In a little under two years time, the National Sports Campus at Abbotstown will play host to the European Championships in Cross Country.
With the right to host won only in recent weeks it added to the buzz and excitement around yesterday’s Irish Life sponsored National Championships and many of those who starred will be hoping to do likewise on the bigger stage in 2020.
Ciara Mageean (UCD) and Kevin Dooney (Raheny Shamrock) captured their first titles in Cross Country, capping what has been a successful year in athletics across the board.
Mageean, more adept on the track, ran strongly over 8,000m to win in 28:02 and to hold off Annmarie McGlynn (Letterkenny) in second in 28:05 and Fionnuala Ross (Armagh) in third in 28:08.
It was a good showing for Mageean and now sees her hold national titles on the track, outdoors and indoors, and cross country.
Leevale won the team race led home by Michelle Finn in fourth with Letterkenny second and North Down third.
Kevin Dooney won a classic battle with Clonmel’s Sean Tobin and Kevin Maunsell.
Dooney won in 30:07 with four seconds to spare over a fast-finishing Sean Tobin 30:11 and Kevin Maunsell in third in 30:18. It was double delight for Dooney as he helped Raheny Shamrock to a third consecutive national team title. Clonliffe Harriers were second with Clonmel third.
Sarah Healy (Blackrock) transferred her double European Championship Gold on the track in the summer to landing the women’s U18 and U20 4,000m winning in 13:28 ahead of Emma O’Brien (Sli Cualann) in 13:46 and Jodie McCann (Dublin City Harriers) in third in 13:53. West Waterford took a great team win to topple DSD.
Darragh McElhinney (Bantry) said he was a relieved winner of the combined U18 and U20 men’s 6,000m race in 18:21. Sean O’Leary (Clonliffe Hariers) was a strong second in 18:27 with Jamie Battle (Mullingar Harriers) third in 18:33. Clonliffe Harriers took the team honours.
Image Credit, Brian Keane, Inpho.ie