Britton Leads at Euro Cross Country

November 28, 2014

Double European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton, (Kilcoole AC) will lead the Irish Team of 33 at the 21st  European Cross Country Championships which takes place in Samokov, Bulgaria December 14th.

Britton is only one of two Irish senior athletes to have won medals at European Cross Country Championships taking back to back titles in 2011 and 2012 with Catherina McKiernan (1994) being the other. In last year’s championships in Belgrade, Serbia she placed fourth. The 30 year old will receive her 31st cap for Ireland to place her third on the all-time list of International appearances for Ireland with Anne Keenan Buckley just one cap behind Derval O’Rourke and three caps behind Sonia O’Sullivan.

The Wicklow athlete has competed in a number of domestic Road Race and Cross Country races as part of her preparation including securing victory at the GloHealth Inter County Championships in Dundalk  last weekend. Britton is set to race in the competitive Cross De L’Acier in France next weekend to round off her pre-championships race schedule.

Chris Jones, National Endurance Coach commented: “Fionnuala’s preparations have been building very well and as a former double champion is looking to improve on her fourth placing from last year”

chris jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He added: “Overall team preparations have gone well with altitude training camp in Font-Romeu for both Senior and U23 athletes. The Irish based Junior athletes have been involved in a series of endurance camps on the lead up the championships led by Steven Macklin and Joe Ryan. We will be looking for teams to deliver top five placings”

Britton will be joined on the women’s team, who placed sixth last year by the top finishers at the Inter County Championships last weekend: Michelle Finn (Leevale AC), Laura Crowe (An Riocht), Sara Treacy (Dunboyne AC), Siobhan O’Doherty (Borriskane AC) and Ann Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny A.C.).

The Senior Men’s team who also placed sixth last year will be led by team by Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) who won the GloHealth Inter County cross championships in a highly competitive race of the day with only 3 seconds separating the top three.   He will be joined on the team by second and third placed finishers from that race, Mark Hanrahan (Leevale A.C) and Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock A.C). The remainder of the team are Kevin Maunsell (Clonmel A.C), Brendan O’Neill (DSD AC) and Kevin Batt (DSD AC).

The Irish team will face a challenging course in Samokov, set on the mountain resort of Borovets it will be undulating and at a slight attitude of 1350m with conditions likely be dry but freezing. The team will travel to the championships on Friday the 12th of December. The US based collegiate students will arrive earlier than the rest of the team into Samokov on the Wednesday giving them time to adjust to the time zone given those who competed in NCAA a 3 week recovery time.

There has been a shift from Team Management for Senior Teams to the appointment of Team Captains who will be announced on the 2nd of December. This decision has been made to allow for the more experienced athletes to take ownership and leadership and to foster a culture of collaboration and performance. The team support for U23 and Junior athletes have been working alongside athletes and their coaches in the lead up to the championships and will support and guide them through the championships.

Chris Jones:  “I am delighted that we have begun to bridge a gap in the women’s U23 category and that we will field a team this year in this category with all of the athletes selected finished within 47 seconds of each other at the Inter counties”. We will continue to work with our Junior athletes to progress to a point where we can field a competitive team. We also see these championships as an important stepping stone on the path towards the European Indoor Athletics championships in March.”

Irish Team  21st SPAR European Cross Country Championships  Samokov, Bulgaria  December 14th.

 

Senior Men

 

Name                                                    Club                                                       Coach

 

Paul Pollock                                       Annadale Striders A.C.                        Andy Hobdell

 

Mark Hanrahan                                   Leevale A.C                                        Martin McCarthy

 

Mick Clohisey                                     Raheny Shamrock A.C.                     Dick Hooper

 

Kevin Maunsell                                   Clonmel A.C                                     Kevin Maunsell Sr

 

Breadan O’Neill                                   DSD AC                                            Chris Jones

 

Kevin Batt                                          DSD AC                                            Damon Martin

 

 

 

Senior Women

 

Fionnuala Britton                             Kilcoole A.C.                                       Chris Jones

 

Michelle Finn                                  Leevale AC

 

Laura Crowe                                   An Riocht                                             Donie Walsh

 

Sara Treacy                                   Dunboyne AC.                                      Bud Baldaro

 

Siobhan O’Doherty                          Borriskane AC

 

Ann Marie McGlynn                       Letterkenny A.C.                                  Teresa McDaid

 

 

U23 Men

 

Liam Brady                                      Tullamore Harriers                        Robert Denmead

 

Brandon Hargreaves                         Clonliffe Harriers

 

Ryan McDermott                              Annadale Striders A.C.                  Mark Kirk

 

Kevin Dooney                                  Raheny Shamrock A.C.                Paul Harkins

 

Dara Chesser                                  Ennis Track

 

 

U23 Women

 

Mary Mulhare                                   Portlaoise A.C.                                  Joe Warne

 

Maria O’Sullivan                                Raheny Shamrock A.C.                      Paul Brady

 

Rachael Smyth                                  St. Coca’s AC                                   Robert Denmead

 

Orna Murray                                     UCC/Ferrybank                                   Donie Walsh

 

Shona Heaslip                                   An Riocht AC

 

Ellie Hartnett                                    UCD                                                    James Nolan

 

 

 

 

 

Junior Men

 

Kevin Mulcaire                                  Ennis track A.C.                                 Pat Hogan

 

Con  Doherty.                                    UCD A.C.                                        Jerry Kilroy

 

Jack O’Leary                                    Mullingar Harriers                              Joe Ryan

 

Rick Nally                                        DSD AC

 

David Harper.                                   Sligo                                                Dermot McDermott

 

Brendan O’Connor                          An Riocht                                             Martin Tarsey

 

 

 

Junior Women

 

Hope Saunders                                 Clonliffe Harriers

 

Orlaith Moynihan                               Clonmel A.C                                       Anthony Moynihan

 

Clodagh O’Reilly                                Annalee A.C.                                      Denis Noonan

 

Rhona Pierce                                     Leevale AC                                          Ray Shanahan

 

 

 

Team Management

 

Head of Delegation: Kevin Ankrom

 

Team Leader: Chris Jones

 

Team Support/Logistics: Gillian Brosnan

 

Team Physio: Ciara McCallion

 

Team Soft Tissue Therapist: Declan Monaghan

 

Men’s Captain: To be announced on the 2nd of December

 

Women’s Captain: To be announced on the 2nd of December

 

Team Support U23 Men: Paul McNamara

 

Team Support U23 Women: Geraldine Nolan

 

Team Support Junior Men: Joe Ryan

 

Team Support Junior Women: Steven Macklin

 

Media Support: Kenneth Kiernan

 

Credit: Sportsfile /AAI Fionnuala Britton Photograph

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