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Ireland All Set for European Cross-Country Championships 2019

European Cross-Country Championships

Bela Vista Park, Lisbon, Portugal

Sunday December 8th 2019


 athletics ireland european cross country squad 2019a


Athletics Weekly: With the temperature on Sunday expected to reach around 16 degrees centigrade and the weather set fair, the Parque da Bella Vista should provide a somewhat different test to the usual cross country challenges to be found on these shores.

A total of 602 athletes representing 40 countries – including Russian athletes competing as Authorised Neutral Athletes – have been declared across the seven races. The entry lists also include all six reigning individual champions – U20 winners Jakob Ingebrigtsen from Norway and Italy’s Nadia Battocletti, U23 gold medallists Anna Emilie Møller of Denmark and Frenchman Jimmy Gressier, as well as Filip Ingebrigtsen and Turkey’s Yasemin Can in the senior races.


european cross country championships logo 2019


Stephanie Cotter and Adams State University Gear Up for European XC


grizzy trio cotter flanaganx2

Adams State University trio Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry AC), along with twin sisters Eilish & Roisin Flanagan (Carmen Runners, Tyrone) form the nucleus of the Irish Womens Under-23 squad in Lisbon on Sunday. This is another huge occasion for Adams State to have three girls from the same NCAA University on the same team at the one time, and for the second consecutive year. The University is delighted to have the three students represent Ireland again.

Just two weeks ago, at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, in Sacramento, California,  Stephanie Cotter won, in a Championship Record time, with the Flanagan twins coming in directly behind her, in second and third places. With three to score, we'll be rooting for the girls.


As asked in other media locations, it will be interesting to see how the US-based trio fare in the European setting, but one would think that the Portuguese park setting should be somewhat comparabale to that of the Carifornia course, and therefore suit the Irish girls. It's certainly going to be better than my recollection of a particular Munster master XC, in Borrisoleigh, in January 2001...with freezing temperatures, driving sleet, deep much and a film-setting-like snow-line, just 400m or so away. I'd take Portugal any day!

Cork Interest

This year sees probably the smallest Cork contingent in several years, with just two Corkonians on the team: Stephanie Cotter, West Muskerry AC, and Glengarriff's Darragh McElhinney, who now runs with UCD AC, having transferred recently from Bantry AC


Athletics Ireland Release - Darragh Browne



The Irish team will be looking for good performances at the 26th edition of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon on Sunday (December 8th) ahead of the championships in Dublin next year. This will be the third time Portugal has hosted the championships and this year Bela Vista Park hosts the event in downtown Lisbon.

U20 teams get action underway

Jodie McCann (Dublin City Harriers) is the only returning athlete to the women’s U20 team which will have a fresh look. Last year’s team just missed out on medals finishing fourth, but this year will be more about experience ahead of Dublin 2020. Aoife O'Cuill (St. Coca's AC), Danielle Donegan (Tullamore Harriers AC), Eimear Maher (Dundrum South Dublin AC), Maeve Gallagher (Swinford AC) and Sarah Kelly (Inishowen AC) make up the rest of the team.

It’s a case of déjà vu with Norway’s wunderkind Jakob Ingebrigtsen who now is looking to make even more history by winning four individual titles in the U20 men’s race. Darragh McElhinney (UCD) and Jamie Battle (Mullingar Harriers) are the only returnees on the Irish U20 men’s team which finished fifth in last year’s event.

Strong U23 teams

The women’s U23 team will look to have a strong showing with Adams State trio Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry) and twins Eilish and Roisin Flanagan (Carmen Runners). The trio led a 1-2-3 clean sweep of the podium at the NCAA Division II cross country championships. Eilish Flanagan also won a silver medal in the 3,000m steeplechase at the European U23 Athletics Championships last summer and will aim to improve upon her 16th place finish in this event last year. With three athletes to score, it looks like they will need a score inside 35 points to win a team medal.

Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock), Jack O’Leary (Mullingar Harriers) and Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers) return to the men’s U23 team and will be strengthened by Peter Lynch (Kilkenny City Harriers) who finished 13 at the NCAA Division I Championships. They will hope to build on their 6th place finish from last year.

McCormack quietly makes more history

Fionnuala McCormack’s (Kilcoole) name is synonymous with this event and creates more history by running for a record-breaking 16th time (only Italy’s Gabriele De Nard (17) and Ukraine’s Sergiy Lebid (19) surpassing McCormack’s tally on the men’s side) along with her famous back-to-back victories in 2011 and 2012.

Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn) comes into the event on the back of her stunning top 10 finish at the World Championships in Doha, as well as recently setting a new 5km road personal best of 15:44. Aoibhe Richardson (Kilkenny City Harriers) makes her senior debut in this event after a good 19th place finish at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. The team will be looking to improve on last year’s 11th place finish. 

The senior men will hope to put in a strong performance with Sean Tobin (Clonmel) who was 10th individually last year, and Liam Brady (Tullamore Harriers) who brilliantly won the national senior title leading the charge.

