Two Galway athletes stand a realistic chance of selection for the European action when they compete in Sunday’s National Intercounty Cross Country Championships in Santry, Dublin.
Gary Thornton will compete in the men’s 10k event, while Nicola Duncan takes part in the women’s 8k race with their target firmly on qualifying for one of the five spots on the Irish teams for the European Cross Country Championships that take place in Belgrade on December 8.
Duncan, who will travel from her base in Scotland for the race, has recently run a 2.36 marathon and it will be interesting to see if she can translate her endurance to the shorter distance on Sunday.
Gary Thornton will be joined by fellow clubmates Keith Fallon, Brian Bruton, Gerry Garty, Brian O’Connor, and John Cronin, in addition to Jason Broderick and John Lane from Craughwell, Brian Furey (Rathfarnham ), and Vinny McGuinness of Loughrea on the Galway county team for the event. Billy King and Chris McGrath, both of Galway City Harriers, are named as reserves.
There are high hopes for the women’s team, led by Duncan, former intermediate All Ireland champion Laura Shaughnessy of Loughrea, and former US scholarship athlete Alvy Carragher, now with GCH. They will be joined by Niamh Hennelly, Sinead Brody, and Jane Walsh, and Barbara Dunne, all of GCH, in addition to Emer O Connell of Corrib AC.