High hopes for cross country runners

Galway teams will attempt to retain their national cross country team titles on Sunday at the national championships in Abbotstown, Co Dublin.

Galway men’s squad go over 10km, and are captained by Sean McDermott of Castlegar AC, and will look to John Moroney and Andrew O'Donnghaile of GCH, Brian Furey of Rathfarnham, and Vincent McGuinness of Crusaders AC to lead the charge in what is surely the most competitive race on the entire athletics calendar.

The squad also features Connacht and Galway cross country champion Brian O'Connor, Tuam’s Sean Burke, the Castlegar trio of Rob Lennon, Alan Forde and Frank King, as well as GCH athletes Tim Jones, Alan Kelly, Seamus Leddy, Ronan O Conghaile and former national marathon champion Michael O'Connor.

The women's team has a strong chance of team success in their 8km race, with Laura Shaughnessy of DSD and Jane Ann Meehan of Athenry AC being the standout runners. Both will be aiming to secure places on the Irish cross country team for the European championships, which is selected based on this race. The duo are ably backed up by Niamh Hennelly of GCH, who is captain of the team and having a fabulous season, Irene Gorman of Crusaders, a product of GCH’s juvenile system, Ann Marie Hynes of Tuam, as well as the ageless Christine Kennedy of GCH, Joanne O'Boyle GCH, and Eimear O Leary of MSB AC

Jamie Fallon of Craughwell AC will target an Irish berth in the junior race, and Joe Tannian of GCH should feature well., as should Eanna Folan of GCH in the U18 and Aishling Joyce of NUI Galway in the junior women.

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