An experienced team will compete in the mixed relay with the race set to start at 12:05pm 

Irish Squad



Aoife O'Cuill (St. Coca's AC), Danielle Donegan (Tullamore Harriers AC), Eimear Maher (Dundrum South Dublin AC), Jodie McCann (Dublin City Harriers AC), Maeve Gallagher (Swinford AC), Sarah Kelly (Inishowen AC)



Claire Fagan (Mullingar Harriers AC), Eilish Flanagan (Carmen runners), Fian Sweeney (Dublin City Harriers AC), Roisin Flanagan (Carmen runners), Sorcha McAlister (Westport AC), Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry AC)



Aoibhe Richardson (Kilkenny City Harriers AC), Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC), Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole AC), Fionnuala Ross (Armagh AC), Mary Mulhare (Portlaoise AC), Una Britton (Kilcoole AC)




Daragh McElhinney (UCD), Jamie Battle  (Mullingar Harriers AC), Keelan Kilrehill  (Moy Valley AC) , Shay McEvoy (Kilkenny City Harriers AC), Thomas McStay (Galway City Harriers AC), TBC



Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock AC), Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers AC), Cormac Dalton (Mullingar Harriers AC), David McGlynn (Waterford AC), Jack O'Leary (Mullingar Harriers AC), Peter Lynch (Kilkenny City Harriers AC)


Conor Bradley (City of Derry Spartans AC), Damien Landers (Ennis Track AC), Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers AC), Kevin Maunsell (Clonmel AC), Liam Brady (Tullamore Harriers AC), Sean Tobin (Clonmel AC)    


Mixed Relay

Amy O'Donoghue (Emerald AC), John Travers (Donore Harriers AC), Luke McCann (Dublin City Harriers AC), Nadia Power (Dublin City Harriers AC)


List of Entries (PDF File)


Course Preview

The 26th edition of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships will be disputed on a 1500m lap course, with a second 500m lap, to be used in the beginning of certain races. It is a demanding course, designed in a hilly area of the Bela Vista Park, basically with a grassed surface

european cross country championships course 20191


european cross country championships venue 2019

TV Coverage & Livestream

Action will be covered on RTE 2, from 12pm

Livestreamed on European Athletics

BBC: Live coverage, from 10am - 2pm, on BBC Red Button, Connected TV, online & the BBC Sport app, with highlights on BBC Two from 17:15pm - 18:15pm
Note: Some BBC coverage is restricted to UK viewers


Schedule of Events

european cross country championships logo a 2019

09:45 Opening ceremony

10:00 U20 men (6,225m; Ss + 4L laps + Fs)

10:30 U20 women (4,225m; Ss + 2S laps+ 2L laps + Fs)

10:55 U23 men (8,225m; Ss+ 1S lap + 5L laps + Fs)

11:30 U23 women (6,225m; Ss + 4L laps + Fs)

12:05 Mixed relay (4 x 1,500m; Ss + 4x1L lap + Fs)

12:35 Senior men (10,225m; Ss + 2S laps + 6L laps + Fs)

13:20 Senior women (8,225m; Ss + 1S lap+ 5L laps + Fs)

S: Short lap (500m); L: Long lap (1,500m); Ss: Start straight (125m); Fs: Finish straight (100m)


Irish European Cross-Country Championships Medal History

Individual Irish:

1994 - Senior Women- Catherina McKiernan - GOLD - 14:29

1998 - Junior Men - Gareth Turnbull - BRONZE - 16:55

2006 - U23 Women - Fionnuala Britton - SILVER - 18:56

2011 - Senior Women - Fionnuala Britton - GOLD - 25:55

2012 - Senior Women - Fionnuala Britton - GOLD - 27:45


Irish Teams:

1999 - Junior Mens Team - BRONZE - 43 pts

Gary Murray 8th, Brian Keane 15th, Mark Smyth 20th, Joe McAlister 75th, Robert Connolly 94th


2000 - Senior Mens Team - BRONZE - 72 pts

Peter Matthews 10th, Seamus Power 14th, Gareth Turnbull 23rd, Keith Kelly 25th, Ken Nason 55th, Fiachra Lombard 67th


2003 - Senior Womens Team - SILVER - 78 pts

Sonia O’Sullivan 4th, Rosemary Ryan 13th, Ann Keenan Buckley 27th, Catherina McKiernan 34th, Marie Davenport 52nd


2004 - Junior Mens Team - SILVER - 54pts

Mark Christie 5th, Andrew Ledwith 7th, Danny Darcy 11th, Jamie McCarthy 31st, Joe Sweeney 44th, Mark Hanrahan 56th


2010 - U23 Mens Team - GOLD - 60pts

David McCarthy 11th, Brendan O’Neill 13th, Michael Mulhare 16th, David Rooney 20th (25th), John Coghlan 34th, Ciarán Ó Lionáird 76th


2012 - Senior Womens Team - GOLD - 52 pts

Fionnuala Britton 1st Linda Byrne 8th, Ava Hutchinson 20th, Lizzie Lee 23rd, Sarah McCormack 36th, Sara Treacy 42nd


2014 - Senior Womens Team - BRONZE - 87 pts

Fionnuala Britton 6th, Sara Treacy 12th, Michelle Finn 23rd, Ann Marie McGlynn 46th, Siobhan O’Doherty 47th, Laura Crowe 53rd


2015 - Senior Womens Team - BRONZE - 83 pts

Fionnuala McCormack (nee Britton) 4th, Lizzie Lee 13th, Caroline Crowley 23rd, Ciara Durkan 43rd, Michelle Finn 54th, Kerry O’Flaherty 55


About Us

Cork Athletics County Board is a constituent member of Athletics Ireland. Cork Athletics is the governing body, administering athletics, track and field (T&F), cross-country (XC) and running in county Cork. The Board comprises elected representatives of constituent athletic clubs and running clubs. Cork County Board AAI organises Championship races and competition, including road, track & field (T&F) and Cross-country (XC), at junior, juvenile, senior and masters levels, and selects representation for the county. In addition, training and education is provided for coaches and officials. The Board also regulates the Athletics Ireland race/event permit (licence) process for county Cork.
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