the top spot with 102 points, followed by last year’s winners, North Down AC in 2nd place with 98 points and North Belfast Harriers in 3rd place with 88 points.
The day’s events will begin at 11am with the Primary Schools’ 800m race, followed by the U12- U17 races. For more information, please see here: https://athleticsni.org/Fixtures/Mathieson-Cup-and-Shield-2020