National Novice & Juvenile Uneven Cross Country Titles on the Line as Olympic Gold Medallist set to Row in Behind his Home Club.
The 123.ie National Novice and Juvenile Uneven Cross-Country Championships promise to deliver an exciting day of athletics this Sunday (Dec 4th).
The Irish cross-country season heads to Garryanne, Conna, Co. Cork (St Catherine’s AC) for the last national cross-country event of 2022, with eyes then turning to Turin as Irish athletes take to competition at the European Cross Country Championships set for La Mandria Park in Italy on December 11th.
The ‘Cork Cross’ is where all attention is focused this weekend however, with the 12-race schedule set to get up and running with the Girls U11 1500m at 11:30 am. The Novice Women 4000m race will take to the gun at 14:40 pm followed by the Novice Men 6000m at 15:10 pm.
Olympic gold medallist Paul O’Donovan (Leevale AC) will be rowing in behind his club’s cause come Sunday afternoon, with the star of Irish sport set to wear the yellow of Leevale as he takes to the 6km route in the men’s race which completes the day’s proceedings.
CORK CLUBS OUT IN FORCE FOR HOME CROSS
The final medal-deciders of the day look as completive as ever with a bumper entry across the two national novice races. Leevale will bid to defend their 2021 title in the men’s novice race, while host’s St Catherine’s AC will look to put in a strong showing with their local knowledge sure to be worth a few finishing positions on the run for home.
Cork’s Paul Hartnett (East Cork AC) looks one of the likely contenders for individual honours in the men’s race following his superb display in Rosapenna on Nov 20th which saw him claim a top 20 finish. Conditions in Cork are likely to be quite different from the fast surface experienced in Donegal however, and it would be no surprise to see a dark-horse spring from the pack in the pursuit of gold.
There will be new champions in the women’s race in the absence of 2021 champions Letterkenny AC. The final entry sees a strong representation from the Cork and Dublin clubs, while Dunboyne AC, Sligo AC, Mullingar Harries, Kilkenny City Harriers, and Galway City Harriers also boast strong line-ups.
The race for individual honours looks another hard one to call, although Fiona Everard (Bandon AC) caught the eye with her top 10 finish in Donegal just under a fortnight ago. A reproduction of that effort is sure to see the Bandon athlete in contention for the podium places.
Niamh Carr (Dublin City Harriers), Lucy Holmes (Waterford AC) and Lucy Barrett (Raheny Shamrock) also performed superbly in Donegal, and all make the trip to Cork for another tilt at national honours.